…But with some new additions
While emerging technology has been a consistent placeholder on the priority list, generative AI is the new buzzword ranking in that slot. The top areas of interest for state CIOs are citizen services and experiences, cybersecurity, fraud prevention, and procurement. Around 60% of new generative AI projects at the state level are focusing on internal processes rather than externally facing services, which may help to keep guardrails until the technology becomes more familiar and better understood.
And a few other cultural shifts
In the face of the ongoing workforce shortage and challenge in finding new blood, 45% of state IT jobs are removing a four-year degree requirement, widening the candidate pool for these necessary roles — and hopefully getting them filled faster.
This shift comes as more and more states move more infrastructure to the cloud. With the struggle to maintain consistency in digital services across departments while maintaining compliance with federal guidelines, state IT workers have a few more complications standing in the way.
From Digital Front Door to No Wrong Door
In addition to migrating to the cloud, states want to improve citizen experience – but this poses a different challenge. With different agencies utilizing different CRMs, it will be a difficult task to automate parts of the citizen experience. If someone files for unemployment in one CRM system and SNAP benefits or housing assistance in another, that process can’t be automated unless those CRMs are connected and able to interact.
Despite the challenges in the way, states want to succeed in providing consistent levels of service across departments. Some states are moving away from the Digital Front Door model, where one page acts as the front door for every state service, and instead focusing more on integrating apps, or ensuring that there is no wrong way to access services, AKA ‘no wrong door’ to reach help.
What do dad jokes and state CIOs have in common?
Not all of NASCIO is about government — some of it is about terrible, groan-inducing dad jokes. But, regardless of how you feel about them, lame jokes do help build connections. Which, in the end, is what the annual NASCIO conference is all about.
If government exists to enable daily life, then NASCIO is an opportunity to explore how we can improve the technology and systems that enhance those connections. And connection was a major theme of the event — from speaker Annie Griffith, Photographer for the National Geographic, explaining her philosophy of not traveling with a dedicated interpreter so that she has to connect with others despite language barriers, or from the friendly (we think) pun-off and corny joke competition between Minnesota and Wisconsin CIOs Tarek Tomes and Trina Zanow during the Awards Ceremony.
Everything came back to connection. And those connections start with trust.