Data Analytics and cybersecurity are now at the top spot for technology investment by government CIOs in 2019, according to a survey from Gartner, Inc., confirming that AI and Data Analytics will be the game changers for governments in 2019.

Gartner’s 2019 CIO Agenda Survey gathered data from 3,102 CIOs in 89 countries, across major industries, including 528 government CIOs, seem to have sent a clear signal to the industry- that governments are slowly but surely advancing in digital maturity.

Rick Howard, VP analyst at Gartner said, ”Taking advantage of data is at the heart of digital government — it’s the central asset to all that government oversees and provides. The ability to leverage that data strategically in real time will significantly improve the government’s ability to seamlessly deliver services, despite the increased strain on finite resources.”

The survey has found that digital initiatives have been prioritized by 18% of all government CIOs, but this compares poorly with enterprise- 23%. The sector is clearly inching towards designing and delivering digital services and thus achieving comparable maturity to other industries overall. 29 % of government CIOs plan to scale and refine their digital initiatives, and this number is up 15% from 2018. However, it is still behind other industries- where this activity is being undertaken by 33% CIOs.  Given their plans, only 17 percent of government CIOs plan to increase their investment in digital business initiatives, compared with 34 percent of CIOs in other industries. The reason does not seem to be the vision, 45% of these CIOs say their challenge is the lack of IT and business resources.

Here are the game-changing technologies as deduced from the survey:

  • Artificial intelligence/machine learning – 27%
  • Data analytics-22%
  • Cloud-19%
  • Internet of Things-7%
  • Mobile (including 5G)-6%
  • Business intelligence-6%
  • Digital transformation-6%
  • Blockchain-5%
  • Automation-3%
  • Customer relationship management-2%

Source: Gartner (January 2019)

Among the government CIOs, 10% claim to have already deployed an AI solution. 39 % intend to deploy in the next one to two years, and an additional 36 % intend to within the next two to three years. In 2019, government CIOs will have some increased investment in technology, and 43% say this increase will go in BI and data analytics, security will be an investment priority for 43% respondents and 39% are considering higher investments in cloud solutions.  The fact that security is garnering so much priority means the government recognizes its role as the steward of public data with secure transactions now table stakes for governments in a digital world.