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NASCIO Survey Suggests Increasing Digital Government in 2020

The association's annual survey of state IT leadership shows a jump in digital services as a priority compared with the 2019 results, as well as rising interest in AI and robotic process automation.

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States are poised to put a greater emphasis on digital government services in 2020, according to an annual survey.

The survey, conducted by the National Association of State CIOs, reflects voting from IT leaders in all 50 states. The No. 1 priority — as always — is cybersecurity, but digital government went from the fourth slot to the second since last year.

The priorities stayed largely the same with only minor shuffling, except the following:

  • Broadband and wireless connectivity fell from fifth to ninth.
  • Legacy modernization appeared at seventh after not making the list last year.
  • Innovation and transformation came in 10th after not making the list last year.
  • Enterprise IT governance dropped from the list.
  • Identity and access management also dropped from the list.
NASCIO’s 2020 list shows relatively close alignment with the most recent results of the Digital States Survey from the Center for Digital Government,* which was conducted in 2018 and also collected responses from IT officials in all 50 states. In some areas the two surveys had very different language for priorities, but both had cybersecurity at the top and cloud services in the third slot. Budget/cost control and data management were also mid-to-lower priorities for both surveys.

The NASCIO survey also includes responses on specific technologies. In that area, the major change was that AI and robotic process automation came in at seventh after not appearing on the list in the previous year. In the 2018 Digital States Survey, 30 percent of respondents said they were planning on implementing some kind of machine learning or deep learning technology.

Here's the full 2020 priorities list from NASCIO:

  1. Cybersecurity and risk management
  2. Digital government
  3. Cloud services
  4. Consolidation/optimization
  5. Customer relationship management
  6. Budget, cost control and fiscal management
  7. Legacy modernization
  8. Data management and analytics
  9. Broadband/wireless connectivity
  10. Innovation and transformation through technology
And here are the priorities from the 2018 Digital States Survey:

  1. Cybersecurity
  2. Shared or collaborative services
  3. Cloud computing
  4. Hire and retain competent IT personnel
  5. Business intelligence/analytics
  6. Citizen engagement
  7. Budget and cost control
  8. Open government/transparency/open data
  9. Governance and disaster recovery/continuity of operations (tie)
  10. Mobility: Mobile devices/applications
*The Center for Digital Government is part of e.Republic, Government Technology's parent company. 

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