Cloud Is Ascendant in State Government

The Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City.

The Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City. Shutterstock

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A survey of state CIOs show that while security remains the top priority, state tech execs are increasingly focusing on cloud solutions and prioritizing digital government services.

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers has released its annual survey of its members’ management and technology priorities for 2018. While “Security and Risk Management” remains the top management priority of state CIOs—a spot it has held the last four years—cloud services moved into “a close second,” followed by consolidation and optimization.

“Security being No. 1 didn’t surprise me. What surprised was the very, very narrow gap between one and two, which hadn’t been the case in previous years,” NASCIO Executive Director Doug Robinson told Route Fifty in an interview. “There was always a very significant gap between security and risk management and the rest of them.”

Robinson believes that the surge in interest is part of a “drive for cloud services and cloud solutions” along with broader adoption. Immediately behind cloud services in the No. 3 slot is “Consolidation/Optimization” strategies.

NASCIO also releases a list of top ten technologies, applications and tools for the year ahead along with its management top ten priorities list. The drive for cloud services is also reflected in that list. For the top ten technologies, cloud solutions took the top spot, followed by “Legacy Application Modernization/Renovation” in number two, “Security Enhancement Tools” in third, and “Identity and Access Management” in the fourth spot.

A new entry to onto the management priorities list was “Digital Government,” making its debut in the fourth spot as far as management priorities. In NASCIO’s announcement, Robinson stated that he believes it “is indicative of states' efforts to focus on citizen services using digital platforms and integration."

Bo Reese, NASCIO president and Oklahoma’s chief information officer stated: "Data management and analytics, cloud solutions and certainly security are demanding our attention. Unification of services will drive the need to improve data management discipline, enterprise governance and optimization."

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