A new report from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) and McKinsey & Company highlights the need for state and local governments to take decisive measures to integrate generative AI into their workforce to reap its benefits.

The report was compiled by surveying 49 different state chief information officers (CIOs), who gave insights into their current IT and AI needs.

“The research estimates that automation, especially with the integration of GenAI, could impact up to 30 percent of work hours in the US economy by 2030,” the report says.

“Notably, while automation may reshape certain job categories, the research suggests that labor demand will continue to increase in the categories most affected by GenAI, which include science technology, engineering, and math, and among creative and business professionals, rather than displacing a significant number of jobs outright,” the report adds.

Some of the major findings of the report include:

  • Now is the time for states to move into the scaling phase to realize the benefits of GenAI;
  • Scaling up presents real challenges. Chronic skills shortages, for example, will require innovative approaches to helping current staff learn and master new skills and to finding and recruiting fresh talent;
  • Additional barriers to full-scale deployment include limitations in data quality, lack of allocated budgets, security, privacy and ethical concerns, and a lack of benefits capture and mechanisms to prioritize at-scale deployments;
  • As more use cases are deployed, a wide array of state employees may need to work in new ways and in new teams;
  • At-scale rollout will also require talent beyond the traditional remit of CIOs, including experts in ethics, responsible AI practices, privacy and various aspects of law and legislation, and deep expertise in topics such as customer service, procurement, workforce development, and other domains; and
  • Departments and agencies could collaborate more to scale. These collaborations could work in agile multidisciplinary teams at a faster pace than usual.

“Now that most states have risk guardrails in place, state CIOs can focus on the elements required to deliver benefits at scale. This could require careful planning and upskilling of government workforces and new ways of working,” the report concludes.

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