The Federal CIO Survey

Managing Investments for the Innovation and Workforce of Tomorrow

13th Edition | Released on January 25, 2022

The Federal Chief Information Officer survey – produced annually by the Professional Services Council (PSC) and PSC member company Maximus – provides the government technology and professional services industry with insights into the top challenges facing federal IT executives, the many forces driving change and priorities in government IT services, and trends that reflect shifts in how federal agencies and their industry partners develop and leverage innovations, tools, and systems to deliver on critical missions on behalf of the American taxpayer.

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IT Modernization

  • Moving systems from legacy infrastructure to the cloud continues to be a priority.
  • Other priority areas are cost management, data governance, the need for agency data governance strategies, and security and zero trust.
  • Replatforming systems to more modern (i.e., lower cost, more scalable, and maintainable) architectures is seen as an area of interest for federal IT executives.


  • Many agencies are implementing technology to move to more automated business processes and digital environments, with less manual intervention.
  • For many, the need for expertise, a skilled workforce for leading edge technologies, simplified and innovative acquisitions and related authorities, and stabile budgets and consistent funding continue to challenge transformation initiatives. 


  • While last year’s report highlighted a shift from policy and compliance to operational security improvement, this year’s report shows that evolution is continuing towards integrated security, resilient systems, continuous monitoring, and zero trust.
  • There is a need for vendor partners to provide the same level of protection as agencies do for themselves.
  • Training, vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, and FedRAMP authorization remain important functions.
  • AI and machine learning are elevating the ability to more quickly predict, detect, and respond to intrusions.

Governance & External Drivers

  • President’s Management Agenda (PMA): Although the current administration has a high-level PMA, a PMA scorecard is not yet in place to measure performance against goals and priorities.
  • Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA): The FITARA Scorecard remains a visible measurement tool; nevertheless, the FITARA scorecard is perceived to have its flaws, with respect to what and how it measures compliance with FITARA.
  • External oversight (OIGs, GAO, Congress, etc.) is generally perceived as positive and helpful.

Skills & Capabilities

  • While agencies often rely on contractors as a pool for leading edge technology expertise, they are increasingly working on upskilling their own government employee workforce.
  • Challenges include an aging workforce, obtaining professionals with in-demand skills and expertise, finding people with both technical and policy backgrounds, and recruitment and retention.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion is an increasingly visible priority.


  •  Lessons in leadership highlighted the need for servant leadership, leading cultural change, taking accountability, and strong communications.