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NASCIO divulges state CIO priorities in annual survey top tens

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) recently published its 2013 State CIO priorities and priority technologies, based on its annual state CIO survey. The survey is a valued peak into the minds and wish lists of state IT executives, and when compared against past priorities, we can see that consolidating existing IT infrastructure and optimizing it for the future (particularly for the cloud) will be among the highest priorities for CIOs this year.
 
 
In this year’s top three, we see a fairly consistent pattern among the states of shifting away from the budget cutting, cost-saving measures of the post-recession years, toward much-needed reinvestment in long-term IT infrastructure. Among last year’s top three, consolidation/optimization remains number one, but budget and cost control falls to number five, and governance drops off the list completely. The second spot this year goes to cloud services, which didn’t even make the list until 2011. Security makes a triumphant return to the top three after being a middle-of-the-pack priority since 2009. In my opinion, these three priorities are all connected and track fairly well with what Deltek has seen in the market over the past few years.
Initiatives to consolidate or upgrade existing data centers have been, or are taking place in Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Among these states, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Texas require significant cloud capabilities for their new consolidated data centers. In many cases, states are looking to the private sector to implement these initiatives and guide them on the right path. Of course, as the importance of cloud-based IT services rise, so do concerns about secure technologies. While security is no longer the barrier to cloud entry that it has been in the past, it is and will remain one of the top concerns for CIOs as they continue integrating the cloud into their existing IT infrastructure.
2013 CIO Technology Priorities
NASCIO also queries its members about their top 10 priority technologies. While the shakeup from last year’s top three is less pronounced, we continue to see a distinct pattern emerging in the minds of state CIOs. It is clear that many envision a future government workforce that is mobile, virtual and able to access workplace resources from anywhere on the planet. While this likely falls short of representing a harbinger of doom for the face-to-face,  brick-and-mortar way of doing state business, the investment in these top three technologies may very well be laying the groundwork for such a future.
 

 Not surprisingly, the new top technology pursued this year is cloud-based services. This comes as no surprise to Deltek, which has seen an explosion of cloud-related procurement in the last three years, as well as procurements for other technologies with specific cloud-integration components built into solicitations. We are quickly approaching the point (if we have not reached it already) where cloud integration requirements for state technology RFPs are the norm, not the exception.
Also notable is the journey of mobile workforce technologies, which hung around as a low-level CIO priority from 2007-2009, dropped out of the top 10 entirely in 2010-2011, and returned this year with a vengeance as the number two priority technology. As cloud computing continues to make it easier for government employees to virtually access their workplace from remote environments, governments are planning to put some serious dollars into making sure their workforce has the mobile computing tools necessary to take advantage of this new environment.
 For the full version of this AP with a complete breakdown of policy and technology priorities, click here (subscription required)

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