Achieving Results and Confronting Obstacles: “TechAmerica has conducted an annual Federal government Chief Information Officer (CIO) survey for 24 years, with the support of Grant Thornton LLP. In 2014, 59 information technology (IT) leaders participated in the survey, including CIOs of major federal departments and staff from OMB and Capitol Hill. Professionals from TechAmerica member firms conducted the interviews. The 24th report of Federal CIOs occurred in a year of many challenges. The CIO community endured the effects of a bitterly divided Congress that resulted in sequestration and a government shutdown, along with unprecedented leadership turnover of Federal CIOs and a major IT implementation failure, Healthcare.gov. It is against this backdrop that we sought insight from CIOs on how they are providing innovative technology solutions to their customers. This dedicated cadre of technology professionals is working diligently to improve how government uses technology to deliver services to its constituents. Many Federal leaders are doing just that and coming up with creative ways to navigate through what seem to be perpetual challenges: security, funding, and workforce. We organized this year’s survey around an analysis of the top priorities and challenges facing CIOs followed by a series of questions related to the four priorities in the President’s FY14 IT budget – innovating for the American people; delivering to improve the return on investment in Federal IT; protection to advance our nation’s cyber security; and analyzing data to make business decisions that achieve results. Top priorities for CIOs include: improving cyber security, modernizing/transforming IT operations, migrating to the cloud and maturing mobility. While there is much work to do in these areas, CIOs are making headway moving to continuous monitoring for cyber, using agile techniques to simplify IT modernization and “walking not running” toward cloud and mobile. Top challenges include workforce, cyber security and budget. While CIOs have a dedicated workforce, they still continually face the need to navigate through the impacts of budget cuts on hiring, skills gaps and workload imbalances on performance. The internal and external cyber threats facing CIOs continue to grow. Finally, CIOs survived the shutdown, but still feel as if too much of the limited IT dollars go to fund operations and maintenance, and IT infrastructure, as opposed to development, modernization and enhancement.”
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