Driving Digital Acceleration: What State CIOs Learned in 2021


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to influence how states are approaching digital transformation. The 2021 State CIO Survey highlights some of the biggest challenges facing state governments and how CIOs are developing solutions. Digitization, both for internal and external processes and communication, is at the core of what CIOs have been working towards since the start of the pandemic—and now into 2022. According to the survey, “CIOs were very concerned about numerous workforce issues.” These issues include retirements, retention, and recruitment, and delivering scalable and secure work-from-home solutions.  

Work-from-home is here to stay 

When asked “what digital services and work practices instituted during the pandemic do you expect to retain?” 86% of CIOs responded, “Remote work as a regular, rather than occasional, occurrence.” 

A permanent shift to work-from-home and hybrid-models pose an assortment of technological challenges for state governments. This might be why, when asked about emerging technologies and “the most significant remote work technologies adopted during the pandemic,” 92% of CIOs responded, “Expanded use of collaboration platforms.” 

As CIOs collaborate with their Human Resources departments on recruitment and retention challenges, they will need to account for more than just how teams collaborate from a distance. While not specifically covered in the report, instituting a scalable and secure approach to training supports upskilling and reskilling goals.  

As more of your current employees begin to retire, their organizational knowledge has the potential to leave with them. Building a learning culture that captures the knowledge of your most experienced staff is one way to alleviate this gap. When adopting a learning management solution, ensure that it provides the flexibility to create training programs that are specific to your agency. Learning teams can work with more experienced staff to capture the knowledge vital to their role, reducing the loss of information.  

Tomorrow’s technology solutions 

As CIOs evaluate emerging technologies, there is one primary area that they state will be the most impactful over the next three to five years: low-code/no-code options (doesn’t require advanced computer coding skills to implement). The survey surmises that “this reflects the need to deliver point solutions rapidly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Between financial and employee resources, low-code/no-code technology options help streamline set-up and adoption. States are also shifting to more cloud-based applications, which many emerging technologies harness. When asked what matters most when adopting a cloud-based solution, 78% of CIOs said scalability/flexibility.  

Adopting a learning solution for today’s workforce 

Today’s CIOs hold the key to delivering learning solutions that positively contribute to the future of their organizations/agencies. At Blackboard, now part of Anthology, we provide a cloud-based learning solution that is secure, scalable, and flexible. Additionally, our collaboration platform goes beyond faces on screens. Groups can more effectively work together. Now is the time to adopt a learning solution for your constantly evolving workforce. Let’s chat today.