3 Actions Government CIOs Must Take For Digital Acceleration

December 02, 2021

Contributor: Manasi Sakpal

Shift from a crisis-response approach to an adaptive strategy to accelerate digital transformation.

Gartner forecasts global government IT spending budgets to increase 6% in 2022. However, despite more investment, overall digital maturity remains low for the majority of governments. 

“As an initial response to the global pandemic, government organizations across the world accelerated their transition to digital to meet demands and manage uncertainty,” said VP Analyst BIll Finnerty during a presentation at the virtual Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo™ 2021 conference. “The next step for these organizations is to adjust their pace of change to best meet the increasing demands of stakeholders.” 

Technology has become essential for remote working, distance learning, maintaining economies, tracking COVID-19 and keeping governments running. To step up to these challenges, government CIOs need to focus on three actions.

The graphic describes three actions for government CIOs to accelerate their digital initiatives

1. Adapt your approach to strategy

An adaptive approach to long-term strategy is more fitting for a world in which business models experience frequent and radical transformation. Surprisingly, according to the 2022 Gartner CIO and Technology Survey, 75% of government CIOs do not practice adaptive strategy.

A truly adaptive strategy approach is co-designed to move the organization from a rigid, top-down, calendar-based process to a more adaptive, event-driven approach. 

“Adaptive strategy can help mitigate risks. It can help create quick remediation plans, in case another global-pandemic-like situation were to hit the world,” said Finnerty. 

For government CIOs, it is crucial to map the need for an adaptive strategy based on the maturity of the digital environment.

If you are new to digital transformation... assess if an adaptive strategy is a good idea. Next, pilot a single strategic element before placing all of your investments in a fully adaptive strategy. 

If you are part of a maturing organization... establish a framework to guide the use of adaptive strategy practices.

If you are part of an experienced organization... work with business leaders to update the operating model to realize the full value of adaptive strategic planning. 

Download now: Government CIOs Must Resist Transformation Hype and Focus on Digital Optimization

2. Integrate data effectively

Traditionally, responsibility for data integration rested with a single integration team within the greater IT team. They reported to the software engineer leader and were responsible for all tasks related to data integration for all types of data.

However, modern IT systems require a much broader approach to data integration. Responsibility is distributed among integration specialists, software engineers, IT administrators and business technologists

If you are new to digital transformation... engage program areas and development teams to identify data integration needs and develop integrator personas for the various types of integrators across the enterprise.

If you are part of a maturing organization... establish a current and future state capabilities model for data integration, perform a gap analysis on data integration and implement an enterprise hybrid integration platform. 

If you are part of an experienced organization... establish scope and guidelines for use of data integration capabilities to empower integration specialists throughout the organization by creating an integration community of practice. 

3. Scale proven enablers

By elevating institutional knowledge and tying their use to program outcomes, you can scale proven practices to enable digital transformation.

Voice of the customer (VoC), life-event mapping and human-centric design have been effective across a wide spectrum of government organizations. For example, a beneficiary-centric mobile application can encourage users to input data faster and more conveniently into the system, resulting in better user experience.  

If you are new to digital transformation... begin by implementing a human-centric design to establish a baseline training for all its employees.

If you are part of a maturing organization... use VoC feedback to understand the efficiency of the digital initiative.

If you are part of an experienced organization... establish continuous service improvement by developing a framework for troubleshooting services based on experience data.

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