Managing Technology Risks Through Technological Proficiency
Publication Year: 2015

Managing Technology Risks Through Technological Proficiency


Marc H. Pfeiffer, MPA. Assistant Director and Senior Policy Fellow. Managing Technology Risks Through Technological Proficiency. Bloustein Local Government Research Center Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Local government agencies face risks from their use of technology. Today’s technology is embedded in most government activities, and is growing because the public expects government to use technology in providing their services. The Bloustein Local Government Research Center has conducted and now publishes original research in the field. The report on this effort suggests that becoming “technologically proficient” is a pathway that local governments (and other organizations) can use to understand and manage their technology risks.

Technology risks stem from the things that people do (or do not do), the failure of technology systems, the failure of management and operational processes, and the disruptions created by external events (e.g., natural disasters).

There are six interrelated categories of risk: cyber security, legal, operational, financial, reputational, and societal. To manage these risks, organizations need to be technologically proficient. They can accomplish this by establishing and institutionalizing practices related to governance, planning, cyber hygiene, and technical competency. This study shows how to assess an organization’s technology risk maturity (a measure of risk) and technology profile (a way of defining its use).

The report analyzes government technology risks and how to apply the four elements of technological proficiency. It is accompanied by a Supplemental Resource Guide that contains four sets of Best Practices and Resources, one for each of four technology profiles: Basic, Core, Managed, and Sophisticated.

The research also produced a Leadership Summary. This short pamphlet summarizes what elected officials and chief administrators need to understand to start managing their organization’s technology risk.

The report was prepared for the New Jersey Municipal Excess Liability Joint Insurance Fund. All research documents are below.