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Organisational disruption and funding shortfalls key challenges for government CIOs

Funding shortfalls and disruption proved to be a headache for government CIOs during the last four years, according to new research from analyst firm Gartner. 

Gartner's 2020 global survey of CIOs found 58% of government CIOs faced organisational disruption while 52% had also faced a funding shortfall in that same time frame. These figures are higher than those for all other industries.
 
“Governments are struggling in many areas, following disruptions including changes in leadership, reorganisations and funding shortfalls,” says Alia Mendonsa, senior research director at Gartner. 

“For many government CIOs, disruption will affect their IT budget growth, and the funding and launch of new business initiatives will suffer. Inflexible funding models exacerbate this issue, due to budgetary processes and cycles within government," she explains.
 
Mendonsa says CIOs of government organisations are still developing their digital leadership skills and strategy. 

“The government sector is lagging behind other industries in all aspects of strategy, particularly in its ability to communicate a clear and consistent business strategy that articulates how the organisation will achieve its vision,” she says.
 
The research found that less than half (48%) of government CIOs said their organisation had a clear and consistent overall business strategy. 

“In the absence of a formal business strategy, government CIOs need to incorporate strategic business outcomes into their digital government strategy,” says Mendonsa. “Business outcomes will be validated by the business as part of the strategy approval process.”
 
The survey results showed that government CIOs are ahead of other industries in enhancing citizen-centricity by developing and delivering digital services, however they remain slightly behind other industries in most IT process domains.
 
“To fix this, government CIOs should assess the maturity of their IT processes to identify areas of strength and weakness, and then prioritise implementation of improved processes and workflows according to the results,” says Mendonsa.
 
Data and analytics, AI and cloud technologies remain game changers
The survey found that data and analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud technologies remain game-changers for government CIOs in 2020. Survey results showed that within the next 12 months the majority of the respondents had already deployed or are focused on deploying cybersecurity (84%), AI (37%) and robotic process automation (33%).
 
“Government CIOs need to prioritise investment in emerging technologies according to potential value for their institution,” Mendonsa says.

“More mature technologies such as cloud, and data and analytics, offer immediate benefits in terms of capability and scalability for delivering digital government services, and therefore may be prioritised," she explains. 

"Experiments with AI and robotic process automation may start small initially, and once their value can be demonstrated, initiatives involving these emerging technologies may be scaled up over time.”