Are Local Governments Missing a Major Tech Trend?

Rachel EckertCountiesSurvey_080416By Rachel Eckert, SLED Consultant

One of the biggest surprises to come out of the Center for Digital Government’s 2016 Digital Counties Survey was a noticeable absence of cloud computing.

While cloud was present in the 2015 results at No. 10, it fell below this year. Half of county respondents reported that 10 percent or less of their systems have migrated to the cloud, only a slight increase of 3 percent over last year.

While many recognize cloud computing provides significant cost savings, there continues to be hurdles and hesitation surrounding budget flexibility, procurement options, and security concerns. For industry this means being sensitive to these issues and likely working through a pilot project or two before full roll-out.

In addition to honoring counties that think outside the box for innovative ideas, the survey, released with the National Association of Counties, provides a good pulse of the technologies CIOs are prioritizing in the coming year.

Looking at the table below, the prioritization of cybersecurity from year to year shouldn’t be a surprise. And in light of recent cybersecurity breaches like those at the Illinois Election Board, industry will play a bigger role in ensuring systems, networks, and infrastructure are secure.

2016 2015 2014
1 Cybersecurity Cybersecurity Cybersecurity
2 Mobility / Mobile Applications Hire & Retain Competent Personnel Hire & Retain Competent Personnel
3 Hire & Retain Competent Personnel Mobility / Mobile Applications Shared Services
4 Disaster Recovery / Continuity of Operations Open Government / Transparency / Open Data Budget & Cost Control
5 Budget & Cost Control Disaster Recovery / Continuity of Operations Mobility / Mobile Applications
6 Portal / e-Government Budget & Cost Control Disaster Recovery / Continuity of Operations
7 Citizen Engagement Virtualization: Server, Desktop / Client, Storage, Applications Open Government / Transparency / Open Data
8 Shared or Collaborative Services Shared Services Virtualization: Server, Desktop / Client, Storage, Applications
9 Business Process Automation & Virtualization Portal / e-Government Broadband & Connectivity
10 Business Intelligence / Analytics Cloud Computing Governance, Data Center Consolidation, & Cloud Computing


New to the 2016 survey is the category of Citizen Engagement. It’s a direct decedent of other technologies in the ranking, such as open data, e-Government, and mobility.

Many of the award-winning counties from this year’s survey, including some surrounding Washington, D.C., won with initiatives aimed at open data that would place data in the hands of the citizen to empower and educate. Tech solutions that make sense of government data through business intelligence and analytics are vital to preparing data to be released to the public. To really engage the citizen, governments need to make the data available on a variety of platforms, including mobile and traditional web. This creates an opportunity for industry in the full lifecycle of citizen engagement in the preparation, analysis, and deployment of data.

With the new fiscal year underway, county governments have already begun their planning and implementation of new and improved apps and systems. It’s still a good time to strike up those conversations on how you can help them introduce their own unique digital innovation.

Need help identifying the right county government IT decision makers and opportunities? Contact immixGroup’s industry-leading Market Intelligence team today to learn about specific programs and contacts that have a pressing need for your IT solution.

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