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State CIOs: Focus on the Cloud and Using Data

It often takes crisis to illuminate trends and challenges that are already shaping the market. The pandemic accelerated government innovation and is likely to have lasting effect, including the reimagining of how public services are accessed in a more equitable, efficient, and cost-effective manner. Many government services have moved online, such as the written portion of driving tests, court hearings, filing bills electronically in congress. While first done as emergency response, many digital processes and a hybrid work model have a good chance of sticking around. For example, United States Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen W. “Seve” Wilson said one third of its workforce will continue working remotely.

The pandemic has accelerated response to challenges by many organizations, but as we look to the other side of the pandemic, the need to address these issues will remain. From where and how work gets done, to interaction with the public, government has changed. With this change comes the importance of prioritizing the cloud and data analytics. As we come to the halfway point in 2021 and look beyond, NASCIO has identified the top trends government CIOs are focusing on for organizational success. The trends include prioritizing cloud solutions and services, as well as data management and analytics.

Changing the user experience to meet expectations with cloud.

Our professional experience tells us that younger generations’ expectation for government interaction includes more digital and mobile friendly options, similar to user expectations in the private sector. Investing in cloud technology delivers on the expectation of consumer-grade experiences and is more cost-effective when compared with on-premise systems. On-premise systems are expensive to maintain, lack modern functionality and often operate in silos, limiting visibility for reporting and follow up action. Government agencies can better predict their budgets, reduce extra expenditures associated with technology, and even be digitally safer and more secure, as cloud enhances cybersecurity and better facilitates compliance with federal security standards.

Moving to the cloud is a major change, and no matter how beneficial it might be, it’s still a risk. Implementing organizational change management best practices like strong leadership involvement, adequate trainings, and helping people understand why the change is happening and how it benefits them is important for government organizations as they embark on digital transformation to the cloud.

Improving the citizen experience with government transparency through data.

COVID-19 has made data an integral part of our lives. From watching cases rise, to now searching for vaccine data, governments across the US and around the world have used data to increase transparency with citizens and make decisions rooted in real-time trends. The State of Ohio has been a leader in using data to create dashboards that are accessible to the public and easy to use. The state’s dashboards, having been viewed millions of times, and live on a central hub for citizens to find answers, test sites, and vaccine providers.

Using data in government is paramount for transparency. It provides leaders with the ability to make fact-based decisions, and it helps work get done faster. Having a strong data governance and data culture allowed the State of Ohio to quickly pull data from multiple sources and have a 360-degree view of the virus’ impact on hospitals, schools, local businesses, the community, and more.

Avaap is now listed on the NCPA (National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance) contract, with services available for purchase by SLED (State, Local, Education) agencies in all 50 states. NCPA uses state of the art procurement resources and solutions that result in cooperative purchasing contracts that ensure all public agencies receive products and services of the highest quality at the lowest prices.