The annual State CIO Survey by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) for 2016 found that the number of states outsourcing their IT applications and services has increased—with two-thirds of states outsourcing at least some IT infrastructure operations and almost two-thirds using a managed services model for some or all IT operations. The survey also found that state CIOs reported an interest in reducing state owned and operated data centers and expanding the use of IT shared services and managed services in the future.

Key trends and issues from the survey include the following:

Cybersecurity. The survey stated that 71% of respondents have developed a cybersecurity disruption response plan—up from 52% of respondents in 2015. Further, 94% of respondents reported that they have adopted a cybersecurity framework based on national standards and guidelines, compared to 80% of respondents in 2015. The survey found that state CIOs are hoping to expand the number, skills, and scope of responsibilities of IT professionals within state government. Further, with respect to data protection, 65% of respondents reported that recent cyberattacks have influenced their approach to overseeing privacy issues. Looking to future changes, respondents stressed the need for both dedicated privacy professionals within the state government and statewide privacy frameworks to streamline privacy laws.

Consolidation. The survey shows a continuing effort to centralize and consolidate services, operations, resources, infrastructure, data centers, and communications—with 50% of states reporting that they have not yet completed their efforts to consolidate state technology infrastructure and applications.

Cloud Services. CIOs responding to the survey reported that over 70% have formal, informal, or developing “cloud first” strategies that will push applications and systems to the cloud. Moreover, driven by the cost, security, efficiency, and flexibility of the cloud environment, three-quarters of the CIO respondents indicated that they have developed or are developing cloud strategies to migrate legacy systems to the cloud.

NASCIO also recently released a list of the top ten priorities of state CIOs for 2017, which builds on the trends highlighted by the 2016 State CIO Survey. For the third consecutive year, security was the number one priority of state CIOs.