Expert Insight: Emerging Technologies Continue to Transform State Government

The landscape of Information Technology in state governments continues to undergo a transformative shift, primarily driven by the rapid evolution and integration of emerging technologies.

The 2023 NASCIO State CIO Survey points to this trend, highlighting how these emerging technologies are playing a crucial role in legacy modernization and the push towards advanced digital solutions.

The Urgency of Legacy Modernization

Legacy modernization has been a persistent priority for state CIOs in recent years. The increasing demand for digital citizen services has pressured state governments to focus more on modernizing old systems which were primarily designed for a different era. These legacy systems are struggling to meet the capacity and capability demands of the 21st century. The pandemic further emphasized this need, as various systems were stressed beyond their original design capacity. The swift response of states to pivot resources towards remediation and redesign was commendable, but it also highlighted the urgent need for preparedness for future crises.

The Drive Towards Digital Transformation

The digital transformation in state governments is not just about technology overhaul; it’s a comprehensive shift in how government services are delivered. This transformation encompasses several key areas:

1. Adoption of Cloud Services

Cloud computing is no longer an emerging technology but a fundamental part of IT strategies in state governments. It offers scalability, flexibility, and improved service delivery, vital for meeting the dynamic needs of citizens and government operations.

2. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

AI and Machine Learning are playing a pivotal role in transforming state government IT. From predictive analytics in public safety to intelligent automation in administrative tasks, these technologies are enabling more efficient and effective government services.

3. Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT technology is revolutionizing how states monitor and manage infrastructure. Applications range from smart city initiatives to environmental monitoring, significantly improving efficiency and citizen engagement.

4. Cybersecurity Advances

As digital transformation accelerates, so does the need for advanced cybersecurity measures. Emerging technologies in cybersecurity are crucial in protecting sensitive data and ensuring the resilience of government IT systems against cyber threats.

5. Blockchain for Enhanced Security and Transparency

Blockchain technology, known for its security and transparency features, is finding its place in government IT. It’s being explored for use cases like secure voting systems, digital vehicle records, and transparent public record keeping.

Challenges and Opportunities

While the adoption of these technologies offers numerous benefits, it also presents several challenges:

· Skill Gaps: There is a growing need for skilled personnel who can manage and leverage these technologies effectively.

· Budget Constraints: Implementing new technologies often requires significant investment, which can be a challenge for state budgets.

· Data Privacy and Security Concerns: With more data being digitized, ensuring its privacy and security is paramount.


The integration of emerging technologies in state government IT is not just a trend but a necessity. It’s a journey towards more responsive, efficient, and citizen-centric services. As state governments navigate this transformation, the focus should remain on addressing the challenges while capitalizing on the opportunities these technologies offer. The goal is to build an IT ecosystem that is resilient, adaptive, and aligned with the evolving needs of citizens and government operations.


Brian Domoretsky leads Benchmark Strategies’ multi-state government CIO advisory practice, helping information technology and cybersecurity companies to create and strengthen partnerships with state chief information officers and government agencies. Prior to his role at Benchmark, Brian served as Assistant Secretary and Chief of Staff to the Massachusetts CIO and Cabinet Secretary for the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security. He also served as a state member of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO). Brian’s expertise provides invaluable perspectives on emerging trends in government technology and cybersecurity, particularly in their influence on enhancing government services and engaging with constituents.