Governments About to Face an IT Job Revolution

Government IT is about to change big, and government CIOs will have to rebuild their workforces for jobs that do not yet exist.

The conclusion comes from the recent Gartner CIO survey (paywall) that highlighted the transition occurring inside government IT.

According to the survey, 53% of digital initiatives in government organizations have moved from the design stage to the early stages of delivering digitally driven outcomes. It is up from 40% last year.

“The move to digital business means that the IT organization needs to adapt to new skills requirements,” said Cathleen Blanton, research vice president at Gartner.

“In many governments, roles of chief data officers and cloud architects are already present. However, it is worth noting that 38% of government respondents did not introduce any new roles in 2018 due to insufficient resources, skills and cultural issues.”

Additionally, 39% of governments expect cloud services to be a technology area where they will spend the highest amount of new or additional funding in 2019.

“These findings demonstrate that leadership has become more comfortable with cloud delivery models and has moved away from concerns regarding security and data ownership,” said Blanton.  

The research firm urged IT leaders to initiate a transformation process that results in new or changed roles. For example, as cloud services become more prevalent, the number of data center management roles will decline. Furthermore, the emergence of digital product management is changing how governments think about their services, and this will lead to the rise of digital teams internally to design and deliver products.

In the future, government IT will have more diversified tasks than today, Gartner noted. Public sector agencies will rely on government IT services to address inclusion, citizen experience and digital ethics. These fields require new types of skill sets, such as researchers, designers and social scientists. 

“Government CIOs must employ experts to model and explain how citizens and businesses will need to respond to regulations and policies, and what impact that will have on society, the economy and government revenues,” said Blanton. 

At the same time, government IT will need to assign new roles to support their digital transformation and introduce emerging technologies in diverse businesses and mission areas. As artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of things (IoT) technologies advance, machine trainers, conversational specialists and automation experts will slowly but certainly replace experts in legacy technologies.