Aug 09 2023

Public Technology Institute Surveys Local Government IT Leaders for Top Priorities

PTI celebrates 10 years of its survey and joins Fusion Learning Partners.

The Public Technology Institute, a leader in government technology training and professional development, is looking at changes, both internal and across government IT, following the announcement of a new partnership and the release of its annual survey. 

In May, PTI released the findings of its 2023 State of City and County IT National Survey, detailing the management and priority issues impacting local government IT. Then, in June, PTI announced it was joining Fusion Learning Partners, a nonprofit organization that works to drive positive community change through learning programs and services. After ending its partnership with CompTIA, PTI searched for the right organization to lend its services to. Fusion accepted its entire portfolio of assets, including its research and programs, according to PTI Executive Director Alan Shark.

“We arrived at Fusion for a couple of reasons,” Shark says. “They’ve been in the government training space for some 40 years. We also wanted a nonprofit because that’s where our goals are most closely aligned. Our scale and values are also the same. And they’re trying to develop more of a national footprint, which we have.”

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How PTI and Fusion Will Work Together

PTI brings to Fusion Learning Partners certification programs that Shark describes as “labor intensive” and among “the best in the country for government CIOs.” PTI’s certification programs take a year to complete, include monthly meetups, online classes, discussion sessions and written assignments that must be completed outside of the classroom. 

“They are like college courses, but spread out for the busy professional,” Shark says. “We believe that with our approach, people will retain more and build a network.”

PTI members can also expect new services that could include a webinar series, new tech management certificate programs and weekly additions to the GovIT Hub. As part of the partnership, PTI will have access to Fusion’s administrative support, including its accounting, marketing and social media teams. 

“We get an expansion of our bench,” Shark says. “I have all these resources that I wouldn’t have had before.”

READ: Reskilling or upskilling government employees can pay dividends in cybersecurity. 

PTI’s Survey Shows the Need for Skills Training

Some of the results of the 2023 State of City and County IT National Survey came as no surprise to the PTI team. As expected, cybersecurity and data loss prevention remained top priorities for state IT leaders. With cyberthreats increase in speed and frequency, that’s not likely to change. The push for IT modernization also remains a major concern, says Shark, as system lifecycles become shorter and vendors consolidate and move clients to the cloud.

But some things did change, year over year. One is the importance of training IT professionals on soft skills, which moved from fourth place on the list of priorities last year to second place this year. Shark attributes this to changes in what IT departments value in their employees as they evolve from a simple workforce to an educated and emotionally intelligent workforce. 

“Today, you can be hired for your technical know-how but fired for your lack of soft skills,” Shark says. “Technology management today is more about people than the technology itself, which is just a set of tools. It’s more about leadership, supporting departments and understanding others’ needs.”

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