Recent NASCIO 2020 Survey Reveals Shifting CIO Priorities

By Rachel Eckert, SLED Manager

State governments have been on a roller-coaster ride as they have had to deal with a wide range of obstacles that have presented themselves in the last nine months. Responding to immediate enterprise-wide remote work requirements and the dramatic increases in online service demand have made it a particularly challenging time. But, at the same time, it has given states an opportunity to move forward transformation and modernization initiatives.

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) publishes an annual survey of state CIOs and their perspectives. The 2020 State CIO Survey reveals insights from 47 states on how they are managing their IT enterprise and infrastructure and what they are anticipating in the upcoming year.

The overwhelming assumption by state CIOs is that work-from-home and remote-work options will not only continue but expand. In fact, CIOs from the States of Tennessee and Vermont believe that most of their workforces will be working from home through the remainder of the current school year.

Expanding Cloud Services

This new working environment has led state CIOs to adjust and prioritize projects that deliver critical employee applications through expanded cloud services. Migrating critical applications to the cloud and SaaS applications took on new urgency so they can continue managing critical citizen services such as unemployment insurance, Medicaid claims and business licenses. There will continue to be opportunities for vendors here as more and more states look to migrate services online in areas like the DMV, health and human services and law enforcement.

Introducing Chatbots and Virtual Agents

Speedier migration of applications wasn’t the only change state CIOs saw. Emerging technologies such as automation solutions had been slow to catch on, but when work-from-home orders were issued and state offices were closed, agencies became overwhelmed by the number or inquiries, questions and claims from citizens. More than 75% of state CIOs indicated they introduced chatbots and virtual agents to handle the influx of citizen service inquiries.

As the Interim CIO from Texas explained, he saw agencies suddenly “slingshot” from not considering chatbots at all to suddenly buying chatbots. Vendors who can provide automation solutions that help ease the burden on agencies handling citizen service requests and questions will be welcomed.

Pushing Online and Digital Services

Overwhelmingly, CIOs expressed that ensuring continued delivery of citizen services was the driver behind their push for online and digital services. States and agencies have been forced to change the way they operate so they can continue delivering those services.

Growing Technology Opportunities

CIOs and technology suddenly became significant pieces of a state’s operational strategy as agencies find new ways to interact with citizens. From increased use of cloud and SaaS applications to automation and chatbots, opportunities abound for vendors in the state government arena.

 

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