What's on state CIOs' minds? Consolidation, cost control, health care.

NASCIO survey also finds cloud computing and shared services among top priorities

Consolidation, virtualization, budgets, and health care are among the most critical policy and technology issues to be faced by state government in 2011, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO).

NASCIO conducts the survey annually to identify the top 10 strategies, management processes and solutions for states, as well as top priorities in technologies, applications and tools.

"State government continues to deal with the economic realities of the current fiscal crisis,” according to NASCIO. As a result, state CIOs are looking for ways to reduce costs while maintaining and even increasing the delivery of necessary services to citizens.

“Consolidation, optimization, budget and cost control, and shared services are all focused on gaining efficiencies, economies of scale, and effective IT investment,” said Kyle Schafer, NASCIO president and chief technology officer of West Virginia.

Changing priorities emerged in this year’s survey, among them health care, which moved up because of the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March.

“There are multiple implications with the Affordable Care Act as it relates to health exchanges, automation of business rules, data quality, and interoperability and integration issues with existing systems,” Schafer said.

“Even though we have federal matching, state budgets are already under considerable strain."

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State government CIOs are collaborating across the country on innovative strategies, methods and technological solutions, Schafer said. They are looking to harness capabilities from across multiple agencies within their states, he said.

NASCIO utilizes the annual list of priorities to develop strategic areas of focus for the coming year, formulate new committees and working groups, and plan conference sessions and publications.

A sampling of the list includes:

Priority Strategies, Management Processes and Solutions:

  • Consolidation/optimization: centralizing, consolidating services, operations, resources, infrastructure, and data centers
  • Budget and cost control: managing budget reduction, strategies for savings, reducing or avoiding costs, activity based costing
  • Health care: the Affordable Care Act, health enterprise architecture, assessment, partnering, implementation, health information exchange, technology solutions, Medicaid systems (planning, retiring, implementing, purchasing)
  • Cloud Computing: as a service delivery strategy; models, governance, service management, provisioning, security, privacy, data ownership and
  • Shared services: business models, sharing resources, services, infrastructure, independent of organizational structure

Priority technologies, applications and tools

  • Virtualization (servers, storage, computing, data center)
  • Cloud computing (software as a service, infrastructure, applications, storage)
  • Networking (voice and data communications, unified communications)
  • Legacy application modernization / renovation
  • Identity and access management.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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