Published on December 13, 2023, 8:15 pm

Emerging Tech: The Future of State, Local, and Higher ED IT

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) recently published its 2024 priorities list, revealing the top issues that state CIOs will be focusing on in the coming year. Cybersecurity and digital government services have once again claimed the top spot on the list for the 12th consecutive year. However, what’s noteworthy is that digital government services have advanced from the number two spot in 2023 to tie with cybersecurity.

The growing demand for digital government services comes as no surprise, as citizens increasingly expect seamless and convenient access to government resources online. Doug Robinson, NASCIO’s executive director, stated in a press release that “cybersecurity and digital government are two critical issues for state CIOs and will remain so for some time.” With cyber threats becoming more sophisticated, protecting sensitive data and ensuring secure interactions with government platforms is a top priority.

Another notable addition to this year’s list is artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotic process automation (RPA), which has secured the third spot. NASCIO recognizes the potential of these emerging technologies in transforming various aspects of state governance. AI can help automate routine processes, enhance decision-making capabilities, and improve overall efficiency.

Legacy modernization continues to hold its ground at number four on the list. State CIOs understand the importance of updating and replacing outdated legacy systems to keep up with technological advancements. Enhancing, renovating, and replacing legacy platforms and applications remain a priority for driving innovation across state governments.

To compile this annual list, NASCIO conducts a survey among state CIOs to identify policy and technology issues they face. The results inform NASCIO’s programming, publications, and events throughout the year. This collaborative approach ensures that the organization addresses current challenges faced by state governments effectively.

In addition to cybersecurity, digital government services, AI, ML, RPA, and legacy modernization, the list also includes other essential priorities such as workforce development, data management and analytics, broadband and wireless connectivity, identity and access management, cloud services adoption, and adopting a new operating model with the CIO as a broker. These priorities reflect the ongoing effort to leverage technology for better service delivery and effective governance.

As state governments embrace innovative solutions driven by emerging technologies like AI and ML, they can improve their operations, enhance citizen engagement, and ensure data security. The NASCIO’s 2024 priorities list serves as a roadmap for state CIOs to navigate the evolving landscape of IT in the public sector. By addressing these key issues head-on, states can build robust digital infrastructures that support their citizens’ needs effectively.


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