How to keep government IT work forces productive
GPN and sister publication American City & County have written often about IT work force trends in government. We asked Alan Engler of Nexus Connected GovEd for his views on this topic. Engler is vice president of sales covering GovEd and Healthcare at the firm. Here are Engler’s views.
GPN: How can state and local governments keep their IT work forces productive in spite of future retirements and competition from the private sector?
Alan Engler: Government entities need to embrace technologies that will make them more efficient. One clear example is the addition of communications and collaboration technologies that unify today’s most popular applications like voice, video, web conferencing and messaging. These technologies allow workers to easily communicate any time, from anywhere (both internally and externally).
Collaboration tools such as Jabber and Jabber video allow employees to see who is available, communicate in real-time and set up collaboration sessions to resolve problems or reach concurrence on projects. These new capabilities will also reduce the impact of IT staff retirements and require fewer workers to accomplish more in the same limited amount of time.
GPN: What are the secrets of recruiting and retaining key government IT staffers in the future?
AE: My answer is twofold: First, government entities have to make the work interesting, provide a good work environment and continually motivate their employees. Secondly, they must invest in the technologies that will keep these employees at or near the forefront of new technology adoption. Government workers, like any private sector employee, need to be challenged with understanding and implementing the integration of new technologies to improve constituent-focused systems and application areas.
GPN: What are the best ways that government IT managers can recruit security and cloud specialists and other staffers with high-demand IT skills?
AE: Similar to my response to the prior question, government entities must provide state-of-the-art technologies and tools in order to compete effectively with the private sector market. State and local governments are already impeded by pay scale constraints. Therefore, access to leading technologies, as well as the necessary funding to acquire them is an absolute must. Government agencies are also turning to managed IT services to help meet demand for specialized skillsets, especially in the areas of cloud and security, to help optimize resources and costs.
GPN: Thank you, Alan Engler, for your views.
Nexus is a Dimension Data company. Based in Valencia, Calif., the firm leverages its experience and expertise to enable organizations to Connect, Collaborate,