How Governments Are Scaling Rapid Digital Transformation
State CISOs have gained more authority and enhanced visibility over the past several years as top officials embraced the importance of the role. Part of the renewed strength of CISOs springs from their role in the acceleration of digital transformation.
A Deloitte Insights post notes that governments became “wired but not transformed” in the past two decades. Many digitized front-end services while leaving internal systems unaltered. But in 2020, the pace of digital transformation accelerated tremendously. State governments expanded remote work and telehealth and established virtual courts and remote training.
This unprecedented digital expansion left state and local governments with the challenge of scaling these new offerings without the underlying technological foundation to truly do so. But managed service providers can help.
According to McKinsey, “The most successful government transformations are much more likely ... to deploy cutting-edge digital tools such as hybrid work platforms to strengthen their collaboration, communication and decision-making.”
The very nature of hybrid work platforms — connecting disparate locations with cloud services — is foreign to many state and local governments but very much the province of managed service providers.
EXPLORE: How railroads mitigate cyberthreats against their networks.
Why Cybersecurity Hinges on Hiring Qualified Personnel
As the Deloitte-NASCIO CISO survey notes, “As CISOs continue to build a robust in-house staff, they can turn to private-public partnerships to close the gap. Management of third-party vendors is maturing, as CISOs rely on them more to provide not only securities operations center functions but also forensic and legal support and cyberthreat risk assessments. CISOs have more confidence in the cybersecurity practices of contractors than other third parties such as local governments and higher education.”
There is a lot to think about here, but the big takeaway is that state CISOs cite the lack of cybersecurity professionals to hire as a top challenge. State governments have a long, drawn-out process for hiring new public sector personnel, and the private sector can make offers very quickly. So, states remain at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to hiring.
Roughly half of states say it takes three to six months to hire “mid-level personnel” and more than six months to hire directors, the survey says. This creates a manpower gap that CISOs may close by hiring qualified contractors or outsourcing security operations or specific functions to third-party managed service providers.
When dealing with gaps in competencies, CISOs turn to service providers. At least 79 percent of state governments have hired at least one cybersecurity contractor to work as a member of staff. To close competency gaps, 63 percent intend to outsource certain functional areas to contractors, while 78 percent seek to contract with a managed services provider.