Preparing IT Resources for a Changed Way of Working
Government IT leaders said that the pandemic has proven remote work setups are possible in government and the cloud computing and collaboration tools they have been investing in over the past few years have proved their worth.
“The cloud constructs that allow us to burst up capacity, they gave us a platform that still allowed us to connect,” Minnesota CIO Tarek Tomes told StateTech this month during the virtual 2020 NASCIO annual conference. “The number of really meaningful meetings that we have where video is a critical and essential component of having some of these really intense conversations has really demonstrated that from a communication and collaboration perspective, that construct really works.”
Given that, IT leaders need to ensure they can continue to effectively support cloud-based collaboration and videoconferencing software. That may mean scaling up cloud computing resources, ensuring enough bandwidth via network connections and making sure that users are trained on all of the tools available to them so they can reach their full potential.
Utah CIO Mike Hussey told StateTech during the NASCIO conference that his state is doing more with Desktop as a Service in the cloud, “so that we can position this such that down the road it doesn’t matter where you land, you’ll have a fully functional desktop available to you in the cloud. So, we’re being a little more innovative with what we buy.”
In Michigan, Tiziana Galeazzi, the general manager of IT for the state’s Department of Technology, Management and Budget, recently noted telework has made IT employees more productive and engaged and that they have a better work-life balance without having to commute, Government Technology reports. Moving forward, she recommends that IT departments standardize and consolidate their solutions to reduce complexity and costs.
That is wise advice. IT leaders should settle on core solutions for collaboration and computing and make sure those are properly explained to users and maintained. There are other issues that need to be dealt with as well, including ensuring all users have access to adequate internet speeds at home and helping users juggle the complex demands of home life, including caring for parents and for children who are attending school virtually.
“How do we ensure our workforce is able to be successful but get away from the mindset of an eight to five workday?” Weaver said. It’s a complex set of challenges, but they are not insurmountable with support from fellow IT leaders and trusted partners.