Once again, it's time to get to know your fellow public-sector CIO, your departments, your issues. Last year, we launched our first editorial survey. This year, we fine-tuned our questions, asked you to participate and you did, giving us a comprehensive look at the person behind the acronym: CIO.

For those who want a snapshot view, here goes: You, the public CIO, are predominantly male, middle-aged, have CIO in your title, report to an executive who is the equivalent of a CEO in a company, have been at your current job for at least two years, earn more than $100,000, and spend most of your time with your staff and the least amount of time with vendors.

You have a $1 million-$5 million IT budget, and you control the spending of your jurisdiction's IT budget. You expect your budget to increase in 2008, but staffing will remain the same. Few of you outsource a portion of your IT staff.

When it comes to priorities, your biggest management concern is aligning IT with your organization's business goals. When it comes to technology, IT security is your highest concern, along with business intelligence. And by a nearly 3-to-1 margin, you consider using new technology to improve business processes rather than increase productivity or cut costs.
 

Who You Are:
When it comes to titles, CIO has come to dominate, although "director" and "manager" remain popular in the public sector (no VPs, however). The most frequently named executive you report to is someone with CEO status, but the designation falls short of being a majority.

Most of you have either been in your position for two years or more than 10, so there's a looming experience gap as senior CIOs face retirement with few moderately experienced CIOs staying on to fill the ranks.

For the first time, we polled our readers about how they spend their time interacting with their boss, their staff, customers and vendors. Not surprisingly, you spend most of your time dealing with your workers and the least amount of time talking with vendors. It appears little time is spent strategizing with other executives in government, not a good sign if CIOs want to be strategic players in government.

 

Titles:
CIO: 35%
Director: 29%
Manager: 18%
Other (deputy CIO; assistant manager, chief technology officer): 18%
   
Who you report to:
CEO (governor, mayor, county executive, college president): 29%
Agency director/secretary: 19%
Chief operating/administrative officer (city, county manager): 16%
Chief financial officer: 8%
Other: 28%    

Tenure at current position:
Less than one year: 10%
2 years: 23%
3 years: 15%
4 years: 9%
5 years: 14%
10 years: 9%
More than 10 years: $20%           

Salary range
$50,000 - $74,000: 13%
$75,000 - $99,000: 32%
$100,000 - $149,000: 47%
$150,000+: 8%

Interaction time: CIOs interact with different groups of people for different sets of time
Time spent interacting     10%   25%   50%   75%
Government executives     49%  32%    15%     4%
IT staff                                 12%   34%    41%    13%
Agency customers           19%   53%   18%     9%
Vendors                              72%   23%    4%      1%

 

IT Departments
Responses to our questions about departments and budgets provide an excellent window into the CIO's world of limited resources. We asked about the size of your department's budget, as well as how much your government spends on IT overall.          

More importantly, we inquired, for the first time, as to who "controls" the IT budget. The good news is that CIOs -- by a resounding margin -- are in charge of how their jurisdiction spends its technology dollars.           

Interestingly, given the looming retirement crisis among IT workers in government, most of you indicated that staffing will remain the same, yet interest in outsourcing as an option to fill possible skills gaps remains modest at best. 

Size of your IT budget:
Less than $500,000: 10%
$500,000 - $1,000,000: 10%
$1 - $5 million: 32%
$5 - $10 million: 15%
$10 - $20 million: 9%
$20 - $50 million: 9%
$50 million+: 11%
Don't know: 4%

 

What the public sector spends on IT:
Less than 1% (of the overall budget): 12%
1% - 2%: 24%
2% - 3%: 16%
3% - 4%: 11%
4% - 5%: 4%
5% or more: 17%
Don't know: 17%

Who controls IT spending:
Centrally controlled by the CIO and IT organization: 51%
Centrally controlled by a C-level government executive: 7%
Directly controlled by agencies/departments: 9%
Blended control by IT and agencies/departments: 30%
Don't know: 2%

Changes in next year's budget:
Will increase: 42%
Will decrease: 19%
Will stay the same: 39%

Size of IT departments:
Staff of less than 10: 23%
10-24: 25%
25-49: 20%
50-99: 13%
100+: 19%

Changes expected in IT staff:
Will increase: 34%
Will decrease: 7%
Will stay the same: 58%

Percent of IT staff that's outsourced:
0%: 33%
5%: 24%
10%: 15%
20%: 12%
30%: 4%
40%: 1%
50%: 1%
More than 50%: 5%
Don't know: 4%

 

Public-Sector IT Priorities
It's our contention that public CIOs face some of the most challenging situations among any sector of the economy. Your ranking of priorities bears this out. Among IT management issues, all were ranked as either important or very important. 

As for technology priorities, CIOs steered clear of the trendier topics, such as outsourcing and open source, and indicated they were going to focus on IT security, business intelligence and shared services.

IT management priorities for 2008
                                                                     1              2              3              4             5

Align IT with Business Goals             3.0%        5.3%       18.8%      27.1%     45.9%

Cost Controls                                       1.5%        12.1%     33.3%     29.5%     23.5%

IT Governance                                                     9.1%        11.4%     36.4%     26.5%      16.7%

Intergovernment Collaboration                   14.0%      18.6%      27.1%     24.8%     15.5% 

Project Management                                      4.6%        5.4%        23.8%     37.7%     28.5%

Funding                                                                    3.8%        8.4%       34.4%    33.6%      19.8% 

Work Force Retention and Recruitment       6.1%        14.5%     36.6%    30.5%      12.2%

Dealing with Political/Legislative Challenges 4.6%        21.4%     32.8%     27.5%     13.7%

 

Technology  priorities for 2008
                                                                1              2              3              4              5         

Open Source                                        35.9%     28.2%     19.1%     11.5%     5.3%   

Outsourcing                                          37.7%     33.8%     16.2%     6.9%        5.4%   

Shared Services                                   18.5%     20.8%     34.6%     20.0%      6.2%   

Data Center Consolidation               12.4%     22.5%     28.7%     20.2%     16.3%

IT Security                                                              5.3%       3.0%       18.2%     40.2%     33.3%

Enterprise Architecture/SOA                       12.3%      20.8%     30.8%     23.1%     13.1%

Enterprise Resource Planning                         17.8%     25.6%     28.7%     17.1%     10.9% 

Customer Relationship Management        17.2%     24.2%      28.1%     14.1%     16.4%

Business Intelligence                            10.9%      17.1%     24.0%     30.2%     17.8%

 

Major drivers for new technology in government:
Cutting costs: 8%
Increasing worker productivity: 23%
Improving enterprise business processes: 69%

           

Public CIO Demographics           

Age:
Under 35: 4%
35-50: 49%
Over 50: 47%

Gender:
Male: 80%
Female: 20%