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Where Next for States on All Things IT and Security?

The 2023 NASCIO Annual Conference wrapped up this past week in Minneapolis. Here's a quick roundup of what happened and what’s next for state IT and cybersecurity.

Stephanie Dedmon at NASCIO Annual in Minneapolis, October 2023
Tennessee CIO and NASCIO President Stephanie Dedmon delivers remarks at the organization's 2023 annual conference in Minneapolis.
Government Technology/David Kidd
Media coverage of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Annual Conference was widespread this past week. Here is a roundup of some of the top stories from GovTech:

CIOs Peer into Crystal Balls at NASCIO Annual Conference: The future of government technology was up for debate at the annual gathering of state IT leaders Monday, and it’s not only about AI and cybersecurity, but also better strategy and relationships.

AI: 'A Helping Hand from Our Robot Overlords': Arizona Chief Information Security Officer Ryan Murray sees two significant opportunities for artificial intelligence in cybersecurity.

NASCIO Pays Tribute to Tech Innovators, Unveils New President: The National Association of State Chief Information Officers named a new president this week and recognized visionary tech leaders who broke barriers to drive innovation, strengthen cybersecurity and further elevate the overall IT landscape.

NASCIO 2023 State CIO Survey Weighs IT Financial Models: The 2023 survey, released at the group’s annual conference, digs into several key issues for state CIOs: Are general funds better than chargebacks? Is cybersecurity insurance worth it?


There are several new fascinating reports from the NASCIO staff which highlight state trends and developments. In several cases, these white papers were examined in breakout panels during the NASCIO conference. You can find all NASCIO press releases here.

Here are the few announcements that I want to highlight:

NASCIO, Center for Digital Government and IBM Release Report on Preparing for Future Shocks:
The report includes highlights of over 20 state CIO interviews on the topic of resilience. The interviews uncovered key themes about the threats state governments face and the tools, processes and resources CIOs need to build more resilient organizations. CIOs are facing issues from future public health crises and cyber threats from climate change, workforce shortages and disruptive new technologies. The research looked at how CIOs approach resilience from multiple perspectives: enterprise resilience, IT resilience, workforce and employee resilience, and personal resilience.
GovTech covered the panel discussion on the paper here: "Resilience, Recovery Climb the CIO's Agenda."

NASCIO Honors Three Public Servants with State Technology Innovator Award
  • Roger Gibson, Chief Operating Officer, New Jersey Office of Information Technology; Nominated by: Christopher Rein, Chief Technology Officer, New Jersey
  • Susan Kellogg, Chief Deputy State Chief Information Officer and Chief Services Officer, North Carolina Department of Information Technology; Nominated by: Anne Johnson, Communications Specialist, North Carolina Department of Information Technology
  • Alex Wong, Chief Information Technology Architect, Kansas Office of Information Technology Services Nominated by: Allie Denning, Director, Public Affairs, Kansas Office of Information Technology Services


Every year, NASCIO announces its State IT Recognition Awards, which provide insights into best practices across the country and also highlight the best of government IT innovation. I urge readers to read all of the nominated writeups in the awards library, which can be found here. These best practices offer great ideas, innovative technology solutions and practical steps that can be repeated nationwide by other states.

Award recipients for the 2023 State IT Recognition Awards are:
  • Business Process Innovations: Michigan — Michigan All in for the User, Our HCD Strategy
  • Cross-Boundary Collaboration and Partnerships — North Carolina: NC eLink: Completing the Picture to Improve Constituent Services
  • Cybersecurity — Hawaii: Surfing the Cyber Risk Monster Wave
  • Data Management, Analytics and Visualization — California: All-Hazards Dashboard
  • Digital Services: Government to Business — Tennessee: Transforming Agriculture Licensing and Permitting: Milking Enterprise Innovation for Streamlined Processes
  • Digital Services: Government to Citizen (three-way tie) — Minnesota: Delivering Swift Relief to Minnesota’s COVID-19 Frontline Workers; Ohio: Streamlining Access to Child Care Benefits; Tennessee: MyTN: Placing Government in the Palms of Citizen Hands
  • Emerging and Innovative Technologies — Minnesota: Digital Bridges: The Future Is Here
  • Enterprise IT Management Initiatives — Indiana: SEAL: Continuing to Hire the Next IT Professionals
  • Information Communications Technology Innovations — North Carolina: ATSC 3.0 in Public Safety Communications
  • State CIO Office Special Recognition — Minnesota: How AI Enhances Driver and Vehicle Services for Minnesota Residents


Attending the NASCIO conference this week brought a dizzying mix of crosswinds. From the comfort and blessings that come from great networking and catching up with colleagues that have been working in state government leadership for decades — many from both a public- and private-sector perspective — to the intriguing opportunities that come from building new relationships with first-time NASCIO conference attendees, the 2023 event did not disappoint. Indeed, there was record attendance — again — at almost 1,000 people.

While change is constantly accelerating in our digital world, I have never seen the amount of change that has already occurred in state government technology leadership and strategies in 2023 — and we have over two months left!

With new CIOs in more states, growing cyber threats and the rapid emergence of generative AI applications and cybersecurity impacts, the world has never been more complicated nor government projects more vital.

That same buzz, excitement and overwhelming feeling was also evident in California at the sold-out annual Cybersecurity Education Summit, which I spoke at after the NASCIO event.
Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker and author.