State CIOs Face Significant Challenges in Making the Right IT Investments, Reveals NASCIO and Infosys Public Services Study

IT departments supporting the US states generally prefer operating as an enterprise rather than as a conglomeration of independent agencies. However, the transition to such a state is not easy. According to a survey commissioned by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) and Infosys Public Services, they struggle to implement the necessary changes to improve efficiency, drive innovation, and ultimately save taxpayer dollars.

"While state IT departments are starting to address shortcomings in their decision criteria and processes, there is still a lot to be done," said Doug Robinson, Executive Director of NASCIO. "Accelerating the pace of change will require principled direction, well-defined operating schemes, and improved investment management practices."

Most state IT organizations have complex systems environments resulting from years of decentralized decision-making among numerous agencies with disparate goals, thereby presenting a serious barrier for states to change. In addition, close to 45 percent of the CIOs indicated that they spend more than 80 cents of every budget dollar on maintaining existing systems, thus limiting their ability to invest in innovative solutions to boost business effectiveness and efficiency.

Additional challenges – such as a lack of definition around business principles, process standardization and integration, and systems platforms – mean that state CIOs aren’t always confident of 'working on the right things' when making IT investment decisions.

"State CIOs are telling us that feeling confident about ‘working on the right things' is a much bigger challenge for them than ‘working on things the right way.' We launched this survey to help state CIOs identify the issues that would improve their decision-making processes and overall efficiency. Getting this clarity is critical to drive innovation and ultimately save taxpayers money," said Eric Paternoster, President and CEO, Infosys Public Services.

Read highlights and the complete study

Additional resources


The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) is the premier network and resource for state CIOs and a leading advocate for technology policy at all levels of government. NASCIO represents state chief information officers and information technology executives from the states, territories, and the District of Columbia. For more information about NASCIO, visit

AMR Management Services provides NASCIO’s executive staff. For more information about AMR, visit