Development and implementation of digital government strategies has been pressurising the government CIO role, the report noted.
More than 20% of government organisations are anticipated to appoint chief digital officer and about 10% of them will appoint chief data officer by 2014, a new Gartner report has revealed.
The research firm noted that the development and implementation of digital government strategies has been pressurising the government CIO role, which is leading to establishment of new roles.
Gartner managing vice president Andrea DiMaio said that digital government strategies issued in several jurisdictions during the past 12 months, as well as the continued momentum of open government, are bringing new leadership roles to the fore.
"In government, as well as other industries, roles like chief data officer or chief digital officer are emerging in response to the increasing importance of enterprise digital assets," DiMaio said.
The newly assigned roles would coexist with additional traditional roles such as CIO and chief technology officer (CTO), which would demand a close working relationship between new and already active roles.
"Government CIOs must establish good working relationships with chief data officers, chief digital officers or equivalent roles introduced to support the digital strategy, and identify areas where they can add value to a different role’s responsibility," DiMaio added.
"They should also push for a clear demarcation between their role and the roles of others with regard to information by defining clear principles about ownership, purpose and use."
It is believed that the overlying roles and lack of the required knowledge of clear distinction about responsibilities on information management, along with a trouncing emphasis on and enthusiasm for digital and open government schemes, will certainly direct to rebalancing such tasks.
Gartner research director Rick Howard said that the most vulnerable role in this scenario will be that of the chief data officer, because the tension between the internal information management focus of the CIO and the external focus of the chief digital officer will intensify.
"The application of open data principles to data other than public data will give CIOs the ability to regain a key role on driving the data architecture well beyond the externally facing remit of a chief data officer," Howard said.
"As a result, the chief data officer role is very likely to be subsumed by the CIO or the chief digital officer.
"The title may remain, but the occupant will likely be reporting to the CIO or the chief digital officer."
Gartner suggests the government CIOs to weigh up whether they are capable and keen to accept some or all of the tasks of other roles and put up a road map to do so.
Government CIOs are also advised to take the conversation on open data from how to best share data with the public to the vital role played by open data when implemented to non-public enterprise data.
According to the latest report, the friction between chief digital officer and CIO is anticipated to become more evident during the following three to five years.
The internal technology operations and some phases of technology innovation, will however be handed down to the CTO, while the combat zone for CIOs and chief digital officers will be on information and all the information would be digital by the time.
"The chief digital officer and the CIO will become information custodians, providers and, most of all, advisors. However, it will be up to the business to determine how to strategically use that information. In such a situation, there is little reason for keeping two separate roles," Howard said
"Most likely, the chief digital officer role will be absorbed by, or become indistinguishable from, the CIO role.
"In a minority of organisations, the reverse might be true, mostly due to the negative connotation of the CIO as a "role of the past." It is quite possible that the new integrated title will be chief digital information officer."