Information Security and Project Management are Top CIO Skills

Annual Public CIO survey shows rising importance of CIO role in government.

by / February 17, 2009 0

What a difference a year makes. In our 2008 survey, public CIOs were cautiously optimistic about their jobs, IT departments and priorities. Today, with the worst recession in memory raging, government IT leaders are projecting less spending on IT and staff, according to our most recent Public CIO survey.

However, we are also seeing a rise in the importance of CIOs and their organizations. More have the CIO title than ever before, and more than 50 percent of respondents say CIOs and IT departments directly control IT spending. Similarly more CIOs say that aligning IT with business goals -- a value-driven proposition -- exceeds the need to use IT to control costs. Given the current economic situation, the growing reliance on government to help citizens in times of need and the emphasis on reform -- President Barack Obama created the nation's first chief performance officer position -- we expect to see IT's importance only increase over time.

But there's no masking how bad the situation has become in so short a time, and our latest survey reflects this. The overall tenure for public CIOs dropped, primarily among those who've been in government for 10 years or more. While we don't have specific data on why so many older CIOs have left, we can only guess that the retirement wave is beginning to crest.

Meanwhile, spending forecasts have also dropped. Fifty-three percent of respondents said they expect to spend less in 2009, and 23 percent said their IT staff will decrease. Last year, only 17 percent of respondents thought IT staff would shrink.

For the first time, we polled you on the top five skill sets needed in 2009. Eighty-one percent of you picked project management, making it the No. 1 choice, followed by security, Web services, database management and networking. Interestingly few believed open source to be a necessary skill, perhaps reflecting a focus on building practical skills in these lean times.

Here are the findings in more depth.

 

Who You Are:

Ten years ago, most people who ran a government IT department were called director. Today, the title CIO dominates. It's a clear sign of the rising importance and value of IT in the public sector. At the same time, we're seeing signs that the retirement wave is beginning to hit the ranks of CIOs, as the average years of tenure drop compared to last year.

Title:
CIO: 50%
CTO: 5%
Deputy CIO: 11%
IT manager: 10%
Other: 24%


FACT: Use of the CIO title is at its highest level ever in government, up from less than 25 percent just two years ago to 50 percent today

 

Who you report to:
CEO (governor, mayor, county executive, college president): 24%
Agency director/secretary: 26%
CFO: 7%
COO/CAO (city, county manager): 14%
Other: 29%


The public CIO community you are from:
Federal: 5%
State: 33%
Local: 55%
Education: 7%


Tenure at current position:
Less than one year: 12%
2 years: 24%
3 years: 17%
4 years: 9%
5 years: 21%
10 years: 10%
More than 10 years: 7%


Tenure declines: The retirement wave has hit the ranks of IT government leaders, as the number of CIOs with more than five years' experience drops from 42 percent in 2006 to just 17 percent in 2009.

 

Salary range:
$50,000 - $75,000: 9%
$75,000 - $100,000: 26%
$100,000 - $150,000: 59%
$150,000+: 7%

 

IT Departments

For this year's survey, we tried to find out more about the impact of IT departments beyond what you spend and how many you employ. We took a look at how many users you support and found the sweet spot between 1,000 and 5,000 users. Since a majority

of our readers are from local government -- and a majority of respondents to this survey are from cities and counties -- the number follows logic. However, we didn't poll for the number of external users you support, which we'll try to measure next time.

Size of your IT budget:
Less than $500,000: 6%
$500,000 - $1,000,000: 11%
$1 - $5 million: 19%
$5 - $10 million: 17%
$10 - $ 20 million: 21%
$20 - $50 million: 13%
$50 million+: 11%
Don't know: 2%


What the public sector spends on IT (as a percent of your total budget):
Less than 1% of budget: 6% of respondents
1% - 2% of budget: 26% of respondents
2% - 3% of budget: 15% of respondents
3% - 4% of budget: 11% of respondents
4% - 5% of budget: 8% of respondents
5%+ of budget: 9% of respondents
Don't know: 24% of respondents


Who controls IT spending:
Centrally controlled by the CIO and IT organization: 49%
Centrally controlled by C-level government executive: 9%
Directly controlled by agencies or departments: 2%
Blended control by IT, agencies and departments: 36%
Don't know: 4%


CIOs Do control spending: Nearly 50 percent of respondents said the CIO and IT organization controls IT investments.

