Cybersecurity has topped the list of priorities for state chief information officers (CIOs) for the seventh year in a row, according to the recently released State CIO Top 10 for 2020 by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO.) This top 10 represents CIOs’ technology and policy priorities for the coming year.
“It is not surprising that cybersecurity remains number one nor that cloud, optimization, and digital government round out the top spots,” said Eric Boyette, NASCIO president and secretary and chief information officer for the State of North Carolina. “State CIOs are constantly trying to protect their states while at the same time enable delivery of critical services for the citizens they serve.”
With increased cyberthreats preying on the valuable data agencies hold, cybersecurity will become even more involved this year, according to Patrick Hubbard, Head Geek™ for SolarWinds. “Security, and network security and network architecture in particular, is fortunately gaining focus in a way it hasn’t always done so in the past,” he said.
Legacy modernization—which has been less of a focus of CIOs since 2017—will also begin to come into play as agencies are implementing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies requiring increased compute and storage. Although these technologies may require advanced systems, CIOs hope to upgrade wherever possible rather than rip-and-replace of existing infrastructure.
“Beginning these modernization efforts in earnest allows the team to take step one: technical discovery. Engineering can ensure they have tools in place for effective application migrations. Whether it’s the proverbial deconstruction of monolithic applications to cloud-native services, or simply adopting a better set of technologies and methodologies, the chance to get hands-on is how IT improves overall quality of service for delivered applications,” said Hubbard.
These priorities from consolidation to data management are the right steps towards innovation, but are CIOs prepared? According to a recent NASCIO report, those surveyed said they lack the resources to keep up with the modern government’s demands—highlighting the need for trusted partners to assist with technology implementation and tackling these priorities.
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