Resilient state and local governments: The empowerment and protection of the cloud

utilities worker inspecting a switch gear

September 8, 2020

When a global health emergency forced state and local governments everywhere to adapt to an unprecedented set of needs and expectations, their only choice was to rely on the tools and resources they had at hand. But while so many agencies responded overnight with a dedication bordering on heroism, they often found they could only work as quickly or effectively as their legacy IT infrastructure allowed them to.

The early weeks of the pandemic brought some severe gaps into sharp focus, with state-level IT systems crashing under a burden of sudden, urgent program requests that no one could have anticipated. How can state and local governments rethink and revamp those systems now, to more effectively address the continuing pandemic while building resilience to prepare for a future of “unknown unknowns”?

Download the eBook: Resiliency for state and local governments facing economic challenges

Our 5-week blog post series reviews key areas state and local organizations should consider in order to ensure uninterrupted services to constituents despite a future that’s difficult to predict. This week, we’ll look at cloud offerings as a key tool to empower and protect governments.

Consideration #5: Cloud offerings empower and protect governments

Every state and local agency everywhere exists to deliver the best services it can, as cost-effectively as possible. That’s why it’s so important to move beyond legacy on-premises mainframes that can’t keep up with modern capabilities in Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, and Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

Any agency that moves to the cloud can look forward to more effective, streamlined operations—from dramatically improved procurement and strategic sourcing decisions, to the 70% of asset failures that IoT sensors can detect and prevent before they occur. And the risks of not making a fast, effective cloud transition are reflected in what too many managers—and too many citizens and businesses—are living through today.

In some states, the sudden influx of unemployment insurance claims “crashed systems that in many states are decades-old and run on outmoded programming languages, resulting in extended backlogs,” StateScoop reported in the early weeks of the pandemic. While the specific circumstances caught even the best-prepared states off-guard, “few IT professionals in or out of government have reported being surprised by states’ overloaded systems.”

One of the key predictors of states’ performance, Commonwealth of Virginia CIO Nelson Moe told StateScoop, is whether a jurisdiction treats its technology agencies as a “valued partner” or just another expense. The eBook points to another critical success factor: whether a state or local government decides to keep settling for the high-maintenance character of a legacy mainframe, or finally make the shift to cloud-based systems that are more secure and cost-effective, with routine updates performed seamlessly by a central provider.

If you’d like to learn more about automating business processes to sustain constituent services, we invite you to:

  • download the eBook: “Resiliency for state and local governments facing economic challenges”
  • view the webinar featuring the State of Idaho discussing their selection process for a FedRAMP®-certified, cloud-based ERP solution.

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