Many government organizations are entering a period of shifting managerial roles and responsibilities, according to a report released by Gartner on Tuesday. The report, entitled “Beyond the CIO: Chief Data or Digital Officers?” predicts that 20 percent of government organizations will add Chief Digital Officers over the next year, with an additional 10 percent adding chief data officers to address similar concerns.
The development and implementation of digital government strategies is challenging the traditional roles of the chief information officer and chief technology officer, according to the report. Governments will respond in the short term by creating new roles to work closely with the old ones.
“Digital government strategies issued in several jurisdictions during the past 12 months, as well as the continued momentum of open government, are bringing new leadership roles to the fore,” said Andrea DiMaio, managing vice president at Gartner. “In government, as well as other industries, roles like chief data officer or chief digital officer are emerging in response to the increasing importance of enterprise digital assets.”
DiMaio went on to suggest that the CIO will need to work with the new roles to clearly demarcate each role, and to add value to them.
Following the initial period of adjustment, Gartner sees overlap and a receding emphasis on open government strategies leading to a rebalancing of responsibilities. In this scenario, the chief data officer position will become vulnerable.
“The application of open data principles to data other than public data will give CIOs the ability to regain a key role on driving the data architecture well beyond the externally facing remit of a chief data officer,” Gartner research director Rick Howard said. “As a result, the chief data officer role is very likely to be subsumed by the CIO or the chief digital officer. The title may remain, but the occupant will likely be reporting to the CIO or the chief digital officer.”
Over 60 percent of government organizations with both a CIO and a chief digital officer will end up eliminating one of the two roles by 2017, according to the report.
Gartner recommends that government CIOs asses the possibility of taking over some of the responsibilities of these other roles, and also move the discussion on open data to the broader role of open data applied to non-public enterprise data.
The findings of the report are among the topics being discussed at the Gold Coast Gartner Symposium/ITXpo October 28-31, where a brief video was made of Howard speaking about the new roles.