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Why Your City Should Consider Hiring A Chief Information Officer

By Jessie Kwak

It’s an exciting time for city governments.

Digital innovations are transforming the way governments work and how they’re able to serve their constituents. These innovations have paved the way for a new role in government. It is a role typically seen in startups and technology companies.

It's a Chief Information Officer, also known as a CIO, whose role is to provide direction and oversight on technology policy and help take a broader view than an IT director or systems administrator might. The CIO help shapes technology initiatives at the city level, both as infrastructure and as a service to constituents.

Is it time for your city to hire one?

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What’s the role of a CIO?

The CIO addresses how information and technology shapes your government's goals and strategies. They are a trusted member of the leadership team whose objective is to build an organization that leverages data and technology to solve problems and improve efficiencies.


A CIO brings stability to your IT department

Many governments have increased their interest and investment in technology. They will invest in infrastructure, hardware and software without a concrete, defined organizational plan. This leaves many governments with a mishmash of technologies.

This is inefficient for employees and constituents. When data and workflow isn't unified, it may actually create problems. The CIO is the linchpin to defining and executing a centralized and unified strategy.


A CIO brings strategic planning to your technology decisions

CIO that oversees a technology plan will ensure that your government is maximizing its potential to address its short-term priorities and long-term objectives. Forward thinking enables your government to be proactive about its technology investments. These strategic decisions will impact your government in the long run. A CIO will look beyond solving current issues to define a plan that will address tomorrow's problems.


A CIO brings a sense of mission to your technology solutions

Public-sector CIOs want make a difference in their community by solving problems using innovation and technology. This innovation includes using big-data analytics to improve the delivery of constituent services. Also, a CIO would focus on moving software from local servers to the cloud and streamlining workflows. This helps departments communication better while making employees more productive.

A government's IT department doesn't just help other departments work towards their goals. It can be a powerful resource that drives efficiency for the entire government.

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What to look for when hiring a CIO

A CIO is a new position in Government. Few governments know what to look for when hiring a Chief Information Officer.

The role of a CIO can vary. It's crucial to assess your government's individual needs. Do you need someone just to oversee the IT department and internal infrastructure? Are you looking for a candidate who is also able to take on constituent-facing services and aspects of research and development?

A strong candidate will possess technical capabilities coupled with analytical skills. They will need to have demonstrable experience executing a technology plan that reflects organizational vision.

A strong CIO has leadership and managerial skills, as well as the the ability to navigate public-sector specific issues. They will need to be able to articulate your government's vision to its constituents. Garnering public-support is critical for progressing the plan.

Most importantly, your CIO needs to be someone who is able to balance the needs of all the stakeholders and address both current and future goals and objectives.

Tags: Government Efficiency