Academic journal article The Government Accountants Journal

ITAA Releases Revealing Survey of Federal Chief Information Officers: Beyond 2000: Reality or Mirage?

Academic journal article The Government Accountants Journal

ITAA Releases Revealing Survey of Federal Chief Information Officers: Beyond 2000: Reality or Mirage?

Article excerpt

Arlington, VA-Earlier this year, the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) released its Ninth Annual Survey of federal government chief information officers (CIOs), Beyond 2000: Reality or Mirage? The survey examines perceptions and trends in the federal IT marketplace and the results indicate that the Y2K remediation effort is still the number one issue haunting/capturing the attention of CIOs, with the IT work force shortage crisis ranking a close second. Additionally, CIOs' gradually maturing positions within their respective agencies are allowing them to tackle new growth areas such as electronic commerce and critical infrastructure protection.

The survey is a qualitative analysis based on in-depth personal interviews conducted with 25 information resource management (IRM) officials, including CIOs, deputy CIOs and IRM directors, representing 19 federal agencies. ITAA's member company personnel, working in teams, conducted the interviews at department offices throughout Washington, D.C. For the full report, visit www.itaa.org.

The 1998 CIO Survey marks a shift in the types of concerns facing federal agency IRM officials. The Y2K problem, while creating an immense shadow over the resources and budget of each of the chief information officers, has had the positive effect of enhanced visibility for IT and the CIOs. There was near unanimity in the view that CIOs are becoming key strategic players within their agencies, with greatest leverage enjoyed by those who have control over IT budgets, or capital planning for IT investments.

Cautiously optimistic about Y2K, CIOs describe an additional burden resulting from the bug-a pent-up demand to tackle other IT initiatives. They are looking ahead to quickly shift resources and personnel, while managing expectations once Y2K is safely behind them. As one CIO summed it up, "Y2K is a black hole sucking up resources."

Paul Wohlleben, director of information technology consulting for Grant Thornton LLP, believes the survey is on target. "It's clear from the survey results that while Y2K is getting the most attention from CIOs these days, theyand the senior program leadership in agencies-have a long list of needs that requires the use of IT to improve mission performance. …

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