The NASCIO 2019 Annual Conference recently took place in Nashville, Tennessee and celebrated the 50th anniversary of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO.) The conference not only highlights the importance of the roles CIOs play in government but the challenges they face with technology and security as well as possible solutions. In this roundup, we’ve pulled together the top news surrounding the conference including broadband inclusion, customer experience, and CIO priorities.
High-speed internet is used by many of us for a variety of different tasks. From paying bills to education, broadband is becoming essential to modern life. James Collins, President of NASCIO, discussed this topic as well as how critical the internet is to constituents and ways CIOs can strive to offer inclusive coverage.
When asked about the ROI for state governments Collins said, “if you look at a broader definition of return on investment — quality of life, economic development, education, health care, small businesses — broadband expansion is absolutely worth the investment.” He went on to explain just how essential the internet is to life today. “This is real-world stuff. One of the things I always say is you wouldn’t buy a home today if it didn’t have electricity running to it. Broadband is right on par with that illustration. If you can’t get broadband in an area, it even impacts the value of property and whether or not people will build a home or start a business there.”
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During the NASCIO conference, the organization released the report “The Responsive State CIO: Connecting to the Customer.” The survey highlighted the shift in thinking of state CIOs from internal changes to a customer-centric approach. Panelist Ed Toner, Nebraska CIO, discussed this customer-first mindset and how it impacts interactions with constituents, vendors, and the IT services the state provides.
Toner called himself the chief customer office when asked if Nebraska had one. To keep his team focused on customer experience, Toner said he uses survey data to hold his staff accountable. “Each of our teams have a goal that they must meet,” he explained. “They have to show how they’re going to improve.”
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“The Responsive State CIO: Connecting to the Customer” survey highlighted the customer-centric focus of state CIOs as well as business models, IT cost management, and cybersecurity. This is the first year CIOs were asked about IT cost management and many act as internal providers of technology for state agencies. “…failure to create an ongoing funding source for system/application improvements and innovation has a chilling effect on modernization and implementation of new opportunities,” said one CIO.
Cybersecurity has remained a top priority for multiple years and will remain a focus for CIOs in today’s increasing threat environment. 90 percent of state CIOs reported that their scope of authority for cybersecurity has extended beyond just their own agency, but only 25 percent answered that their state has adopted a state-wide cybersecurity approach.
Learn more here.