Learning from the Past Transitioning to the Future

┬áThis year’s TechAmerica Annual Survey of Federal Chief Information Officers has just been released. 2008 is the survey’s nineteenth year. I enjoy participating in this survey each year and I wanted to share a few observations with all of you.

One of the nicest aspects of the survey is that it identifies trends across the last five years on key challenges to Federal CIOs. These key challenges include security, workforce, leadership, infrastructure, project management, electronic government, enterprise applications and information sharing. These trends provide a useful history. They also serve as a way to forecast into 2009 and beyond. Security remains the top challenge for CIOs.

Some good things happened in 2008. Many more CIOs report directly to the head of their agency. Also, CIOs are gaining longevity in their jobs. CIOs identified both Capital Planning and Enterprise Architecture as mature elements of information resource management.

What’s most interesting to me is that in 2008 more CIOs measured customer satisfaction and measured it more accurately. Here at GSA, we are very focused on measuring customer satisfaction and acting upon the results. For instance, we conduct a random survey of GSA employees who use our IT helpdesk. Customer satisfaction is very high (over 90%), but in that feedback we heard a need for more specialized agents to troubleshoot issues over the phone, rather than transfer callers to a Tier-2 engineer. Consequently we revised our helpdesk to staff the phones with specialists for email, Blackberry, and remote access (telework) issues. Since that time, our first call resolution has risen by several percentage points and user satisfaction has risen as well. We also conduct an annual satisfaction survey of all GSA employees. As a result of numerous improvement initiatives, our customer satisfaction rose by over 16 points from 2007 to 2008.

Overall, the TechAmerica survey is a great resource and I welcome your thoughts on the findings.