PHILADELPHIA, October 14 – The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), TechAmerica, and Grant Thornton LLP today release the 2013 annual survey of state chief information officers (CIOs), The Enterprise Imperative: Leading Through Governance, Portfolio Management, and Collaboration. This fourth annual survey report discusses how state CIOs are advancing their enterprise vision for information technology (IT). The pressures for operational cost savings and optimization continue unabated; as a result, state CIOs are emphasizing effective enterprise governance models, adopting business disciplines, and forging the right relationships for collaboration.
Last year’s survey identified the balancing act that CIOs must maintain both in providing high-quality services and in delivering new, innovative solutions. These demands have not decreased over the past year, and CIOs are responding by focusing on the enterprise and by coordinating across boundaries. The enterprise focus could involve integrating governance and portfolio management across the state, improving the effectiveness of IT procurement, or deploying statewide identity and access management solutions. CIOs are also reaching out across traditional boundaries to collaborate with other branches of state government and with local governments.
“While CIOs continue to face a wide variety of challenges in the effective delivery of technology services, the reforms they are driving consistently embrace a common philosophy: adopt an enterprise vision, drive enterprise thinking, and implement enterprise solutions,” says Doug Robinson, NASCIO’s executive director. “Whether it is IT shared services, security vulnerability monitoring, or Software as a Service, many of the most critical initiatives under way today require an enterprise-wide approach in order to be effective.”
The economic recession increased pressure on state leaders to examine alternative approaches to many services traditionally owned and delivered by state government. This included a focus on IT infrastructure, applications, and services. As a result, CIOs are concerned about the business models and sourcing strategies they use within their organizations.
“A lengthy and cumbersome IT procurement process remains a top concern for the majority of state CIOs, the survey found,” says Trey Hodgkins, TechAmerica’s senior vice president for the Global Public Sector. “The survey also reveals that the risk-averse culture of a procurement process that inhibits innovation continues to be a major problem for states around the country. It is worth noting that CIOs recognize that reasonable IT terms and conditions are important, but the findings demonstrate that CIOs are divided on whether their states are equitably sharing risk with vendors during the contracting process.”
According to the CIOs, the most desired procurement reforms are better training, more opportunity for negotiation during the procurement process, and development of standard terms and conditions for cloud and/or Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings.
The survey finds that integration and collaboration are increasingly occurring beyond the boundaries of the state’s executive branch, with shared services across jurisdictional boundaries rapidly becoming the norm. Through use of social media and mobile technology, citizens are also becoming partners in this integration, and they are leveraging identity and access management frameworks designed for everyone in the state – not just for state employees.
“State CIOs are in a unique position to lead their states in embracing an enterprise viewpoint and in delivering an integrated suite of IT services to their government customers and citizenry,” says Srikant Sastry, Managing Principal of Grant Thornton’s Global Public Sector practice. “Many of the traditional challenges – governance, cost, and the decentralized nature of state government – remain, but topics as diverse as IT project oversight, cybersecurity, shared services, and social media policy have demonstrated the enormous benefits of an enterprise approach.”