Leahy noted that the CIO’s office and state IT team take up a lot of space in a state-owned building. However, with a coming budget shortfall and the need to make cuts, going virtual could allow other state agencies to move into that space and save the state money, he said.
NASCIO President and New Hampshire CIO Denis Goulet agreed that, for some states, there may be no turning back to the old way of operating. “The genie is out of the bottle,” he said. “People have found out you can exist while working from home.”
How State CIOs Expect Their Operations to Change
For Missouri CIO Jeff Wann, the shift to work from home was not a radical move for his team, as most of the state’s IT personnel already worked remotely. The state had virtual desktop infrastructure in place, and quickly shifted from having 2,000 users working remotely to 20,000. Wann also determined how many laptops the state would normally purchase during the year as part of its hardware refresh cycle, then ordered 2,000 and configured those for remote workers.
Missouri has also set up Cisco Systems softphones to help support telework and a significantly expanded virtual call center. Will working from home be a lasting feature in the Show-Me State?
“You bet,” Wann said. “It’s going to be a sea change for our state government.”