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How to solve
public sector
technology and
government IT
challenges

Author: Adam Kimmel

From law enforcement to public transit, technology is critical in addressing the solutions and services that keep public sector operations running smoothly.

Given the complexity of government technology requirements, it is helpful to employ an external management partner to help you address any challenges that come up. Using a technology partner to supply the resources and services can help public sector organizations to stay focused on mission-critical tasks. A third party can also bring industry expertise, organic growth methods and tried-and-true skills and tools to help solve problems efficiently.

Here's a look at five public sector technology challenges and how managed services and professional services can help mitigate them.

1. Business continuity

The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled remote work from a privilege to an expectation. Maintaining business continuity in the transition to remote work is critical to ensuring that government agencies continue to provide vital services to citizens. Two of the most significant recent challenges have included hardware shortages and internet access. Though most workers in a recent Citrix and GovLoop survey stated that they had the equipment they needed, roughly 30% indicated that they did not.

Empowering workers with connectivity, devices and solutions requires that government IT be secure in the remote environment. With that in mind, mobile hotspots and cellular-enabled devices can provide secure internet access. But if there are too few devices for workers to use, leveraging a technology management partner can unlock access to more hardware if needed.

2. Communication and collaboration

The Citrix and GovLoop survey found that 57% of respondents did not have adequate mobile devices to support remote work. Schools need unified communications tools and mobile device management solutions to provide the connectivity needed to provide the education experience that students need to excel in a remote learning environment. A network management services provider can help by providing solutions tailored to centralized applications such as virtual learning. Maintaining frequent communication with the school and providing the ability to collaborate is essential to properly following academic curriculums, and it helps keep team morale up when participants aren't able to interact in person.

3. Public Cloud

The public cloud relieves budget constraints, ensures state-of-the-art technology, offers server capacity redundancy and handles security. For these reasons, public cloud revenue was forecasted to grow 6.3% in 2020 to $257.9 billion.

The public cloud can help the public sector to be more agile, enabling them to better support agency needs. Simplifying onboarding to the public cloud is the best way to minimize the learning curve—and time spent on implementation. A managed partner can help streamline the onboarding process for the agency and teach best practices and strategies to maximize the opportunity the public cloud affords.

4. Security

The public sector provides numerous motivations for security threats. In today's hyper-political state, cyber criminals attempt to breach security to influence election outcomes, access classified information, manipulate or alter data trends, or compromise data tied to funding to name a few.

Developing an effective cyber security strategy can face particular challenges when it comes to building consensus around the investment. That's in part because it acts as insurance, something budget approvers may try to reduce to only what's necessary (when they may not understand exactly what is necessary). According to Identifi Global, as the Internet of Things proliferates into government IT and more work is done remotely, public sector networks need to grow by 15 to 25% per year. Constrained budgets and ad hoc solutions introduce the possibility of security gaps and manual errors.

A solution is to team up with a managed partner. Teaming up with a managed services provider can help government agencies scale network and vendor ecosystems without compromising security. The external team has the industry's pulse and can provide consultant-level advice and recommendations to ensure the protection of citizens' security with the industry's best solutions.

5. Smart solutions

Protecting citizens is one of the principal objectives for the public sector. Providing advanced communications to first responders and critical personnel helps improve public health and safety by allowing near real time insights to any situation. Smart solutions offer an opportunity for public sector technology to deliver on that objective more efficiently.

One of the main headwinds to implementing smart cities is financing the infrastructure. The massive number of sensors the city needs to collect data, coupled with the necessary server capacity to process it, presents a substantial barrier to entry for elected officials.

In 2018, Deloitte offered a proposal on how to clear this financing hurdle. The researchers concluded that cities need an innovative business model to determine how to add the infrastructure. Cities need to define a mix of public and private funds to kick-start the project and a consistent revenue stream to ensure adequate return on investment.

An established managed services partner is an attractive option here. They have the expertise to propose an elegant and effective solution and the resources to jump-start the initiative.

The complex solutions that government IT requires call for an external technology management partner. Solving these challenges with professional support is a superior way to ensure the public sector thrives in a rapidly advancing technology climate.

Learn more about how Verizon's public sector solutions enable governments to focus on serving constituent needs.