What Ought to We Anticipate for State and Native Authorities IT Priorities in 2024?

As we wrap up 2023, it’s a nice time to replicate on the present state of expertise in state and native governments and look forward to the priorities for the approaching 12 months. As we enter 2024, we’re seeing IT leaders in authorities crystalizing their efforts in 4 key areas:

  • cybersecurity
  • digital companies
  • synthetic intelligence (AI)
  • and modernizing transportation infrastructure.

Cybersecurity continues to be prime tech precedence

Sustaining the safety of networks and the info they carry continues to be the first concern of prime authorities officers and has been for the final 10 years, in line with NASCIO’s annual survey of State CIOs. As the quantity and impression of malware and breaches proceed to rise, states are evolving their safety capabilities and specializing in cyber-resilience to shortly react and recuperate from safety incidents.

Most states are additionally leveraging Federal Infrastructure and Funding Jobs Act (IIJA) grants to enhance the safety posture of their native authorities and colleges, which might add the duty for State CIOs and CISOs to coordinate whole-of-state safety plans. This heightened coordination and data sharing (plus typically useful resource sharing) is required most within the smallest and under-resourced cities, counties, and colleges.

States have performed assessments to establish the capabilities and wishes of their native governments and colleges. They’re targeted on addressing elementary wants equivalent to coaching, endpoint protections, e-mail safety, and multi-factor authentication.

Whereas approaches differ by state, everyone seems to be specializing in making certain the sustainability of their method past the IIJA funding window. States are additionally establishing facilities of excellence, fusion facilities and cyber ranges, usually in partnership with native Universities or state community suppliers. These partnerships are delivering elementary cybersecurity schooling, main table-top workouts to raised put together for breaches, and in some circumstances creating regional safety operations facilities (SOCs) to offer safety monitoring companies for native governments and colleges within the area.

Whereas many States require native governments and colleges to inform the State of safety breaches, a number of have a long-term objective of sharing real-time safety telemetry to create a extra full image of threats and unhealthy actors throughout their State.

Delivering digital authorities companies nonetheless of excessive significance

Serving residents sooner and at a decrease value by deploying safe and dependable digital authorities companies additionally stays a prime precedence in state and native authorities. From on-line tax funds to digital renewals of licenses and permits, digital companies accessible from cell units have gotten the norm.

States and cities are consolidating portals to current a single face of presidency, with a single resident identifier and login for all companies. This represents an intentional shift from agency-centric to resident-centric service supply and may considerably decrease the barrier for residents to establish the companies they want and meet {qualifications} for.

Cities are additionally leveraging video expertise to attach residents in want with authorities employees instantly, permitting them to get well timed and private service with out the scheduling and journey to a authorities workplace. The Metropolis of El Paso, Texas El Paso Helps initiative is a main instance of this shift.

States creating coverage guardrails for applicable use of AI

Simply over a 12 months after the general public launch of ChatGPT, Generative AI has taken heart stage within the expertise dialog (see what Cisco is doing with Generative AI). State CISOs are main the coverage creation for correct use of AI, and requiring registration of AI capabilities in all authorities techniques and business functions utilized by companies to make sure they comply with the principles for applicable use.

As Generative AI expertise quickly advances, the definitions of correct use will must be adjusted. AI is broadly seen as a instrument to reinforce people in conducting their work, not as a instrument to make selections. With persistent workforce shortages throughout authorities companies, authorities companies are inquisitive about applied sciences like AI-powered chatbots to proceed to satisfy the wants of residents with their decreased workforce — particularly in crucial companies that usually expertise spikes in demand (equivalent to unemployment service originally of the COVID-19 pandemic).

States have more and more created the place of chief knowledge officer and chief privateness officer to make sure the privateness of resident knowledge as it’s managed inside and between companies. By harnessing the ability of information, states can achieve helpful insights into resident wants, monitor developments, and inform policymaking. This evidence-based method can result in simpler and environment friendly public companies in crucial areas that contact a number of companies like homelessness or opioid abuse.

States and cities are additionally targeted on modernizing transportation infrastructure

Departments of Transportation (DoTs) are connecting site visitors lights and including cameras to maneuver site visitors extra effectively. They’re additionally utilizing these applied sciences to preempt stoplights, permitting ambulances and different first responders to achieve folks in want sooner whereas responding higher to accidents and street situations (be taught extra).

Transit authorities are upgrading cost techniques, delivering free and simply accessible safe WiFi to passengers, bettering end-to-end journey administration, and including digital signage to advertise occasions and group assets.

Transportation companies even have important knowledge about historic ridership to enhance effectivity and make data-driven selections about routes primarily based on time, climate, or occasions. Given the attain of transportation and metropolis belongings equivalent to streetlights, initiatives like these can usually be the beginning of a broader sensible metropolis technique that expands into public security and digital fairness.

The continued push for IT modernization continues in 2024

As we mentioned, cybersecurity stays the highest concern for presidency leaders. However their emphasis on cloud companies, digital authorities, knowledge administration, and analytics underscores a dedication to broader digital transformation. 2024 will see state and native governments proceed to modernize infrastructure. The main focus will likely be on simplification and automation, partly as a result of persistent IT and cyber expertise shortages, but in addition as a result of want for improved flexibility and responsiveness to company wants. 2024 ought to be a 12 months of transition from coverage creation round Generative AI to lively use inside the accredited coverage frameworks.

As expertise and resident expectations evolve quickly, authorities IT leaders proceed to paved the way. We stay up for seeing new priorities and alternatives emerge within the new 12 months.

Study extra: state and native authorities priorities 2024





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