Government CIOs Will Focus on Data Analytics and Cybersecurity

Government CIOs Will Focus on Data Analytics and Cybersecurity

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Data analytics and cybersecurity pushed cloud out of the top spot for increased technology investment by government CIOs in 2019, according to a survey from Gartner. This increased focus on data reflects CIOs’ acknowledgment that AI and data analytics will be the top “game-changing” technologies for government in 2019.

Gartner’s 2019 CIO Agenda Survey gathered data from 3,102 CIO respondents in 89 countries and across major industries, including 528 government CIOs. Government respondents are segmented into national or federal; state or province (regional); local; and defense and intelligence, to identify trends specific to each tier.

When it comes to strategic business priorities, the survey found that 18 percent of CIOs across all levels of government have prioritized digital initiatives again this year as key to achieving mission outcomes, compared with 23 percent from all other industries. The next three business priorities for government are industry-specific goals (13 percent), operational excellence (13 percent) and cost optimization/reduction (8 percent).

The survey data indicates that governments are making deliberate progress toward designing and delivering digital services, achieving comparable maturity to other industries overall. When asked what stage their digital initiative was at, 29 percent of government respondents say their organizations are scaling and refining their digital initiatives, the tipping point at which a digital initiative is considered mature.

However, government is still lagging other industries (33 percent overall) in scaling and refining digital initiatives. The gap is particularly marked in defense and intelligence, where just nine percent of respondents have scaled digital initiatives.

Despite the focus on digital, only 17 percent of government CIOs plan to increase their investment in digital business initiatives, compared with 34 percent of CIOs in other industries. While government CIOs demonstrate clear vision in the potential for digital government and its emerging technologies, 45 percent report they lack the IT and business resources required to execute.

AI has taken the lead as the top game-changing technology for government CIOs for 2019. AI (27 percent) is followed by data analytics (22 percent) and cloud technologies (19 percent). Cloud dropped from first across all levels of government last year, to third overall in this year’s survey.

Among government respondents, 10 percent have already deployed an AI solution, 39 percent intend to deploy in the next one to two years, and an additional 36 percent intend to deploy an AI solution within the next two to three years. Among all levels of government, business intelligence (BI) and data analytics (43 percent), cyber/information security (43 percent) and cloud services/solutions (39 percent) are the most common technology areas for increased technology investment in 2019. Cloud dropped from first place last year to second overall for 2019.

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