For the past few years investment into cloud computing has been the predominant focus, both in the private and public sector, with no real signs that it would change anytime soon.

As it turns out, the shift in focus is set to happen during 2019, at least when it comes to government.

A true shift?

This is according to Gartner’s recent CIO Agenda Survey which looked at how executives planned to invest their respective company’s funds over the course of the coming year, among other things.

Looking at the government sector in particular, 528 CIOs in this segment were surveyed by the research firm, with focus said to increase in terms of role that artificial intelligence and data analytics will play in 2019.

“Taking advantage of data is at the heart of digital government — it’s the central asset to all that government oversees and provides,” says Rick Howard, VP analyst at Gartner. “The ability to leverage that data strategically in real time will significantly improve government’s ability to seamlessly deliver services, despite increased strain on finite resources,” he explains.

Game changers

Diving deeper into Gartner’s report, the investments were broken up into two distinct categories – game changing technologies and top tech investments.

The former is where AI, machine learning and data analytics get their time to shine. More specifically those areas pushed cloud down to third spot in terms of how government CIOs will be prioritising technologies in 2019.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning grabbed the biggest chunk among survey respondents with 27 percent, followed by data analytics with 22 percent, which was just ahead of cloud at 19 percent.

“AI introduces new insights and delivery channels that will enable governments to scale in magnitudes not previously possible,” notes Howard. Adding that, “this will allow reallocation of valuable human resources to more complex processes and decisions.”

Top investments

In terms of investments things are quite close among the top three segments as well.

Data analytics claims first sport as the most important aspect for 43 percent of respondents, which points to the fact that any insights that can be gleaned from the vast amounts of data collected each year, still remains a priority for CIOs.

Second place, also at 43 percent, is far more interesting though, with cybersecurity nabbing that spot.

According to Howard, it points to the fact that cybersecurity remains an area that governments are recognising as requiring their attention, and highlights an awareness of their role as the bastion of public data.

“In today’s digital world, cyberattacks are highly visible, increasingly malicious and costly, and they erode the public’s trust,” he says. “Government CIOs have steadily increased their prioritisation of cybersecurity over the years and have gained executive commitment to vigilance in ensuring that ever-evolving malicious attacks and threats are mitigated to the greatest extent possible,” Howard concludes.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]