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NASCIO State CIO Top 10 Priorities: Is your business plan aligned?

What’s on state government technology leaders’ minds

January 29, 2021

NASCIO State CIO Top 10 Priorities: Is your business plan aligned?
When strategizing your business plan for the new year, it helps to know exactly what’s on the minds of your state government customers. The more specific, the better. And while nobody has a crystal ball into the future, we can glean valuable insight from resources like the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO)’s State CIO Top 10 list for 2021.
 
Based on feedback from 47 states and territories, this list provides a holistic view of chief information officers’ (CIOs) top policy and technology priorities for the coming year—and can help ensure you’re going after the biggest opportunities.
 
We’ve called out a few that may be of particular interest:
 
Cybersecurity and risk management—In addition to being the number one priority for the past several years, cybersecurity has always been on the list since the Top 10 was first published in 2007. As one CIO commented, “The situation of nearly the entire state workforce working from home has created the need for enhanced security. When you have tens of thousands of people suddenly working from home or the local coffee shop, the vulnerabilities are too numerous to think of.” Learn more about promoting cybersecurity.
 
Digital government/digital services—This priority is number two this year, moving up from number four in 2019. When asked, “What’s the biggest driver to establishing digital services?” almost all participants agreed that improving the online experience for citizens was a top priority. As one CIO stated, “government is now expected to be fully digital. Unless you need to be somewhere in person, like getting a driver’s license/REAL ID photo, you will do it online and we need to make that happen.”
 
Cloud services—With a spike in online transactions and added pressure on legacy systems, state government respondents were asked about a strategy to migrate legacy applications to the cloud. Forty-one percent of respondents have a cloud first strategy for new applications and another 17% have instituted or are in the process of instituting infrastructure-as-a-service. When asked to rank the top five categories of services for migration to the cloud, the services most popular in cloud migration were email, disaster recovery, office productivity applications, ERP systems and security services/monitoring. Learn more about cloud services.
 
Broadband/wireless connectivity—This priority is the highest it’s ever been on the Top 10, coming in at number four this year. CIOs understand the importance of broadband in supporting their digital needs. From creating digital government channels and remote work solutions to providing education and healthcare opportunities for citizens, they know they need a reliable broadband network to meet these needs. The global business situation has only heightened those needs, which is why this year, 81% of respondents said that their states will now accelerate the implementation of their broadband strategies. Learn more about network connectivity.
 
Identity and access management—With cloud becoming more accepted as part of everyday operations, the question remains, how are these efforts managed and coordinated? What’s the governance structure? The survey asked respondents about statewide standards and/or best practices for agencies to follow and 60% said they are establishing standards for security and identity management. And less than half of respondents have a statewide strategy for application, platform or infrastructure. This could be interpreted as states providing a limited view of standards but not driving a centralized approach. Learn more about access management.
 
For more background on the specific categories, check out the 2020 State CIO Survey. Or to learn how to better support state government agencies with their top priorities, contact the Public Sector team at Ingram Micro. 
 
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