 

Internal users your IT department supports:
More than 100,000: 0.0%
50,000 - 100,000: 4%
25,000 - 50,000: 2%
10,000 - 25,000: 6%
5,000 - 10,000: 9%
1,000 - 5,000: 53%
500 - 1,000: 13%
250 - 500: 7%
100 - 250: 0.0%
50 - 100: 0.0%
Less than 50: 6%


A majority of IT departments -- 53 percent -- support between 1,000 and 5,000 users.

 

Change in this year's budget:
Increased: 24%
Decreased: 40%
Stayed the same: 36%


Change in next year's budget:
Will increase: 15%
Will decrease: 53%
Will stay the same: 32%


IT spending forecasts dropped significantly in the wake of the recession. In 2006, 32 percent of respondents projected an IT spending increase; only 15 percent expect more funding for 2009.

 

Size of IT department's staff:
Staff of fewer than 10: 13%
10-25: 19%
25-50: 19%
50-100: 23%
100+: 26%


Changes in staff this year:
Increased: 17%
Decreased: 17%
Stayed the same: 66%


Changes in staff next year:
Will increase: 9%
Will decrease: 23%
Will stay the same: 68%


Top five skill sets needed in the coming year:
Project management: 81%
Security: 71%
Database management: 50%
Web services: 62%
Networking: 49%

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Bottom five skill sets needed in the coming year:
Application development: 45%
Business process management: 43%
Help-desk support: 24%
Service-oriented architecture: 17%
Open source: 9%


Project management skills are hot: 81 percent of respondents said it was one of the top five skills needed in the coming year.

 

Percent of IT staff who are outsourced:
0%: 32% of respondents
5%: 26% of respondents
10%: 17% of respondents
20%: 6% of respondents
30%: 7% of respondents
40%: 0% of respondents
50%: 2% of respondents
More than 50%: 4% of respondents
Don't know: 6% of respondents

 

Public CIO Priorities

Top five IT management priorities for 2009:

  • Align IT with business goals: 71%
  • Cost controls: 66%
  • Change/culture management: 47%
  • Project management/IT governance : 45%
  • Business continuity/disaster recovery: 43%

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Bottom five IT management priorities for 2009

  • Intergovernmental collaboration: 28%
  • ITIL: 17%
  • Reduce dependency on private contractors: 13%
  • Vendor management: 9%
  • Procurement management: 7%

Top five technology priorities for 2009:

  • Document management/enterprise-content management: 53%
  • E-discovery/records management: 53%
  • IT security: 51%
  • Data center consolidation: 40%
  • GIS: 40%

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Bottom five technology priorities for 2009

  • Business intelligence: 23%
  • Broadband development (economic development): 19%
  • Customer relationship management: 15%
  • Open source: 11%
  • Outsourcing: 11%

 

Survey Questions Over the Years:

Will IT staff increase, decrease, or stay the same in the next 12 months?
              2006 2007 2008
Increase    32%   34% 9%
Decrease    10% 7% 23%
No change   58% 58% 68%


What are your top five IT management issues?
2006 2007 2008
1 Funding IT projects Align IT with business goals Align IT with business goals
2 Dealing with political and legislative changes Project management Cost controls
3 IT consolidation Work force retention and recruitment Change/culture management
4 Shared services IT governance IT governance; project management (tied)
5 Intergovernmental collaboration Funding IT projects Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery


How long have you been at your current position?
2006 2007 2008
Less than one year 15% 10% 12%
5 years 5% 14% 21%
More than 5 years 42% 29% 17%

Tod Newcombe, Editor Editor, Public CIO