StateTech Magazine - Technology Solutions That Drive Government https://statetechmagazine.com/rss.xml en How Robotic Process Automation Software Helps State Government https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/04/how-robotic-process-automation-software-helps-state-government-perfcon <span>How Robotic Process Automation Software Helps State Government</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Thu, 04/18/2019 - 14:35</span> <div><p>If state governments want to adopt artificial intelligence technology but don’t want to commit too much right away, they can start by dipping their toes in the shallow end of the pool with <strong>robotic process automation</strong>.</p> <p>The private sector has <a href="https://biztechmagazine.com/article/2019/01/what-robotic-process-automation-can-offer-small-businesses-perfcon" target="_blank">embraced RPA over the past few years</a>, and there are indications that state governments are interested in adopting the technology as well. <a href="https://www.nascio.org/Portals/0/Publications/Webinars/NASCIO 2019 Technology Forecast Webinar Slides.pdf" target="_blank">According to a 2018 survey</a> by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers and the Public Technology Institute, AI and RPA represent some of the emerging technology that will be most impactful over the next three to five years, with <strong>57 percent </strong>of respondents picking the category.</p> <p>“Because RPA is a software solution and can be used across multiple legacy systems, the cost benefit is enormous. RPA is especially useful in government customer service functions,” <a href="https://www.nascio.org/Portals/0/AI Machine Learning_FINAL.pdf" target="_blank">a separate NASCIO report states</a>. “Due to high accuracy, speed and standardization, RPA can <strong>save between 40-70% on labor costs, and near zero-error rates with both back office and front office functions</strong>.”</p> <p><a href="https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2018/09/how-can-state-auditors-achieve-digital-transformation" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Find out how state auditors can achieve digital transformation.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">What Is RPA?</h2> <p>At its heart, robotic process automation is essentially “a way to <strong>use software to automate certain rules-based, repetitive tasks</strong>,” says Amy Hille Glasscock, a senior policy analyst at NASCIO.</p> <p>“The private sector has been doing this for years, and now we are seeing state governments looking to RPA to save money and time, increase efficiency and accuracy, and free up employees to do the things we need humans to do,” she adds.</p> <p>To Clark Partridge, the state comptroller for Arizona, RPA is basically a programmed script that is executed to perform tasks and is “kind of like a souped-up macro.” </p> <p>“It executes the same way as a person would when they would be performing the same thing,” he says. “Because it is a script, it is obviously<strong> best suited for standardized high volume or routine activities</strong>.”</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/digital-transformation-report.html" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">How Can RPA Tools Best Help State Government?</h2> <p>There are a wide range of use cases for RPA tools in state government. Just as is the case for businesses, any process that is business-rule-driven, occurs in high volume and is repeatable would be well-suited for state government, Glasscock says.</p> <p>NASCIO sees RPA being <strong>used in many customer service applications, including chatbots to handle simple resident or user inquiries</strong>. That includes requests to reset passwords for accounts. “That’s an easy task that we really don’t need a human to do,” Glasscock says.</p> <p>Robotic process automation is also useful for tasks carried out by human resources, financial services and procurement, according to Glasscock. “For state government, utilizing RPA for some of these more ‘back-office’ tasks saves time and money, increases accuracy and allows state employees to focus more on citizens,” she says.</p> <p>Arizona’s comptroller’s office uses RPA to make routine updates in the accounting system, such as name changes, which are updated from the state’s human resources and payroll systems, according to Partridge. “<strong>If the change meets the required criteria, the update is made, a report on the results is prepared</strong>, and it is emailed to <a href="https://gao.az.gov/" target="_blank">a [General Accounting Office]</a> staff member for review,” he says. </p> <p>“It performs these updates just like that individual would, and you have accountability for the RPA bot just like you would have for any employee,” Partridge adds. “This process is fairly simplistic, which is why it was chosen for our pilot, but it demonstrates the capability. This saves our staff about <strong>30 to 60 minutes a day</strong>.”</p> <p>The comptroller’s office is moving toward the second phase of its RPA pilot, according to Partridge, so the office is still learning. However, he says that he has found preparing financial reconciliations “to be a prime candidate to consider for RPA.” </p> <p><strong>“Just look for your routine, standardized, high-volume activities,” </strong>Partridge says.