Government CIOs face digital road block due to legacy technologies

Government CIOs are facing huge challenges to digitize their organizations due to the presence of legacy technologies, said Gartner.

The 2015 CIO Agenda surveyed over 2,800 CIOs on their top  digital business opportunities, threats and strategies and includes responses from 343 government CIOs.

“Government CIOs must flip their approach to managing IT from the inside-out perspective of legacy constraints to the outside-in view of citizen experience,” said Rick Howard, research director at Gartner.

Digital is the top five technology priorities for government CIOs in 2015.

On the other hand, securing the funds to invest in legacy modernization may be a stretch, especially for those at the federal or national level.

Nearly 30 percent of federal and national CIOs are dealing with decreasing IT budgets. This compares with 15 percent of state, local and regional (SLR) government CIOs who have the same challenge.


27 percent of the SLR government CIOs surveyed in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region indicate their IT budgets are declining, whereas only 9 percent of the SLR government CIOs in North America report the same. Declining IT budgets appears to be particularly acute in all tiers in the Asia Pacific region.

“By shifting the management and provisioning of infrastructure to centralised government shared-service entities or to viable commercial vendors, government CIOs can lead by example and update IT management techniques to adopt the design-for-change mindset that is essential in the digital age,” said Howard.

Gartner said government agencies are more comfortable with cloud solutions based within their regional or national borders for reasons of subscription pricing and increased business agility. Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom are all aggressively pushing forward with supporting cloud-first strategies.

Howard suggests that government CIOs should begin with the assumption that public cloud is the preferred deployment option and then, if necessary, work back from public cloud to the cloud, co-location or on-premises option that provides the best fit for their business environment.

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