Why Mobility Is on the Mind of State CIOs

Annual industry survey reveals growing pains to keep pace with demand.

State CIOs continue to be challenged by maintaining existing IT services and infrastructure while deploying new technologies, according to the results of the 2012 State CIO Survey by NASCIO, TechAmerica and Grant Thornton.

“More than ever, state CIOs must keep up with the old while continuing to bring in the new,” says Doug Robinson, executive director of NASCIO. “It is a real balancing act for CIOs who are trying to be responsive to governors, legislators, state agency heads, and citizens.”

Released Monday, the “Advancing the C4 Agenda — Balancing Legacy and Innovation” report follows the 2011 study, “A New C4 Agenda (Consolidation, Collaboration, Clout and Change).

Based on responses from every state with a CIO as well as the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories, the report touches on many new initiatives such as mobility, social media, cloud computing and health and human services modernization and integration.

A Mobile World

Speaking at the annual NASCIO conference in San Diego, Robinson notes that management of mobile devices is clearly fragmented in states. A full 12 percent of respondents note that state mobility management efforts are “totally fragmented and uncoordinated.” Another 38 percent say they have “a few coordinated government-wide projects and initiatives, but mostly fragmented efforts,” while 15 percent say about half of their mobility projects are coordinated. This low rate of coordination is likely due to the federated model of many state agencies.

The mobile apps that appear to be the most popular with citizens are those pertaining to traffic, road conditions or the DMV (60 percent), followed by parks, recreation, hunting, fishing, boating and outdoor activities (58 percent). Far behind was use to find a state agency or service (26 percent).

In North Dakota, CIO Lisa Feldner says the Department of Transportation is developing a mobile app for road conditions. “Oil activity creates a tremendous amount of traffic on our roads and infrastructure. Trucks are going over roads that weren’t designed to have heavy loads,” she says. Top priorities are implementing mobile routing and e-permits.

Massachusetts CIO and Assistant Secretary for IT John Letchford notes that citizen use of transit-oriented apps is high in his state. In the capital of Boston, there are a huge number of transportation apps.

What about the devices those apps are riding on? The survey finds that nearly three-fourths of respondents either allow bring-your-own device policies statewide or by agency, making it the new norm for state government.

For complete survey results, download a copy from NASCIO or visit the TechAmerica or Grant Thornton websites.

Download our Mobile Strategies for Government whitepaper for more information.

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Oct 23 2012