Government tech leaders prioritising AI, analytics and security – Gartner

AI and data analytics defined as the top technologies of interest to this community in the analyst firm’s latest CIO Agenda Survey

Posted 24 January 2019 by Gary Flood

Data analytics and cybersecurity have pushed cloud out of the top spot for increased technology investment by government CIOs in 2019, according to a new survey from Gartner published this week.

And this new focus on data reflects public sector CIO acknowledgment that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data analytics will be the top “game-changing” technologies for government in 2019, says the group.

“Taking advantage of data is at the heart of digital government; it’s the central asset to all that government oversees and provides,” said Rick Howard, VP analyst at Gartner.

“The ability to leverage that data strategically in real time will significantly improve government’s ability to seamlessly deliver services, despite increased strain on finite resources.”

The study also found that the global public sector is making steady progress toward designing and delivering digital services, achieving comparable maturity to other industries overall. When asked what stage their digital initiative was at, for instance, nearly a third (29%) of government respondents say their teams are scaling and refining their digital initiatives — the tipping point at which a digital initiative is considered mature, up from 15% in the 2018 survey.

However, government is still lagging other industries in scaling and refining digital initiatives – and the gap is particularly marked in defence and intelligence, where just nine percent of respondents have scaled digital initiatives, it warns.

Gartner says 18% of CIOs across all levels of government it talked to have prioritised digital initiatives again this year as key to achieving mission outcomes, compared with 23% from all other industries. The next three business priorities for government are industry-specific goals (13%), operational excellence (13%) and cost optimisation/reduction (8%).

“Government CIOs clearly recognise the potential of digital government and have started developing new digital services, but now need to take digital beyond a vision to execution through digital leadership,” Howard added.

The 2019 CIO Agenda Survey gathered data from 3,102 CIO respondents in 89 countries and across major industries, including 528 government CIOs. Government respondents are segmented into national or federal; state or province (regional); local; and defense and intelligence, to identify trends specific to each tier.