How governments are developing IT workforce

May 4, 2018
Gary Hilson

Government confronts many of the same challenges as the private sector, but also faces budget constraints that limit its ability to adopt new technologies and develop a workforce necessary for digital transformation.

While governments at all levels are working to attract and retain top talent, including Millennials, they are also looking to technology partners to collaborate and fill human resource gaps.

Tim Lonsway, Regional Director at CBTS, engages with governments across the country at the regional, state, and federal level and has seen a definite shift in how governments are deploying technology and changing workflows and structures in order to attract talent and maximize internal resources.

What are some of the limitations governments face when filling roles that support their IT initiatives?

Younger people don’t always seek the public sector out. I’m on a few committees where that’s an active topic. How do we attract younger people?  How do we get these younger people engaged in government, to care about government, to feel like they’ve got a valuable career in government? Government is spending energy on that issue and is taking action.

Government workers

How do governments look at technology partners to address workforce challenges?

They are really focused on getting out of the technology business – the infrastructure technology:  compute, storage, network, security, firewall, things of that nature – and focusing more on the applications that serve constituents. You allow other people to do those things, so you can focus on initiatives that make more sense and that will attract the younger workforce.

Governments want to make the infrastructure newer, lighter, more modern, and leverage mobile technologies – the ability to work off a laptop, tablet, or smartphone – those types of things. You couldn’t do that 10 years ago. But today, people need the ability to work from different places and not have to work from a centralized location every day. The infrastructure needs to support that.

Are you seeing some rationalization of technology across departments and more unity?

Yes. For example, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is proud of its ability to service constituents. Seventy-five percent of its interactions with constituents are done either through a web portal, or through a chat interface. Constituents don’t necessarily have to pick up the phone to talk to somebody. They’re being serviced through the technology. With that technology, that infrastructure then becomes kind of that binding space, and that common interface. That “common user experience” is a term you hear a lot.

So, whether you’re on your mobile phone, laptop, or desktop, or whether you’re talking to Rehabilitation and Corrections, or Child and Family Services, or Taxation … whoever you’re talking to, they’re really driving you toward that common interface.

If you look just at the trends, the current RFPs in many states, it’s all about, “Let’s get this common front end. We’ll leverage these APIs on the back end, and make all of this stuff tick, and tie together.”

What are governments looking for from their IT partners like CBTS?

If I’m a government and my partner comes to me and says, “Oh, I hear what you’re saying. Let’s create a statement of work, and I’m going to need a PO before we get started,” that’s not the kind of partner I need. I need somebody that’s in it with me, that bleeds with me, that succeeds with me, that drives toward success with me.

That’s what differentiates CBTS in general from a lot of other service providers or partners. We become an extension of their organization, of their IT staff. We’re in there with them. We’re supporting them. We’re jumping right in.

Read how CBTS helped the State of Ohio leverage a Hosted Enterprise Unified Communications solution.

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