State CIO Staff Resilient During Pandemic According to NASCIO Study

LEXINGTON, Ky., Wednesday, March 31, 2021 — The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) today released Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: A Resilient and Adaptable State IT Workforce. The publication includes data collected from state chief information officers (CIOs) in February and March of 2020 and in January and February 2021. Initially NASCIO set out to study the next generation state information technology (IT) workforce but the project was put on hold when the COVID-19 Pandemic hit. Instead, NASCIO used the data collected before the pandemic and asked similar questions in 2021 to create a pre and mid-pandemic snapshot of the state IT workforce. A post-COVID survey of CIOs is also planned.

Notably, most CIO workforce priorities were consistent in each of the two surveys. However, there were also priorities CIOs did have in 2021 that they didn’t the previous year. Specifically, only three CIOs mentioned remote work in 2020 while, in the 2021 survey, most CIO responses were generally based on the assumption that remote work will be around permanently or at least for a while. Additionally, several CIOs wanted to create a diverse workforce and promote diversity, equity and inclusion as a priority in 2021, while only one CIO listed it as a priority in 2020. CIOs also listed artificial intelligence as a workforce priority in 2021 and did not list it at all in the 2020 survey.

The publication also includes extensive lessons learned from state CIOs. NASCIO President and New Hampshire Commissioner and CIO Denis Goulet commented, “It is clear that state IT staff have played and continue to play a critical role in keeping state government running during the COVID-19 pandemic. My fellow CIOs have consistently praised their staff for their resiliency during this past year.”

NASCIO Contact
Meredith Ward
Director of Policy and Research
National Association of State Chief Information Officers