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Government IT ‘will require new roles’ by 2023


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Major IT analyst company Gartner has predicted that by 2023 half the roles that government chief information officers will oversee do not exist in government IT today.

It is one of the projections to emerge from the Gartner CIO survey carried out last year, which included responses from 528 government chief information officers worldwide.

The company said that in future government IT will involve more diversification, with public sector agencies having to pay close attention to factors such as inclusion, citizen experience and digital ethics. These fields will require new types of skillsets and require roles such as researchers, designers and social scientists.

Cathleen Blanton, research vice president at Gartner, said: “Government CIOs must employ experts to model and explain how citizens and businesses will need to respond to regulations and policies, and what impact that will have on society, the economy and government revenues.”

New roles will also be needed in supporting the introduction of emerging technologies such as AI and the internet of things. These will include machine trainers, conversational specialists and automation experts, gradually replacing the specialists in legacy technologies.

Blanton said: “The move to digital business means that the IT organisation needs to adapt to new skills requirements.

“In many governments, roles of chief data officers and cloud architects are already present. However, it is worth noting that 38% of government respondents did not introduce any new roles in 2018 due to insufficient resources, skills and cultural issues.”

Design to delivery

A key underlying trend has been that many digital initiatives in government have moved from the design stage to the delivery of outcomes: the proportion has risen from 40% last year to 53%. Additionally, 39% of respondents expected cloud services to account for the largest proportion of their spending over 2019.

Another has been the increase in cloud based as-a-service models, which Gartner predicted will account for over 80% of new technology solutions in government by 2023. This provides an alternative to modernising legacy infrastructure and can support the scaling up of digital government; although it can also lead business units to look for and procure solutions without the involvement of IT teams.

Alia Mendonsa, senior director analyst at Gartner, warned that this will create risks.

“CIOs must educate business units about the risks associated with this type of contracting and need to take an active role in negotiating these contracts wherever possible,” she said.

Image by K. D. Schroeder, CC BY-SA 4.0

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