As state governments begin their 2023 legislative sessions, CIOs are still navigating the ever-changing digital landscape and learning best practices for adopting emerging technologies. IT investments and policy expansion are at the forefront of many CIOs’ minds. In this article, we will explore the top six IT and policy priorities for state governments in 2023, highlighting key statistics, trends, and insights that will shape the future of public services and digital transformation in the years ahead.
1. Cybersecurity and data privacy laws
The threat of cyber attacks continues to loom, with state and local governments often targeted by malicious actors seeking to steal sensitive data or disrupt critical infrastructure.
According to a recent IBM report, data breaches have increased since 2020, and the average data breach cost for state and local governments was over $1.5 million.
State governments are focused on ensuring compliance with data privacy laws such as GDPR and CCPA. State CIOs are now responsible for developing a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity that considers data governance, security frameworks, manual processes, staff training, and third-party relationships.
2. The digital citizen
State governments are exploring digital identity solutions to improve the user experience for citizens accessing online government services. By creating a secure and verifiable digital identity for each individual, the state can provide a more personalized experience. An example is if citizens log into a government portal, and after an automatic verification, any license renewals from one agency or another would appear in the same portal. This would give citizens a 360-degree view of their information.
State CIOs are looking for technologies and standards that will allow them to implement interoperable digital identity solutions with other states and federal agencies while also ensuring data privacy and security.
3. Improving data analytics
State governments are sitting on a wealth of data that can be used to improve service delivery and policy decision-making. CIOs are looking for ways to improve their data analytics capabilities, including through the use of AI and machine learning for intelligent document processing.
By investing in data analytics and these content intelligence tools, state governments can gain insights into citizen needs and preferences, improve resource allocation, and measure the impact of their policies and programs.
4. The cost of legacy modernization
Many state governments are still using outdated technology systems that are no longer efficient or effective.
State and local governments spend approximately 80% of their IT budgets on operating and maintaining legacy systems.
It is critical that agencies improve their processes, deliver better services, and leverage the latest technologies. Without legacy modernization, state governments may struggle to run efficient services that will keep up with the digitally driven life of citizens.
5. Supporting a flexible workforce for the future
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift toward remote work across many state government agencies. And with government agencies struggling to stay competitive with private sector talent acquisition and higher salaries on average, States are looking for ways to support remote and hybrid workers for the future while also ensuring data privacy and security.
This includes adopting secure remote access technologies, using collaboration tools and platforms, and implementing robust policies and procedures to manage remote access and use of state data. They will be working to ensure that disparate operations across departments will come together to support state goals.
6. Cloud services
Cloud adoption has been on the rise in recent years, with one-sixth of all government technology funding opportunities being made in cloud computing, according to GovTech.
CIOs must choose the most appropriate service and deployment models for the organization’s needs, and that can scale as citizen information grows. They need to ensure that governance is in place to monitor quality and performance standards. It will also be necessary to protect data with security protocols and apply privacy policies to confirm the safe storage of data.
One thing is clear. Technology is more critical than ever to improving the citizen experience. Despite the fluctuation of government budgets and partisan policies, CIOs are investing more in technology to better serve their constituents and taking a proactive approach to equipping their agencies with the tools they need.
By embracing new technologies like AI and Intelligent Document Processing, outsourcing IT staff, and implementing effective cloud security, state governments can continue to deliver essential services while also increasing efficiency and reducing costs.