IT Ingenuity Lets State and Local Agencies Do More with Less

With the right IT, shoestring budgets can play nice with the need for greater efficiency in local government.

The importance of enabling greater efficiencies for state and local IT teams cannot be overstated.

As organizations grapple with ever-tightening budgets, the urgent need to modernize aging equipment and the challenges of the so-called silver ­tsunami — the imminent retirement of a large portion of working IT ­professionals — IT teams face growing demands on their time and resources.

Fortunately, ingenuity is also alive and well in state and local government IT, which is showcasing powerful examples of collaboration, new technology tools and out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to solving those challenges.

Creativity Drives IT Infrastructure Success

Information technology includes a lot of cool and powerful equipment, but successful deployments — and, ultimately, management — don’t happen overnight. Successful navigation of the challenges of IT’s new normal comes down, always, to the people who manage the mission-critical infrastructure. Proper planning to ensure precisely the right technology is in place allows everyone to perform their jobs better and can eliminate roadblocks on the way to future successes.

For example, IT Director Jacqueline Falbo recently led the planning and construction of a data center to fit within the new headquarters of the Will County (Ill.) Sheriff’s Office. By coordinating the data center with the building design, the IT team gained the space and physical layout required to meet its needs. In Durham, N.C., automation allows the IT department to eliminate repetitive tasks and focus on bigger-picture challenges. Before the shift, the IT team spent 80 percent of its time just keeping the data center up and running, leaving only 20 percent for improving ­services to citizens. Now, those percentages are flipped.

Putting the right pieces in place to ensure powerful results down the road was also the driving force behind a recent hyperconvergence deployment in Houston, where a massive VDI initiative now allows employees to work from wherever they need to be.

“The business result is improved productivity, cost savings and reduced maintenance time,” says Greg Schulz, an IT consultant. State and local IT teams could use a lot more of those kinds of results.

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Apr 18 2018