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Like private sector peers, government CIOs plan big move to the cloud

Not surprisingly, as governments build up large amounts of data, investments in cybersecurity and IT infrastructures are becoming more critical to protect taxpayer data.

Jeff Rowe | Feb 06, 2018 12:00 am

For health IT managers still wondering whether, or how much, to commit to the cloud, it may help to hear that government CIOs are recognizing the importance of the cloud as they, too, consider how to manage public IT systems.

According to a new survey by Gartner, government CIOs have a full agenda for 2018, including top investments in cloud services, cybersecurity and big data analytics. The predictions are based on interviews with 3,160 CIOs from 98 countries, including 461 who work in government institutions.

“Digital transformation revolves around data. To be successful, public sector CIOs need to focus on expanding their data and analytics capabilities and creating a data-centric culture, by increasing the availability of open data and APIs for internal use and public consumption,” said Rick Howard, research vice president at Gartner. “Building out data analytics infrastructure is fundamental to improving government program outcomes and services to citizens.”

The focus of their plans is to consolidate infrastructures and IT systems by leveraging key technologies to reduce costs and increase efficiency and productivity. When asked what was critical in achieving their organization’s mission, business intelligence (19%) and analytics (18%) were named as key technologies for investment.

“Government CIOs have conflicting priorities — to bring transformative change to their organizations, while pursuing compliance-oriented priorities,” Howard said. “They will need to work constructively with other business leaders to agree how to balance risk and innovation to support digital transformation.”

Interestingly, although artificial intelligence is among the top 10 investment targets for the private sector this year, government CIOs, except for those in defense and intelligence, don’t consider that technology nor the Internet of Things as major points in their technology budgets. 

Significant cost savings are planned for data center infrastructures specifically, Gartner says.