Cisco is excited to help sponsor the National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO) Annual Conference in San Diego this fall. From defining the building blocks of collaboration to creating a seamless citizen experience, topics at this year’s event will show you how to better communicate your vision while increasing transparency in your government operations. But their success may hinge on two growing needs within government:

  • IT modernization that enables innovative mobile collaboration while pushing data processing to the edge for greater speed and efficiency
  • Cybersecurity that is simple, open, and automated to keep all your users and their devices safe.

So it’s likely that, in 2019, you’ll be hearing the two bullet points above echoed across America with increasing frequency.

Is cybersecurity too complicated?

When I first started working at Cisco, cybersecurity was an issue but not like it is today. Now it dominates every aspect of government operations, from the data center to the network edge. Its impacts are even reaching beyond IT to daily public safety and transportation efforts, thoughts once found only in the imaginations of science fiction writers. These days, cybersecurity seems overcomplicated.

The growing need for simple cybersecurity

If 2019 is to be the year of enhanced collaboration and transparency in government, then cybersecurity will have to take the lead. But any approach government uses will need to be less complex than what we see today, and more open. That’s the best way to allow more flexibility and creativity as time goes along. Oh, and most importantly, it must feature automation that enables government to maximize limited resources and speed response. I could write a lot about that but there is already some great info here.

Plus, a friend of mine, Peter Romness (Cybersecurity Programs Lead for US Public Sector at Cisco), has a great perspective in his latest blog. In it, he talks about how the Department of Homeland Security’s ongoing Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program is driving security first, with automation. And even though CDM is focused on the federal government, it has many great take-aways and best practices that can help state and local agencies as well.

IT modernization means moving to where the action is

Enhanced collaboration and transparency will also require governments to modernize their IT networks. This includes data centers and making sure the Internet of Things (IoT) is front and center in their long-range plans. This will be necessary to power the variety of new mobile collaboration tools that enable real-time information and video sharing.

It’s also time for CIOs to think about decentralizing those data centers a bit via edge and fog computing techniques. Moving processing power to the edge, closer to where the action is, has a lot of benefits. First, it can dramatically speed data transfer times, resulting in faster responses to events. Plus, it can increase resilience in times of disaster. Edge and fog computing are the future for state and local governments. You can get up to speed on the topic in this great, easy to read (and fun) three-part blog series (part 1, part 2, part 3).

Join the NASCIO conversation on Twitter

In addition to NASCIO, we’re enjoying several great events this fall designed to help educate CIOs like you. For example, we just wrapped up another successful Blueprint Studio at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando that focused on digital transformation, and after NASCIO will be gearing up to explore new and evolving approaches to cybersecurity for live, virtual training constructs at I/ITSEC 2018, the world’s largest modeling, simulation, and training event.

Cybersecurity_Awareness_MonthPlus, we’re knee deep in Cybersecurity Month. I think every CIO understands (and appreciates) why that “celebration” falls alongside Halloween, since trying to keep your networks secure can give you quite a scare at times.

We hope you will enjoy this year’s NASCIO annual conference. During the event, be sure to join us on Twitter as we tweet about the event and offer a few links to some resources you might find valuable. Our hashtags will be @NASCIO, #NASCIO, #NASCIO18, and @Gircom.


Annual Report: Cisco Annual Cybersecurity Report: Impacts on Government

Infographic: Is your agency secure and resilient?