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Are Government CIOs Becoming Too Complacent?

by Andrea Di Maio  |  March 6, 2012  |  3 Comments

Today I had the pleasure of animating a workshop as part of Gartner European Forum in London. The title of the workshop was “Government CIOs on a Tight Rope” and we discussed two of Gartner’s recent predictions:

  • By 2013, financial sustainability will join cost containment as the top driver and constraint for government IT spending.
  • By 2014, more than 50% of IT spending will be decided outside of IT departments in at least 30% of government organizations.

These predictions indicate that the drivers for IT will change as a consequence of budget cuts, uncertainty and turbulence, and that the business as well as individual users will take a good portion of their IT future in their own hands.

Some of the attendees challenges both prediction, saying that the first one sounds almost as “business as usual”, and that the second one suggests a level of loss of control that does not match their experience.

Some explained the way they align and partner with the business, and suggested that the governance processes they have in place are sufficient to make a safe determination between what needs to stay under the control of the IT department (e.g. the network and anything running on it) and what can be left to business units to decide (e.g. loosely coupled applications).

Of course I wish them the best, but numbers and anecdotal evidence from client inquiries tell a different story. Consumerization is progressing very fast and so does the availability of increasingly commotidized cloud services. From infrastructure to applications, the emergence of vendor offerings that comply with government security regulations, also as a consequence of initiatives like the government cloud store, will give the business an easier way to buy technology services independent of their IT department.

And for all those who think they are immune from anything like this as they control the whole IT budget, remember that one of the fastest growing area of cloud is business process as a service, where people do not even buy technology at all.

Category: cloud  europe-and-it  it-management  

Tags: cio  

Andrea Di Maio
Managing VP
15 years at Gartner
28 years IT industry

Andrea Di Maio is a managing vice president for public sector in Gartner Research, covering government and education. His personal research focus is on digital government strategies strategies, Web 2.0, open government, cloud computing, the business value of IT, smart cities, and the impact of technology on the future of government Read Full Bio


Thoughts on Are Government CIOs Becoming Too Complacent?


  1. If the business tries to contain the cost of technology without due regard to the information that the technology manages and processes, there is a danger that it will end up with cheap technology and a mess with its information.

    The cost and value of good information management is hard to identify, but the cost of technology stands out like a sore thumb. Business managers are likely to end up with systems that are not only sub-optimal but a major impediment to good business.

    They may end up reducing siloed technology but fragmenting and siloing business information.

  2. Chris Chant says:

    IMO on this one – spot on

  3. […] Are Government CIOs Becoming Too Complacent? (blogs.gartner.com) […]



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