Government Technology – How will it Shape up in 2015?

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Use of technology in innovative ways has been on a rise over the past few years and in 2014 too, several states have demonstrated an increasing inclination towards embracing technology and it is evident from the Digital States Survey conducted by Center for Digital Government. The survey aims at evaluating the ability of state governments to improve their internal processes and use technology to efficiently serve citizens. As per the survey, as many as thirty states received B grade, a jump from only 22 in 2012. While 12 states received C grade, five states secured A-minus and three states secured an A grade. In 2014, 68% of the states reduced their dependence on servers by adopting virtualization up from only 18% in 2012. Cloud-based health applications also witnessed a rise of 28% over 2012 to reach 74% in the states. While open data utilization surged by over 27% to reach an impressive 94% in the states, 98% of the states had mobile enabled websites in 2014 compared to 84% in 2012. The survey also indicates that 67% of the states use cloud based licensing and permitting systems. Furthermore, 66% of the cities expressed their intention to concentrate on big data over the next two years. Similarly 72% of the counties would emphasize on developing mobile apps over the next two years. Among the priorities that the cities listed for modernization, ERP occupied the highest priority with 55% of the cities wanting to modernize ERP. Closely following is modernization of GIS which 50% of the cities want to do. Additionally, 46% of the cities would want to modernize disaster recovery infrastructure in the coming years.

Apart from the initiatives taken up in 2014, state CIOs at the annual survey conducted by National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) in October 2014 underlined the top priorities for the year 2015. Cloud services, cyber security and consolidation continue to remain the top three priorities of state CIOs for the year 2015. Continuing the trend over the past few years, Security remains the primary priority for CIOs followed by cloud services and optimization/consolidation. The top priorities as voted by the state CIOs are as follows.

  1. Security
  2. Cloud Services
  3. Consolidation/Optimization
  4. Broadband/Wireless Connectivity
  5. Budget and Cost Control
  6. Human Resources/Talent Management
  7. Strategic IT Planning
  8. Mobile Services/Mobility/Enterprise Management
  9. Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity
  10.  Customer Relationship Management

From the perspective of a CIO, technology and ongoing advances in technology is ushering a new dimension to these priorities. Rapid advances in technology are bringing about significant changes in the IT landscape. Let us see as to how technology is aiding these aforementioned priorities as voted by CIOs

Security: State-of-the-art technology is in place and continuous efforts are in progress to ensure maximum security to sensitive and confidential organization data. Despite the various hacks into security, ongoing efforts will ensure filling the gaps in ensuring maximum security.

Cloud Services: Perhaps the most happening sector in the IT industry, cloud services are revolutionizing the way services are provided. Advancements in this sector will bring about enhanced service offerings to customers and offer better quality of service using the latest technology available

Consolidation/Optimization: Resource optimization plays a crucial role in streamlining processes and achieving better results. Technology plays a pivotal role in optimizing and consolidating resources thereby achieving better cost-to-benefit ratio for your businesses.

Broadband/Wireless Connectivity: Advances in wireless technology and broadband technology is revolutionizing the world today with increasing footprint of broadband and wireless connectivity. Increasing access to wireless connectivity is significantly improving the productivity of employees who are on the move.

Budget and Cost Control: Adopting the latest in technology may entail few initial costs but adopting the latest technology aids businesses in keeping a check on cost controls and streamlining the budgets allocated for the purpose.

Talent Management and Human Resource Management: Adopting the latest technology will ensure effective human resource management and talent acquisition.

Strategic IT Planning: Strategic IT planning assumes critical importance in an enterprise and adding the technology dimension to the IT plans makes it even more effective.

Mobility: With increasing number of businesses inclining towards enterprise mobility, technology assumes significance as it facilitates efficient connectivity and collaboration between employees. Enhanced mobility in an enterprise facilitates better productivity.

Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity: Technology also helps business to resume its normal routines even in the event of unforeseen circumstances. Obtaining hosted services from service providers assures minimum downtime and lesser turnaround time.

Customer Relationship Management: CRM is an important aspect that every business focuses on and technology aids in achieving this target by offering several advanced tools that aid the business in effectively and efficiently managing relationship with customers.