Shifting CIO Priorities Provide Opportunity
"Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable." This quote from William Pollard is especially relevant this year as companies, whether they wanted it or not, were forced to make substantial operational changes. As Pollard stated, change is inevitable; however, how you as an organization proactively or reactively respond to shifts is a decisive factor in long-term success.
At recent roundtable sessions and Innovation Advisory Council meetings, Vation Ventures has heard from senior IT executives about shifts in priorities and the acceleration of adoption in new technologies and processes brought upon by the unexpected changes in 2020.
The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) publishes an annual survey of state CIOs and their perspectives. The 2020 State CIO Survey reveals insights from 47 states on how they are managing their IT enterprise and infrastructure and what they are anticipating in the upcoming year. These insights align directly across sectors with what Vation has heard from IT leaders.
These shifts in priorities and the adoption of new, innovative technology opens the door for IT executives searching for solutions and emerging technologies providing solutions to benefit mutually. For example, emerging technology companies focused on work-from-home capabilities such as remote interviewing, contact center management, chatbot automation, or internal team communication have suddenly seen their target-market expand substantially.
Due to the complexities of working within the public sector, many technology companies shy away from engaging with government organizations, leaving a gap for proactive businesses to step-in and seize an opportunity. This is where immixGroup can help given their in-depth knowledge of how government works and acquires technology.
From the NASCIO survey, here are a few consistent shifts in CIO priorities and opportunities to fill the demand with innovative solutions.
The Continuation of Work-From-Home
The overwhelming assumption by state CIOs is that work-from-home and remote-work options will not only continue but expand. CIOs from the States of Tennessee and Vermont believe that most of their workforces will be working from home through the remainder of the current school year.
Expanding Cloud Services
This new working environment has led state CIOs to adjust and prioritize projects that deliver critical employee applications through expanded cloud services. Migrating critical applications to the cloud and SaaS applications took on new urgency so they can continue managing critical citizen services such as unemployment insurance, Medicaid claims, and business licenses. There will continue to be opportunities for vendors here as more and more states look to migrate services online in areas like the DMV, health and human services, and law enforcement.
Introducing Chatbots and Virtual Agents
Speedier migration of applications wasn't the only change state CIOs saw. Emerging technologies such as automation solutions had been slow to catch on, but when work-from-home orders were issued and state offices were closed, agencies became overwhelmed by the number of inquiries, questions, and claims from citizens. More than 75% of state CIOs indicated they introduced chatbots and virtual agents to handle the influx of citizen service inquiries.
As the Interim CIO from Texas explained, he saw agencies suddenly "slingshot" from not considering chatbots at all to suddenly buying chatbots. Vendors who can provide automation solutions that help ease the burden on agencies handling citizen service requests and questions will be welcomed.
Pushing Online and Digital Services
Overwhelmingly, CIOs expressed that ensuring the continued delivery of citizen services was the driver behind their push for online and digital services. States and agencies have been forced to change the way they operate to continue delivering those services.
Growing Technology Opportunities
CIOs and technology suddenly became significant pieces of a state's operational strategy as agencies find new ways to interact with citizens. From increased use of cloud and SaaS applications to automation and chatbots, opportunities abound for vendors in the state government arena.
This post is adapted from a blog originally published in Government Sales Insider by Rachel Eckert, a SLED analyst at immixGroup, an Arrow Electronics company. The original post can be viewed here.
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