State technology leaders and budget directors are partnering on a “shared agenda” to address the financial pressures and expectations facing state governments.

The collaboration kicked off at a workshop held at Harvard University on March 29-30 between the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) and the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO).

Budget and IT professionals invited by the nonprofit organizations discussed topics such as the rise of health care and pension costs, how CIOs are analyzing those conditions and potential solutions, and what common ground exists between IT and budgetary professionals to mutually address priorities.

The session was organized by Jerry Mechling, vice president for public-sector research at Gartner Inc. and faculty founder of the Strategic Computing Program at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Mechling said the new pressures caused by financial shortfalls make productivity within government more important than ever before.

“The good news is that IT offers powerful, new opportunities for better productivity,” Mechling said in a statement. “The more difficult news is that nothing in government is a true priority until it’s funded. What we need is a set of priorities that both budget directors and CIOs can agree on and work together to make happen.”

The meeting appeared successful, as future work on the shared agenda project will continue online with the goal of creating a report in June.

“With 30 new state CIOs appointed since January 2011, we recognize the challenges of mobilizing support of the CIO agenda,” added Doug Robinson, NASCIO executive director, in a press release. “A critical success factor is developing a mutual understanding of the priorities and opportunities. What we did learn is that CIOs and budget directors need to have more conversations and interaction.”