Jul 18 2018

State and Local Agencies Turn to Tech as a Workforce Multiplier

Tech might seem expensive, but the investment can cut costs and maximize the workforce for state and local agencies.

Technology is the driving force behind key state and local government efforts to enhance manpower and save money. Take the case of the Indiana state cybersecurity operations center.

Speaking at a forum in Washington recently, Indiana CIO Dewand Neely told of a successful technology implementation in the center that was described as akin to adding another engineer. The statement left an impression on Neely, who was pleased the technology acted as a force multiplier.

Local governments also are seeing firsthand the power of new tools to fulfill tasks once reserved for people. Cmdr. Chad Karlewicz of the Renton (Wash.) Police Department says drones have saved him a considerable amount of manpower when used, for instance, to survey car accident scenes.

In 2017, a joint study by the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol simulated an auto accident, where officers took nearly two hours to collect crash data. Pilots flying three drones took only 25 minutes to do so.

According to estimates, a traditional highway investigation would cost $12,900. With drones, the cost would be only $3,600 — a savings of $9,300.

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States and Cities Find Efficiencies Through Technology

Doing more while spending less can make a convincing case in the best of times, but even more so as municipalities work through budget constraints.

Stockton, Calif., climbing out of bankruptcy, found success implementing its strategic plan in part through efficiencies gained from technology. Post-bankruptcy, the city lost more than 40 percent of its employees outside of public safety, says Stockton City Manager Kurt Wilson, leaving him with fewer workers to provide services to a growing population. But smart deployment of applications increased the efficiency of city operations, boosting revenues while supporting citizens.

Using specific IT tools or techniques is a lot like having extra hands in the game. Smart tech deployments can save time and money, empowering government to do more with less.

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