State CIO Research Shows Responsibility for Cybersecurity, IoT
Tuesday, October 03, 2017 | Comments

Shifting business models, emerging technologies that redefine IT and the drive to implement digital government lead a long list of challenges facing state CIOs, according to new research released at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) annual conference.

"The results of our 2017 survey highlights the critical leadership role of the state CIO," said Doug Robinson, executive director of NASCIO. "The need to sustain transformation and innovation will require CIOs to rethink the role and structure of their organization to serve the needs of state government."

“A New Engine: Driving Innovation in State Technology,” published jointly by NASCIO, Grant Thornton and CompTIA, surveyed state CIOs on a range of issues, from cybersecurity and cloud migration plans to data management and the delivery of digital government services.

Almost all CIOs surveyed report they lead or participate in cybersecurity policy setting. More than 80 percent are responsible for setting overall direction and oversight. In contrast, only 64 percent are directly responsible for program execution. With recent legislation and executive orders expanding and strengthening, the CIO's role in cybersecurity efforts is expected to increase.

There is growing recognition among state CIOs of the need to address emerging technologies by design rather than by default. During the next three to five years, surveyed CIOs are most interested in IoT (43 percent) and artificial intelligence/machine learning (29 percent). Ten percent said digital assistants will be most impactful, and 9 percent cast their vote for blockchain.

"The nature of the state CIO role continues to evolve, with broker models becoming the norm and CIOs having to address the workforce, vendor and financial management challenges this brings," said Graeme Finley, principal with Grant Thornton's Public Sector practice. "The emergence of technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), drones and autonomous vehicles are also challenging the very definition of what should be considered IT under the purview of the CIO."

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