How to innovate and invest on a budget in state and local IT services
State and local governments are continually adapting. Citizens’ needs are changing, remote work plans are evolving and state and local governments are looking for solutions that deliver for citizens while keeping operations running smoothly. States and local governments must keep their budgets top-of-mind without sacrificing service delivery. They are looking for solutions that provide the best citizen services while enabling the continuation of operations as cost-effectively as possible.
With a combination of record-high unemployment, decreased tax revenues and rising public health expenses, many states and local governments are being forced to cut services, weigh tax increases or find other cost-saving measures to help balance their budgets.
It is estimated that the total shortfalls faced by states, localities, tribal nations and U.S. territories could reach between about $480 billion and $620 billion through 2022. Budget pressures are top-of-mind for leaders at the state and local level—but how will leaders continue to invest in innovation while balancing revenue constraints?
Tighter Budgets Than Ever
Many state and local governments have had to cut back on spending on infrastructure and other technology programs, despite technology remaining a top priority for many state and local CIOs. While state and local governments supplemented programs throughout 2020 through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, many of those funds have been depleted, and state and local governments are looking for a long-term funding solution in order to modernize their systems.
Citizens’ needs are continuously changing and implementing the right technology solutions can help state and local governments balance their subjects while continuing to deliver services despite budget constraints.
According to recent research, 72 percent of state and local IT and program managers say their organization is struggling to balance revenue constraints with the need to invest in innovation. Further, 84percent of state and local organizations are making tradeoffs to help bridge funding gaps, including reducing service quality in order to balance revenue constraints (27 percent) and reducing security measures in order to expedite timelines (25 percent).
While the past year brought to light many significant challenges for state and local governments, it has also given them a chance to modernize technology solutions practically overnight. The need for innovation in many state and local practices has grown more critical, and now is the time for state and local IT leaders to invest in solutions that will propel their organization forward.
Financial Flexibility is Key
Citizens expect their state and local governments to invest in the smartest, most connected technology solutions, so purchasing a right-sized and efficient storage system can help provide a higher level of citizen services. As-a-Service solutions offer flexibility and agility while maintaining costs, allowing agencies to scale up or down without massive disruption to install. These models allow states to leverage only the digital infrastructure they need at a given time, minimizing the financial burden of unused infrastructure.
Accelerating digital transformation will allow states to grow in their capabilities and provide services to citizens more efficiently. With limited budgets, states and local governments can benefit from infrastructure that works with the financial resources they have today yet remains innovative and agile for the future where predicting long-term requirements can be difficult. State and local organizations must look for solutions that optimize technology’s speed, access, and reliability.
With changing regulations, tightening budgets, and the urgent need for flexible technology, state and local governments are entering a period of significant technology transformation. By investing in solutions that optimize both service delivery and financial flexibility, state and local governments will be able to grow in their capabilities and serve citizens for years to come.
Michael Wiseman is the vice president, U.S. Americas SLED, Pure Storage, leading the sales team responsible for state, local and education customers in the United States. In his current role, Wiseman is responsible for developing a team to enable the transformation of how public sector customers protect, serve and educate their constituents by leveraging technology to connect, innovate and lead. Prior to joining Pure Storage, Wiseman spent 17 years at Cisco.