Cloud services and digital government gain ground on NASCIO’s 2018 priorities list

State chief information officers still value cybersecurity, but citizen-facing services are getting more attention than ever.

Cloud services and digital government are becoming increasingly important to state chief information officers, according to new data released by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) on Wednesday.

Each year NASCIO releases a top 10 priority list for state CIOs that is based on survey results and serves to drive the organization’s programming and assistance to the state government IT community. While security predictably tops the list in 2018 for the fifth consecutive year, the association reports that cloud services — ranked second — was beat out by a much smaller margin than in years past. 

Digital government, defined by NASCIO as a collection of tools including chatbots, artificial intelligence, identity management, and customer-improvement portals, was highlighted prominently this year in the association’s annual State CIO Survey, and appears now on the priority list for the first time at the fourth position.

NASCIO Executive Director Doug Robinson said in a press statement that the high response rate for digital government is “indicative of states’ efforts to focus on citizen services using digital platforms and integration.” Indeed, the phrase “citizen-centric” has become an increasingly common phrase in the state and local government IT realm. Both Florida and Kansas state governments announced launches this month of new websites and apps designed to provide residents with simplified and personalized online experiences.


The prominence of the cloud as a priority for state CIOs is expected after survey results released earlier this year showing that more than 50 percent of CIOs said they are planning to move to the cloud within the next two to three years.

Shared services makes a return to the list in the sixth slot after being pushed off the list for the past three years, while agile software development holds on in the tenth spot, making its third consecutive annual appearance. An agile survey released by NASCIO earlier this year shows that iterative development is helping state government avoid waste and improve project quality.

Along with its list of top priorities, NASCIO also ranks its top 10 technologies, applications and tools, which is topped by cloud solutions, followed by legacy modernization and renovation, and security enhancement tools. The full lists can be downloaded freely from NASCIO’s website.

Here are NASCIO’s Top 10 Priorities for State CIOs in 2018:

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