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What Are CIOs Thinking in 2022

We were fascinated by some of the most significant changes signaled in the recently released annual CIO survey from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers.

Our series about the future of state and local government jobs, is being published this week by Route Fifty. And based on our many interviews for those columns, we were heartened to see the reskilling of employees jump dramatically in its importance in the NASCIO CIO survey as the “single action” that would most affect recruitment and retention of the future IT workforce. In 2019, 25% of CIOs selected “reskilling” compared with 35% in 2022.

In comparison, increasing remote work options was chosen by 18% of state CIOs, expanding flexible work by 8% and streamlining the hiring process and reducing time to hire by 6%. Building a “talent pipeline” also jumped dramatically as a top strategy and tactic that state CIOs use to attract and retain a highly qualified IT workforce. In 2022, that was listed by 71% of CIOS, compared with 44% in 2019.

Another big change showed up regarding privacy, which was on more CIO's minds in the last year than in the past. As the survey says, “Citizens are becoming more aware of their privacy rights, feeling distrustful of how information is being collected . . . and demanding more from government.”

When asked if their states had passed legislation addressing citizen data privacy, 37 percent said yes in 2022 compared with 29 percent in 2020. In 2022, 67 percent said their states had implemented enterprise-wide data privacy policies, up from 59 percent in 2020. As NASCIO has previously reported, 21 states now have chief privacy officers.

In addition, the pressures to move speedily and to depend on digital delivery of services in the last two and a half years, clearly made CIOs realize that the need to tackle obsolete technology was paramount. Increasing the priority of legacy modernization jumped from the 5th place it held in 2020 and 2021 to the 2nd place in a ranking of business processes that would loom large in coming years. “This is likely because the fragility of these systems were exposed during the pandemic,” the survey report surmises.

There’s lots more in the 2022 State CIO Survey and it is most decidedly a B&G Recommendation.


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