State CIO 2017 Priorities: Why Visibility And Control Are Key

Scott Rubin Posted on 10.09.17 — by Scott Rubin

State governments are clearly looking for ways to more efficiently serve their citizens while keeping their data and the services they rely on secure. Gaining complete visibility and control over every asset on their network is foundational for state CIOs to meet these goals.

NASCIO state CIO priorities

Image: Gordon Johnson / Pixabay

With last week’s National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO) Summit a wrap, it’s a great time to revisit the organization’s survey on state CIOs’ top 10 policy and technology priorities for 2017. States have made significant progress working toward these goals this year, but of course, there’s more we can do. To continue this progress, states should look at two strategies that are foundational to meeting nearly every state CIO priority—visibility over every endpoint on their network, and the ability to quickly control those endpoints.

For now, let’s zoom in on three of the top priorities where visibility and control can help: security and risk management, consolidation/optimization, and legacy IT modernization.

  1. Security and risk management. To be secure, state governments must know what they are securing. To manage their risk, states need to understand their risk. These goals are impossible without knowing every endpoint on their network at all times. Even as networks expand to massive numbers of endpoints, states must still retain this same level of comprehensive visibility. They also need the ability to execute changes across those endpoints at scale. This could mean deploying millions of patches in hours without affecting the server’s bandwidth, or scanning hundreds of thousands of endpoints for indicators of compromise in minutes, and automatically remediating any instances.
  2. Consolidation/optimization. Centralizing and consolidating “scattered” information technology, data centers, and services has been a central trend among states—and with good reason. States can save significant money and improve security with a centralized approach. But to effectively consolidate their IT, states need to know what IT they’re starting with. For instance, by knowing how many software licenses they have for a particular product, and how much each license is (or is not) being used, state CIOs can make informed decisions on consolidating those contracts.
  3. Legacy modernization. Many state governments have found themselves stuck with legacy technologies, many of which are no longer supported or cannot be patched. Fortunately, the tide is starting to change, and states are looking to renovate or replace their legacy platforms and applications. This is a positive step, and critical to improving security and efficiency. But, just as with consolidation, states need an accurate, complete baseline of what technology is on their network before they start making costly decisions on what to upgrade. Having a live inventory and utilization data of every endpoint on a network helps CIOs make significantly more informed and cost-effective IT modernization decisions.

State governments are clearly looking for ways to more efficiently serve their citizens while keeping their data and the services they rely on secure. The priorities they laid out reflect that. Meanwhile, taxpayers want their dollars to be used cost effectively. Gaining complete visibility and control over every asset on their network is foundational for state CIOs to meet both these goals.

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