</p> <p><a href="https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2018/01/state-and-local-governments-tap-chatbots-slash-staff-workloads" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Discover how state and local governments can tap chatbots to slash staff workloads.</em></a></p> <h2>How to Select the Best RPA Solutions</h2> <p>There are a wide range of robotic process automation vendors and tools available for state governments to choose from, ranging from small companies to quite large ones. Some, like Blue Prism and UiPath, were founded in the early 2000s, pioneering the field of RPA. Others, like WorkFusion, which was founded in 2010, are of a more recent vintage.</p> <p>There are also major tech players like <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/ibm.html" target="_blank">IBM</a> that <a href="https://www.ibm.com/automation/software/rpa" target="_blank">offer RPA solutions</a>. IBM also partners with other RPA platform providers, <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/product/ibm-robotic-process-automation-with-automation-anywhere-platform-license/4835557?enkwrd=automation+anywhere" target="_blank">like Automation Anywhere</a>. Arizona’s comptroller’s office uses Automation Anywhere software for its RPA pilot, according to Partridge.</p> <p>Partridge recommended that state IT leaders who are interested in RPA do their own research and work with <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/services/professional-services.html" target="_blank">trusted third parties</a>. They should also <strong>try and have conversations with their peers who have used RPA</strong>. “A vendor can help connect you with someone,” he says. “People are very willing to share thoughts and ideas.”</p> <p>Partridge first heard about RPA at a conference about a year and a half ago, during a discussion about emerging technologies like AI and blockchain. “Those are great technologies and pretty exciting, but too expensive at this point for us to tackle given our budget and overall resources,” he says. “When I saw how RPA worked and the short time to implement, considering the possibilities and the relatively low cost,<strong> it was like fireworks. I thought, ‘Hey, we can do this!</strong>’” </p> <p><a href="https://www.ibm.com/account/reg/us-en/signup?formid=urx-32683" target="_blank">IBM recommends that </a>IT leaders seek to <strong>match the RPA capabilities they need with their desired outcomes in order to achieve a strong return on investment</strong>. IBM says there are two main options. One is to “deploy standalone RPA as a simple way to achieve automation” and the other is to combine it with additional components to create a more sophisticated “RPA plus” capability. This second approach should be used “for processes which, due to complexity and dependencies, need to be coordinated,” according to IBM, as it “enables RPA to be used for <strong>more complex, conditional actions that may involve multiple outcomes and/or decision-making</strong>.”</p> <p>“The key is to clearly understand when standalone RPA is enough, and when it is time to consider enhancing it by adding more advanced capabilities such as unstructured data capture, business rules management or workflow orchestration,” IBM says.</p> <p>RPA is still relatively novel in government, Partridge says, and agencies are still experimenting. “My suggestion is to consider this as an investment in your future,” he says. “When you think of what's coming, artificial intelligence, etc., we need to be forward-thinking.”</p> <p>RPA helps agencies get more comfortable with <strong>adopting new technologies and integrating them into their workforce to drive value and productivity</strong>, Partridge says. “It has a relatively low cost and implementation period. You can get started, learn and find out where your best opportunities are,” he says. “It’s an exciting time to improve our business processes and expand the value we deliver to citizens.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/statetechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/CoMfravQ_400x400.jpg?itok=W9IAwS8L" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is the web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>StateTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 18 Apr 2019 18:35:52 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42326 at https://statetechmagazine.com IT Managers Should Take Advantage of Dynamic Graphics https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/04/it-managers-should-take-advantage-dynamic-graphics <span>IT Managers Should Take Advantage of Dynamic Graphics</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:11</span> <div><p>Data can be a powerful tool for state and local governments. Data-based decision-making offers <strong>an objective way to allocate resources</strong>, respond to complaints and comments, and deliver services to constituents. <a href="https://www.govtech.com/data/Visualization-Takes-Open-Data-to-the-Next-Level.html" target="_blank">State and local IT teams can use visualization tools and dashboards</a> to help both <strong>managers and customers pull meaning out of data previously locked away</strong>. </p> <p><a href="https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/04/it-managers-can-facilitate-good-decisions-strong-data-visualization">Some best practices state and local IT managers should follow</a> to create effective to have a good understanding of the underlying raw data. Without a good understanding of the raw data and its meaning, there cannot be certainty that <a href="https://www.slideshare.net/TableauSoftware/top-7-government-business-intelligence-trends-for-2017" target="_blank">the visualization gives a good picture</a> of what is really happening. People may draw false conclusions.