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Cloud, Workforce, Cyber and AI: NASCIO Midyear 2023

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers held their 2023 Midyear Conference in National Harbor, Md., this past week. Here are some top takeaways from the program and state leadership conversations.   

NASCIO Midyear Conference Opening 2023
Dan Lohrmann
There was record attendance at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) 2023 Midyear Conference in National Harbor, Md., this past week. The CIO conversations ranged from cloud computing adoption in state governments to cybersecurity to generative artificial intelligence to procurement.

I never cease to be amazed at the breadth and depth of conversations that occur at NASCIO events, and I also find the semiannual NASCIO conferences to offer the best opportunities to network with technology and cybersecurity leadership in state governments. It also offers the opportunity to meet new state CIOs and CISOs in a variety of networking formats.

One top topic was the adoption of cloud computing in states. The vast majority of CIOs said they have increased their cloud adoption, with some of the top application areas including health and human services, employment services and workforce, according to early results of a survey by NASCIO and Accenture. The full report will be released this fall at the annual conference in Minneapolis.

The cloud adoption story was covered well by GCN Magazine and StateTech Magazine, and I encourage you to visit those reports to learn more. Here is an excerpt from

“While security remains the top consideration for CIOs considering cloud solutions, 88% also said a lack of training and employee skills gaps prevent them from adopting more services. Every state has completed or is developing a cloud strategy or road map, according to the survey, while nearly half of respondents agreed that the cloud offers their state relevant business capabilities.”

Various cybersecurity topics came up throughout the week, and a good summary of some of these security issues are highlighted in these articles:

In addition, there was a lot of discussion around identity management and the importance of knowing how data access is being managed in government enterprises. Other hot cyber topics included a whole-of-state approach to cybersecurity and StateRAMP (including an outstanding separate StateRAMP symposium).

latte with the NASCIO logo in the foam on top
Dan Lohrmann
NASCIO also released an enterprise portfolio management report for states, which several CIOs brought up. Other sessions focused on data literacy, IT funding models, human-centered design, immersive state government and X as a service (asking what’s the next X?).


The conference kicked off on Monday with a great keynote by Don Yaeger on the Art of Storytelling. I won’t go into all of Don’s presentation here, but he received a standing ovation for his outstanding content (and amazing stories). Here are a few of his top points:
  • The best stories are always human.
  • Tell me the story of one.
  • The story behind the story is the story.
  • Good storytellers do not make the audience guess.
  • No single formula for a good story.  
  • Use what is uniquely yours.
  • Reverse the "I" and "you" ratio.
  • Use pauses intentionally.
  • Openers and closers are key. You can lose the audience in 90 seconds.

Don also walked through the 10 components of a good story told. Here’s a quote from his website:

“Any leader can become a much better storyteller by using basic elements, habits that can be traced to the best storytellers of all time. These include:
  • Knowing your audience, including what kind of detail and information the audience needs in order to 'act' on your story.
  • Having a purpose for telling the story, which leads to a natural call to action.
  • Developing a central hero or protagonist who navigates some ups and downs in a way that personifies a character, mindset, attitude or behavior you want your entire organization to embody.
  • Understanding how to build your story in a way that makes the audience feel as if it is included in the journey.”

You can learn more from Don Yaeger in this YouTube video interview:


With almost 900 attendees, the gathering of top state government technology leaders was another success. The networking opportunities are unique and helpful, and there is no better way to meet new executive tech leaders who are coming and going from state government in less than three years (on average).

Also, building trust and lasting relationships within the government technology industry cannot be done entirely online in most cases.

I also encourage you to go to the NASCIO website to see their press releases, along with their Federal Advocacy Priorities, Resource Center white papers and other documents.

If you are in the public- or private-sector support state IT programs, I hope to see you in Minneapolis in October for the NASCIO Annual Conference.


Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker and author.