Apr 21 2021

The Technology and Approach Needed to Quickly Enable Digital Government Services

State and local government IT leaders can turn to trusted third parties to accelerate in-house digitization and modernization or outsource those efforts.

Among the key lessons state and local government IT leaders can take away from a year of living in a world changed by the pandemic are that digital transformation in government is possible and there is no going back to a pre-pandemic environment. 

Citizens are expecting and demanding that government services be modern, digital and accessible. When physical offices shut down last year, many agencies were forced to grapple with the fact that paper-based services needed to go online. Agencies also needed to find ways to ensure government services as mundane as building inspections could be conducted remotely, digitally and safely. 

Agencies need to be able to quickly develop and deploy digital government services and convert legacy applications into modern, scalable cloud-based apps. This is especially true for services such as unemployment insurance, food assistance and other benefit programs that must scale quickly when demand spikes. 

Some government agencies, especially in large cities or states, may have the in-house IT expertise to manage such digitization and modernization initiatives. However, many do not. Fortunately, IT leaders who want to modernize but do not have the in-house time or talent to do so effectively and quickly can turn to CDW’s Amplified™ Services for help. 

The Technologies That Enable Digital Transformation 

Agencies that want to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning — or that need to rapidly migrate monolithic legacy applications to the cloud — may not have the skill set to do so in-house. 

Many state and local IT departments are very competent in the basic “blocking and tackling” matters of IT — managing servers, storage, networks and cybersecurity — but less so when it comes to cutting-edge digital transformation services. 

Even with the infusion of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal aid, state and local governments often do not have the budgets to implement every technology upgrade or application modernization they want. They can usually get more out of a technology investment by partnering with a trusted third party such as IGNW, a CDW company, than by trying to take care of such development work in-house. 

IGNW can aid with cloud migrations as well as shifts to containers and microservices — which allow old applications to be converted to code that can be run in the cloud (or clouds) of your choice. Such tools, when paired with managed application platforms such as Google Anthos, can provide agencies greater flexibility and enable them to run workloads in the most cost-effective cloud solution they want. 

IGNW also has deep experience using Docker to convert legacy applications into containerized environments, which creates a more consistent operating environment for applications and enables them to run virtually anywhere.

Agency IT teams can also partner with IGNW to use Infrastructure as Code tools to create infrastructure on demand in the cloud. IaC enables the rapid deployment of new digital services. 

VIDEO: What can government IT pros learn from the rise in digital services?

The Benefits of Partnering on Modernization Efforts 

At its heart, IGNW is two companies, offering short and long-term technical resourcing as well as digital solutions. With digital solutions, agencies acquire IGNW-owned outcomes; technical services are ultimately client-owned outcomes. 

If an agency has the desire and ability to build and deploy digital services on its own, IGNW can provide technical resources to implement the plan, or can perform independent reviews to evaluate and identify potential gaps.

Alternatively, after agreeing on a scope of work, IGNW can provide digital solutions to deploy the desired digital services itself. 

Such arrangements bring several benefits to agencies: They offer flexible engineering resources that can be scaled up or down, depending on the agency’s needs; IT leaders are not tasked with hiring full-time employees; and agencies will have better documentation of processes. 

Such relationships also have lower costs for agencies and lead to more rapid deployments. IGNW has the expertise needed to rapidly deploy modern, digital services and wants to complete projects as expeditiously as is feasible. 

Such relationships are client relationships and are not transactional. IGNW looks to establish long-term partnerships with government agencies to help develop skills and modernize infrastructure and applications. 

The goal is to provide as great a level of service as possible while also recognizing that some agencies have a limit on the amount of integration and modernization they can handle at a given time. We know what to do and what not to do, and can help agencies avoid the pitfalls of a modernization project. 

State and local governments are not typically early adopters in IT. However, the push for modern digital government services often requires cutting-edge technology solutions. Forging a relationship with a trusted partner with proven experience can help turn dreams of a modern digital government into a reality. 

Learn more about CDW’s Amplified™ Services. 

This article is part of StateTech’s CITizen blog series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the #StateLocalIT hashtag.

CITizen_blog_cropped_0.jpg

Getty Images/ scyther5