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NASCIO higlights state CIO priorities in annual survey

Yesterday, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) published its state CIO priorities and priority technologies for 2012 report based on its annual state CIO survey. The survey is a valued peek into the minds and wish lists of state IT executives; and when compared against past priorities, we can see that leveraging the enterprise remains atop state CIO to-do lists.
-- Not ranked as top 10 IT priority
* New IT priority
Source: GovWin and NASCIO
The top three state CIO priorities are relatively consistent to last year’s, with health care getting bumped to number four by the surging governance priority, which lands in third. Budget and cost control takes the number two spot, and consolidation and optimization tops the chart. The top three priorities show that CIOs still often fight an uphill battle when trying to influence change across the entire state IT enterprise. Additionally, they reflect state budget shortfalls that have demanded a return to fundamentals in times of financial challenge. The “KISS” strategy is in full effect, as the top three could easily be rephrased as eliminate redundancy, lower costs, and make sure everyone turns the lights off when they leave the room.
As mentioned, health care is the fourth priority for state CIOs in 2012. This is no surprise considering it demands attention by its heavyweight share of state spending. CIOs will continue to look for health care savings through MMIS modernizations and HIE investments.
The remaining priorities cloud computing, security, broadband/connectivity, and shared services are common to last year’s top ten. New priorities, portal and mobile services/mobility, are beckoned in part by the need to deliver more services with flat or decreasing government workforces. Educating of government is still required from the vendor community on cloud and mobile services, as these are the closest to emerging technologies on the list. Headway with broadband and portals is really a funding issue. The interest is there with the states; they just need to find the money for the new initiatives.
-- Not ranked as top 10 IT technology
* New IT technology
Source: GovWin and NASCIO
NASCIO also queries its members about their top 10 priority technologies. Similar to the topical priorities, the technology priorities speak to opportunities of finding efficiency in the IT enterprise, whether through virtualization, cloud computing, voice and data communication modernizations, or the combination of these and other technologies. The top five priority technologies are consistent with last year, with one newcomer: mobile workforce technologies. These top technologies align with the general principles of consolidating infrastructure and improving networks, systems, and services.
After last year's survey results, I predicted there would be many new CIOs, but a similar priority list this year. This held true because of the consistency in demand for government efficiency and effectiveness in continued state budgetary stress. As state revenues recover over the next several years, I echo the same sentiment I did last year: Hopefully one of the lasting effects of this economic downturn will be solidifying technology’s role in government and government efficiency.
Analyst Take:
Vendors must align their products, solutions, and pitches to these topical priorities. State government IT decision-makers are not looking for bells and whistles; tell them how you can affect their bottom line and decrease human capital demands.


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