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Workforce issues abound across IT, NASCIO's annual survey finds

State IT leaders are increasingly concerned about the future of government technology workforces, a trend fueled by ongoing interest in hybrid schedules and telework, rising turnover across the public sector and whether government service can be made appealing to young people, according to the annual survey NASCIO released as its members gathered in Louisville, Kentucky. In a questionnaire that included CIOs’ thoughts on modernization, digital services, data privacy, broadband and government business models, the workforce concerns were evident across the board, said NASCIO Executive Director Doug Robinson. “Workforce issues, people issues, talent management issues were all embedded in all of those,” he said. Benjamin Freed reports.

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CISOs rise, but see talent challenges of their own

NASCIO's biennial survey of state CISOs found similar workforce challenges in public-sector cybersecurity, even as CISOs have made gains as government business leaders. With states facing a growing threat landscape, as well as more requests for help from local governments and other institutions, overall staffing has remained level since 2020 as states struggle to compete with the federal government and private sector for new talent. “The workforce issue has really reached a crisis level with cybersecurity workforce in state government,” said Meredith Ward, NASCIO’s director of policy and research and a co-author of the survey. Ben has more.

Awareness a challenge for CIOs pursuing ‘whole-of-state’ cyber

As more states open their cybersecurity initiatives and other IT services to local governments, tribal nations and educational institutions, advertising those services is emerging as a top challenge, NASCIO speakers said in Louisville yesterday. “We have various pillars of responsibilities, and we know it takes the entire state to help all activities we’re doing,” Wisconsin CIO Trina Zanow said of her program that includes heightened communication with federal agencies, local governments and K-12 school districts. Colin Wood has the story.

How not to tick off a state CIO

As much as state CIOs work to maintain good relations with their vendor partners, they have their breaking points too, several NASCIO members said during panel discussions yesterday. When asked what vendors can do to "incur the wrath of the state CIO," the tech leaders did not hold back. One of the most common bugaboos was vendors who don’t familiarize themselves with a state’s needs before pitching the CIO, as Arizona’s J.R. Sloan said. “Before you reach out, check the strategic plan,” he said. “Talk to the agency director, 85% of them have public strategic plans.” Ben has details.


WATCH: Pennsylvania embracing a geo-diverse network core

Jason Hebbe, CTO for Pennsylvania, shares his insights on how the state modernizes its network, including embracing a geo-diverse network core. He says deploying this was a “huge initiative for us to have in our network capabilities.” He explains how it allows for redundant connectivity as well as survivability. Hebbe also explores the state’s strategy for IT modernization efforts while having a continued focus on security, “security is paramount in everything we do from a network standpoint.” Hear more from Hebbe.

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