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As technology becomes more complex, so does the role of IT. Check out three key ways that IT teams' roles are changing and how it affects local government.

According to a recent survey of chief information officers (CIOs), 90 percent of respondents feel that their job is becoming more difficult. While the position of CIO was initially created to manage the implementation of useful technology to support operations, that role is quickly changing and becoming more complex. The role of CIO is shifting to be more strategic and concentrated on aligning technology infrastructure with the business objectives of the organization.

The role of IT in government has changed as a result of three major factors:

  1. Increased SaaS adoption
  2. More cybersecurity threats
  3. Evolving userbase

1. Increased SaaS Adoption

One of the great benefits of SaaS software is its ease of use and fast implementation – but that also reduces the role that IT traditionally plays. Historically, the CIO has frequently ended up as the chief “infrastructure” officer, where they spend the majority of their time maintaining the basic technology infrastructure. Much of their attention was focused on upgrading operating systems and setting up cumbersome client software rather than directing the strategy behind the organization’s information technology and data gathering in order to drive growth and efficiency.

Now, SaaS solutions aren't hosted by organizations anymore, and it also reduces the amount of in-house maintenance that's required. This frees up IT's time to focus on more strategic endeavors – like cybersecurity framework.

2. More Cybersecurity Threats

More technology in the workplace means more vulnerabilities. The recent ransomware attacks have made us all take a closer look at how we protect our data, and IT has a significant role to play in how we design these security systems. This new strategic role elevates teams' position in their organizations as more technology is being relied upon for daily operations. From employee records with sensitive information (such as Social Security numbers, banking information, etc.) to confidential organizational data, keeping our networks secure has never been more important.

3. Evolving User Base

Because of all the technology currently available on the end-user market, employees and their employers are more tech-savvy than ever. Whereas software used to be difficult to use and devices were complex, user-friendly applications and assets are commonplace. This also means that users have a higher expectation for the technology they use on a daily basis.

At the same time, citizens are beginning to want, and even expect, assets such as mobile apps to request maintenance on public areas or to get the most up to date info on their local government. It all ties back to an increasingly important role for IT to play that, in many ways, is a double-edged sword. While there’s more technology in the workplace and in the hands of the public, the way that IT relates to these infrastructures is much more strategic and focused on the bigger picture rather than just day-to-day use.

A New Horizon

Many government CIOs recognize that they have an important strategic role to play in their organization, and, with many governments moving to more cloud software applications, they can be freed up to become the strategic information leaders in their organization. They can shift their focus to anticipating technology trends in the market and improving the quality of information gathered. Better data enables government leaders to make more informed decisions, which positively impacts our communities. This is an exciting time for those in IT, and this important transformation is shaping a new future for CIOs.

[WP THUMBNAIL] Learn more about the changing role of IT and how you can adopt best practices in our whitepaper, "The Top 5 Behaviors of Successful IT Departments." To find the resources you need to optimize your government IT processes, schedule a demo today!

Top Five Behaviors of Successful IT Departments

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