“Governments are struggling in many areas, following disruptions including changes in leadership, reorganizations and funding shortfalls. For many government CIOs, disruption will affect their IT budget growth, and the funding and launch of new business initiatives will suffer,” said Alia Mendonsa, senior research director at Gartner. “Inflexible funding models exacerbate this issue, due to budgetary processes and cycles within government.”
Where governments are lagging
Government CIOs are still developing their digital leadership skills and strategy.
“The government sector is lagging behind other industries in all aspects of strategy, particularly in its ability to communicate a clear and consistent business strategy that articulates how the organization will achieve its vision,” explained Mendonsa.
Fifty-two percent of respondents to the 2020 global survey of CIOs noted a lack of clear and consistent overall business strategy.
“In the absence of a formal business strategy, government CIOs need to incorporate strategic business outcomes into their digital government strategy. Business outcomes will be validated by the business as part of the strategy approval process,” said she opined.
She recommended that government CIOs assess the maturity of their IT processes to identify areas of strength and weakness, and then prioritize implementation of improved processes and workflows according to the results.
Game changers for government ops
As with other industries, data and analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud technologies are game changers for government CIOs in 2020. The survey showed that within the next 12 months the majority of the respondents had already deployed or are focused on deploying cybersecurity (84%), AI (37%) and robotic process automation (33%).
Value should be a key criterion when picking where investments should go.
Mendonsa suggests government CIOs prioritize investment in emerging technologies according to potential value for their institution.
“More mature technologies such as cloud and data and analytics offer immediate benefits in terms of capability and scalability for delivering digital government services, and therefore may be prioritized. Experiments with AI and robotic process automation may start small initially, and once their value can be demonstrated, initiatives involving these emerging technologies may be scaled up over time,” she concluded.