Security, innovation and mobility top government IT priorities, new study finds

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IT security, modernization and innovation, and cloud computing and mobility are the top IT priorities for government IT, according to a new report to be released tomorrow by TechAmerica and CompTIA. This is the 24th annual federal CIO survey conducted by the association.

In its new report, "CIO/CISO Insights: Achieving Results and Confronting Obstacles," conducted in collaboration with Grant Thornton, the association finds that CIOs in government agencies are making great strides in all of the above areas, but face a number of challenges with regard to staffing and internal policies.

"The hardworking and dedicated CIOs and CISOs face unprecedented change in their agencies and their field," notes Mike Hettinger, senior vice president of the public sector at TechAmerica, in an email to FierceCIO. "This report shows that they are working diligently to take advantage of new technologies to improve services for the federal workforce, while at the same time being mindful of budget constraints. Within this framework, they also are endeavoring to enhance IT security and lower risk."

The report highlights how federal IT executives are adopting new technologies to empower their workforces, but in the face of growing challenges, says Srikant Sastry, managing principal of Grant Thornton's Global Public Sector.

"Despite obstacles like sequestration and shutdown, as well as an ever-evolving security threat, CIOs and CISOs are driving innovation in the cloud and mobile devices, in developing collaboration environments, and in security," Sastry says. "A huge part of this innovation is in ensuring that their workforce is properly equipped with modern tools, technologies, skills and policies to engage and fulfill their agency's mission."

The full report will be made public on Thursday, but TechAmerica shared highlights with FierceCIO.

"While there is much work to do in these areas, CIOs are making headway moving to continuous monitoring for cyber, using agile techniques to simplify IT modernization and "walking not running" toward cloud and mobile," the report concludes.

"Top challenges include workforce, cyber security and budget. While CIOs have a dedicated workforce, they still continually face the need to navigate through the impacts of budget cuts on hiring, skills gaps and workload imbalances on performance. The internal and external cyber threats facing CIOs continue to grow.

"Finally, CIOs survived the shutdown, but still feel as if too much of the limited IT dollars go to fund operations and maintenance, and IT infrastructure, as opposed to development, modernization and enhancement," the report says.

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