Expect ‘flat’ budgets, even more turnover for state and local IT in 2018

Published: January 29, 2018

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Government tech advocacy groups say new technologies are advancing fast, leadership is turning over even faster, but budgets are mostly staying the same.

State technology departments are expected to see a large amount of leadership turnover in 2018, which will further complicate efforts to keep pace with an accelerating tech market. 15 state technology chiefs left their positions in 2017, and 2018 is expected to again bring further change, with 36 governors up for reelection.

This high level of turnover comes at a time when government is being exposed to some of the most influential technological changes in human history, including the development of autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, and the proliferation of internet-connected devices. According to NASCIO data, cybersecurity remains the top priority for state government leaders, with a new focus on a broader approach, rather than purely incident response. In addition, data from the Public Technology Institute indicates that some technologies will be evolving into new forms and sought after as such. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) may be overshadowed by interactive visualized information systems, and rather than simply focusing on robotics, states may look at robotics related to bots and artificial intelligence looking ahead.

According to NASCIO Executive Director Doug Robinson, states should expect to adopt these priority technologies. For example AI technology is emerging and being adopted so quickly, 2018 will be a big year for creation of new government policy in this area. However, state IT leadership will likely have to contend with these questions without much in the way of additional funding. NASCIO reports that government budgets will likely remain relatively flat in 2018, seeing just a 2.3 percent increase over the previous year. 

Source: StateScoop