Zero-trust cybersecurity, identity and access management, cloud migration, and application modernization are likely going to dominate the discourse in 2022.
State and local governments spent 2021 responding to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has continued to reshape how agencies use technology and how citizens interact with government.
Agencies have embraced digital technology for government service delivery, streamlined government web portals, expanded on projects such as single digital identities for accessing government services and benefits, and updated government websites to make them easier for the public to use.
But significant challenges remain. Ransomware attacks against state and local governments continue unabated. Despite an influx of federal funding, it will take time to get federal grants to improve cybersecurity.
The pandemic has underscored the importance of investments in digital services, collaboration tools, broadband expansion and other areas
1. Zero-Trust Cybersecurity Is on the Horizon
Zero-trust is still relatively nascent in state and local governments though that is starting to change.
In 2022 more states will begin adopting a zero-trust approach to cybersecurity. Sixty-seven percent of state CIOs who responded to the 2021 Annual State CIO Survey anticipate that introducing or expanding a zero-trust framework will receive more attention in the next two to three years. State governments are expected to begin laying the groundwork for adopting the approach — which treats every user as untrustworthy of accessing network resources until they have been verified.
2. States Look to Expand Use of IAM to Access Government Services
Every state at the annual NASCIO conference seemed excited to implement an identity and access management program.
Some states are far along in adopting a single digital identity that residents can use to access myriad government services. Others are just getting started.
States will need to put in place the necessary capabilities to create and manage the superidentities that tie to all the relevant credentials, licenses and other views of the citizen.
3. Cloud Migration Will Be Dependent on Economics
State and local agencies will continue to migrate legacy IT systems and applications to the cloud in 2022.
Following the widespread shift of apps such as email and geographic information systems to the cloud, further migrations will be more piecemeal, especially for local governments.
When looking at end-of-life issues for mainframes, governments will have to decide whether to replace those systems, come up with something better, or move to the cloud.
For many agencies, the decision on whether to shift to the cloud boils down to simple economics and whether it makes sense financially to do so. There has to be a compelling business case to enter into a migration project. This kind of project cannot be successfully accomplished without strong partnering and commitment.
4. Government Agencies Will Forge Ahead with App Modernization
The pandemic exposed state and local government IT leaders to the fact that many mission-critical applications are running on legacy architectures or in outdated programming languages that cannot be easily changed or scaled up, and clarified the need for modern, digital government services.