CIOs need to develop better ways to measure the impact of technology.
There's little doubt that government's already substantial investment in information technology is going to continue to grow as public agencies look for ways to streamline processes, engage with citizens and achieve social outcomes. Chief information officers are going to be required to show not only that IT funds are being expended effectively but also that these resources are driving outcomes that government and the public care about. Consider this question: If you were to invest $1 in a parks program and $1 in the IT department, which would provide a greater return?
Questions like that are going to take on even more importance with the emergence of new technologies (think about drones and self-driving cars), new platforms (consider bitcoin and the future of digital currency), and new tools (such as predictive analytics and the emerging field of algorithmic regulation).
Over the last six months, I have interviewed more than two dozen CIOs and other IT executives across all levels of government on the state of IT metrics for performance management in the public sector. The findings from these interviews are summarized in a new report published by the IBM Center for the Business of Government.
In the report, I offer three overarching recommendations to help CIOs begin to develop meaningful metrics for their organizations or to improve the ones they already use:
As technology continues to develop, the level of IT innovation will become even more of a key differentiator among governments, particularly across local jurisdictions striving to streamline operations and create sustainable neighborhoods and resilient communities. A key question that will be asked of CIOs is how their investments in technology measure up. Clearly they are going to need to be able to answer that question.
This article was originally published by Governing.