A survey released last week by CompTIA’s Public Technology Institute (PTI) reveals city governments across the U.S. show little interest and lack of collaboration in moving forward with smart city projects.
PTI conducts its State of City and County IT National Survey annually to report how well states and cities prioritize their technology investments. According to its recent report, only 10 percent of respondents believe “smart” initiatives are met by agency leaders with enthusiasm, while just 25 percent of CIOs report having a “smart” strategy in place.
Alan Shark, PTI’s executive director said, “I think [CIOs] are already doing a lot of smart applications, but if they don’t have the leadership from the top it’s very hard for a CIO to say, “You know what, I want to make a smart city. That requires a mayor or county executive to really push that kind of agenda. There’s not really a universal definition [of a smart city] that people hang their hat on.”
Further complicating matters, the coronavirus pandemic has sent city budgets spiraling, causing program cuts and redirection of existing city funds. Philadelphia, for example, is forecasting budget cuts in the hundreds of millions of dollars, according to StateScoop.
According to PTI, local government CIOs said they’re focusing their efforts on more urgent issues instead of trying to build “smart” communities. Cybersecurity-awareness training for government employees, modernizing IT security postures, and ensuring sensitive data is not exposed to the internet are now priority areas of focus.
StateScoop noted 49 percent of CIOs said they don’t have a relationship with their state counterpart to collaborate with on cybersecurity and other program areas.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted IT operations and management to be more essential than ever in supporting critical public health services and delivering smart government systems,” Shark said in a press release accompanying the survey. “Going forward, it is likely that we see the trend towards greater cross-jurisdictional and local-state collaboration accelerate.”
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