GovBytes: Can Cities Survive Without CIOs?

A report in GovTech stated that most cities operate without CIOs. With the increase of technology policy being used in government, this is a bit surprising. Instead, cities rely on IT managers, systems administrators, and city managers to create and implement these types of programs.

Why do cities not have CIOs? The reasons vary. Some don’t have the budget to pay the high salary of a CIO. Some don’t have big enough cities to justify having the position. Others simply don’t have enough work for a CIO to do on top of the positions that are already filled. Additionally, because the role of a CIO is always evolving and differs in each position, it is hard for cities to identify the need for a CIO in the first place.

“When we look at how city and county governments were organized, there was no such thing as a CIO, and that’s why you have so many good people who are still directors of [management information systems] and technology services,” [Alan Shark, executive director and CEO of the Public Technology Institute] said. “In the enterprise, whether it’s large or small, if an individual is looked upon as being the head of the support staff, then that is not a CIO position.”

Do you think cities need CIOs? Why or why not?

No City CIO? Who’s Running the Show?


“GovBytes” is a blog series created by GovLoop in partnership with Government Technology. If you see great a story on Gov Tech and want to ask a question around it, please send it to [email protected]

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