Feb 02 2016

Security, Strategic Planning Top Local Government IT Execs’ 2016 Priorities

The Public Technology Institute released its annual poll of local government executives’ key concerns for the year ahead.

Security is top of mind for city and county technology executives this year, according to a poll conducted by the Public Technology Institute (PTI). Security also took the crown as the most important technology management priority in the 2015 survey.

According to PTI, security as a priority has multiple components — namely, “security frameworks, training and awareness, and budget requirements.”

State and local governments have certainly emphasized security in recent years, especially as cyberattacks have grown more frequent. For example, as StateTech reported, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has directed the state’s top IT and emergency management agencies to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy by July. Both Iowa and Oregon have taken steps to develop the necessary infrastructure to respond to security breaches.

The second and third most critical technology management priorities for this year’s poll respondents are developing an enterprise vision and an IT road map and modernizing legacy systems, respectively.

Taking the Pulse

In the poll, which was taken in December and released last week, local government technology executives put PTI’s list of 10 areas in priority order. The institute did not provide information on the number of executives who participated.

The top 2016 technology management priorities for local governments are as follows:

  1. Security (security frameworks, training and awareness, and budget requirements)
  2. Enterprise vision and road map for I.T. (integrating and influencing strategic planning)
  3. Legacy modernization (enhancing, renovating and replacing)
  4. Disaster recovery/business continuity
  5. Budget and cost control
  6. Business intelligence and data analytics
  7. Human resources (workforce reduction; attracting, developing and retaining IT personnel; support/training)
  8. Cloud services (SaaS, infrastructure, security, privacy, data ownership)
  9. Consolidation/optimization (identifying and dealing with barriers)
  10. Agile and incremental software delivery

"It is very clear that local governments will continue to focus attention and resources on securing their networks and environments,” Alan Shark, executive director of PTI, said in a statement. “As we see from the list of priorities, local government technology executives have a full plate, from securing the enterprise to modernizing applications and dealing with a more mobile workforce. This is where training and sharing best practices can be of benefit.”

The institute also asked participants to rank their technology applications priorities for 2016. This list showed overlap with the management priorities.

Here are the most important technology applications priorities for local governments:

  1. Security enhancement tools
  2. Legacy application modernization/renovation
  3. Data management
  4. Virtualization
  5. Identity and access management
  6. Document/content/records/email management
  7. Cloud solutions/Software as a Service
  8. Voice and data communications/networking
  9. Business intelligence/business analytics
  10. Mobile workforce

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