For the past 12 years, the Association for Federal Information Resources Management (AFFIRM) Emerging Issues Forum has conducted annual surveys of the senior federal information technology (IT) community to determine the most critical challenges facing the federal chief information officer (CIO). AFFIRM has also asked what technologies are considered most critical to implementing IT-based solutions. In addition, the group included five special questions to help the CIOs and other government executives explore a few specific issues.

Survey Top 10 Challenges

The top 10 selected challenges in descending order of importance were:

  • Hiring and retaining skilled professionals
  • Aligning IT and organizational mission goals
  • Obtaining adequate funding for IT programs and projects
  • Using IT to improve service to customers/stakeholders/citizens
  • Building effective relationships in support of IT initiatives with agency senior executives (agency head, CFO, etc.)
  • Managing or replacing legacy systems
  • Formulating or implementing an enterprise architecture
  • Implementing and controlling IT capital planning and investment management across the agency
  • Balancing information sharing and security/privacy requirements
  • Consolidating common IT business/mission functions

The top 10 selected critical technologies and solutions in descending order of importance were:

  • Security Infrastructure
  • Wireless technology
  • Identity management/HSPD12 (smart cards, biometrics, etc.)
  • Service oriented architecture (SOA)
  • Internet/ Intranet/Web applications
  • Records management/electronic document management systems
  • Remote and mobile computing including personal digital assistants
  • Knowledge management
  • Data standards/metadata/knowledge representative/semantics (renamed from Semantic Web in 2006)
  • Internet /Intranet /Web infrastructure

AFFIRM is a Washington, D.C., based council of the American Council for Technology (ACT).