A successful digital transformation can’t happen in silos. Meeting big modernization goals takes a cross-functional team effort — typically with three crucial parts: government business leaders, CIOs and their teams, and good SaaS partners.
But these days, CIOs aren’t always the primary stakeholder engaging SaaS vendors. Often, it’s someone else in a leadership role making business decisions for the agency — even when it comes to selecting and purchasing SaaS solutions. And according to one survey, 78% of CIOs are uncomfortable with the business unit purchasing software.
But folks in these roles are integral to successful digital transformation, so it’s vital that an agency’s executive leadership leverage the knowledge of their CIO — especially when it comes to engaging SaaS vendors and mapping a modernization strategy.
As agencies turn away from the traditional on-premise, customized software model to one with cloud platforms at the center, today’s CIOs combine deep technical knowledge with business insight. They’ll help connect the dots between business challenges and the capabilities of the tech, leading to a more thorough evaluation of potential solutions from the start of a project.
CIO involvement brings expertise in data security and assessing tech capabilities
As the digital landscape has evolved, so has the role of CIOs. Initially, folks in these positions were responsible for maintaining internal networks and databases, but now it’s a strategic role that optimizes the agency’s tech infrastructure, oversees and deploys IT resources, and manages tech vendors.
Agencies are wise to consult with their CIOs regarding security and compliance. But they can also help break down and disseminate complex information; they understand the strengths and limitations of the IT team, and CIOs are in the best position to figure out how a new SaaS solution would affect (and hopefully improve) current systems.
In short: CIOs likely have the best grasp on current IT resources, systems, and processes, so they can help other leaders assess whether or not a prospective SaaS partner is a good fit for the agency’s transformation goals.
What do CIOs prioritize in tech vendors?
Every government agency is unique, and (of course) CIOs aren’t all looking for the same thing. But we’ve noticed that they tend to seek out solutions that are:
- Practical: It has to make sense for their overarching technology strategy, integrate easily with their current and planned tech stack, and solve pressing resident or internal pain points.
- Efficient: Digital transformation projects move quickly. New solutions have to solve as many business requirements as possible as affordably as they can. This drives the most meaningful outcomes for agencies and residents
- Configurable: Again, digital moves quickly. CIOs are looking for SaaS solutions that can be easily adjusted to fit the needs of their agency and residents, both at implementation, and as processes and regulations evolve.
- Partnership: When SaaS vendors act as a partner — supporting IT teams and their goals even after the sale — they tend to bring more value.
If your solution doesn’t meet these three baseline needs, CIOs will probably shy away. They’re prioritizing platforms and solutions that can be adaptable and scalable in the future.
Partner with your CIO to move away from legacy tech
Updating systems from legacy tech is a must-have in today’s world — and CIOs are in a unique position to identify what to prioritize and which SaaS vendors are worth engaging.
Lean on your CIO to:
- Balance agency (and resident) value vs. risk
- Create a framework for IT management
- Assess current and future SaaS vendors
- Maintain high standards for data security and compliance
So if your agency is aiming for a successful digital transformation, make sure your CIO:
- Is involved in discussions regarding business goals
- Feels empowered (and has the support) to make decisions about future tools, systems, and vendors
An engaged CIO can get an agency’s business and tech goals aligned easier and quicker, facilitating digital transformation that meets the needs of residents and agency benchmarks.
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