Private sectore CIOs are spending more on digital initiatives than government ones: Gartner

Top-performing organisations in the private and public sectors globally are, on average, spending a greater proportion (33 per cent) of their IT budgets on digital initiatives than government CIOs, who are only spending 21 per cent, market research firm Gartner said on Wednesday.

According to the survey, looking forward to 2018, top organisations anticipate spending 43 per cent of their IT budgets on digitalisation, compared with 28 per cent for government CIOs.

"Government CIOs in 2017 have an urgent obligation to look beyond their own organisations and benchmark themselves against top-performing peers within the public sector and from other service industries," said Rick Howard, Research Vice President at Gartner.

The survey included the views of 2,598 CIOs from 93 countries, representing $9.4 trillion in revenue or public sector budgets and $292 billion in IT spending, including 377 government CIOs in 38 countries.

Government CIOs as a group anticipate a 1.4 per cent average increase in their IT budgets, compared with an average 2.2 per cent increase across all industries.

Local government CIOs fare better, averaging 3.5 per cent growth, which is still more than one per cent less on average than IT budget growth among top-performing organisations overall (4.6 per cent), the findings showed.

The top three barriers that government CIOs report they must overcome to achieve their objectives are skills or resources (26 per cent), funding or budgets (19 per cent), and culture or structure of the organisation (12 per cent).

"Compared with CIOs in other industries, government CIOs tend not to partner with startups and midsize companies, missing out on new ideas, skills and technologies," Howard stressed.

The government sector is vulnerable in the domain of data analytics (30 per cent), which includes information, analytics, data science and business intelligence. Security and risk is ranked second for government overall (23 per cent).

Overall, 58 per cent of government CIOs report that they participate in digital ecosystems, compared with 49 per cent across all industries.

Advanced analytics takes the top spot across all levels of government (79 per cent). Digital security remains a critical investment for all levels of government (57 per cent), particularly in defense and intelligence (74 per cent).