Workforce, e-gov top CIOs' worries

Hiring and retaining good information technology workers is still the No.

1 concern of government IT managers. Making e-government work is No. 2,

a survey shows.

In a survey of chief information officers and senior IT officials at

federal agencies, 66 of the 126 respondents said their biggest challenge

was "hiring and retaining skilled professionals," and 47 said "implementing

e-business/e-government solutions" was their top concern.

Security — specifically the task of preventing hackers and terrorists

from breaking in to government computer systems — rated No. 3. But in a

separate part of the survey, IT managers identified "security technology"

as by far the most important technology they need to perform their jobs.

The findings are part of an annual survey conducted by the Association

for Federal Information Resource Management (AFFIRM) to track trends in

the government IT sector.

The survey shows that the top three concerns haven't changed much. Last

year, hiring and retaining was No. 1, security was No. 2 and implementing

e-government solutions was No. 3.

Last year, government IT managers were much more concerned about measuring

IT performance to comply with the Government Performance and Results Act.

That concern rated No. 6 last year as managers faced a March 1 deadline

for submitting GPRA reports to Congress. This year, compliance with GPRA

dropped to 18th on the IT managers' list of concerns.

According to the survey, federal IT managers' top 10 concerns are:

1. Hiring and retaining good IT workers.

2. Making e-government work.

3. Preventing hackers and terrorists from breaking in to government

computer systems.

4. Obtaining adequate funding for IT programs and projects.

5. Implementing IT capital planning and investment management practices.

6. Capturing and organizing agency knowledge and expertise.

7. Formulating or implementing an agency IT architecture.

8. Building support for IT initiatives with other senior agency executives.

9. Using IT to improve service to customers, stakeholders and citizens.

10.Promoting business process re-engineering for IT decisions.

The technologies IT managers said they need most are:

1. Security technology.

2. Internet, intranet, Web and network computing.

3. Knowledge management.

4. Data, voice and video convergence.

5. Remote and mobile computing.

6. Data warehousing and data mining.

7. Workflow, including records management.

8. Electronic commerce and electronic data interchange.

9. Next-generation Internet.

10. Executive information and decision support systems.

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