</p> <p>Additionally, picking the right information and presenting it in the right way requires more than knowing the data — <strong>it requires knowing the audience that will use the visuals</strong>.</p> <p>And when a visualization tries to show the relationship between different data sets through correlation, summary and averaging, or other statistical manipulations, <strong>it’s important to ensure the math is right</strong>. A full-time data scientist can help <strong>ensure the accurate use of statistics</strong>. If a full-time data scientist is not available, some short-term help can ensure their appropriate use.</p> <p>Data visualization can present static graphics attached to a report or displayed to explain a point, but the <strong>real power of many modern visualization tools lies in their dynamic capabilities</strong>. They give the audience the ability to zoom in and out, pivot, and add or subtract datasets whenever they pull up a graph.</p> <p><em><a href="https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/04/how-tech-helps-state-and-local-governments-battle-opioid-crisis" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Discover how data helps state and local governments fight the opioid crisis</a>.</em></p> <h2>Use the Dynamic Properties of Data Visualizations to Their Fullest </h2> <p>State and local governments should take advantage of these capabilities to allow users to manipulate data visualization graphics to meet their own needs. But they should <strong>make sure users can get back to the base graph and layout with a simple click of a button</strong>. </p> <p>At the same time, agencies should use a<strong> rapid-prototyping approach</strong> to any dashboard visualization. A static framework provides the canvas to paint on, but the proper tools and designs add the freedom to build, remove and modify graphics as required. </p> <p><strong>It’s OK to take the time to get it right.</strong> User feedback and usage data can provide useful reviews to adjust graphics.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/joel-snyder"><img src="/sites/statetechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/author/Joel_Studio_Headshot_180.jpg?itok=TYcy4rmk" width="58" height="58" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/joel-snyder"> <div>Joel Snyder</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Joel Snyder, Ph.D., is a senior IT consultant with 30 years of practice. An internationally recognized expert in the areas of security, messaging and networks, Dr. Snyder is a popular speaker and author and is known for his unbiased and comprehensive tests of security and networking products. His clients include major organizations on six continents.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 18 Apr 2019 14:11:31 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42321 at https://statetechmagazine.com Spring 2019 https://statetechmagazine.com/magazine/issue/2019/4/spring-2019 <span>Spring 2019 </span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Tue, 04/16/2019 - 10:20</span> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-vertical" data-layout="vertical" data-url="https://statetechmagazine.com/magazine/issue/2019/4/spring-2019" data-title="Spring 2019" data-via="StateTech" data-button-background="none"> <span> <span>Apr</span> <span>16</span> <span>2019</span> </span> <a class="pw-button-twitter cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-facebook cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-linkedin cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-reddit cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-flipboard cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-email cdw-taboola-social"></a> <!-- Pinterest button is in EdTechk12 theme's vertical template --> </div> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-horizontal" data-counter="true" data-url="https://statetechmagazine.com/magazine/issue/2019/4/spring-2019" data-title="Spring 2019" data-via="StateTech" data-button-background="none"> <div> <a class="pw-button-twitter cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search?f=realtime&amp;q=https%3A%2F%2Fstatetechmagazine.com%2Frss.xml%3Fitok%3DwrTiMpta%26destination%3D%2F%253Fitok%253DwrTiMpta%26_exception_statuscode%3D404" target="_blank"><span class="pw-box-counter cdw-taboola" data-channel="twitter"></span></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-facebook cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-linkedin cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-reddit cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-flipboard cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-email cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <!-- Pinterest button is in EdTechk12 theme's horizontal template --> </div> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-horizontal" data-url="https://statetechmagazine.com/magazine/issue/2019/4/spring-2019" data-title="Spring 2019" data-via="StateTech" data-button-background="none"> <div> <a class="pw-button-twitter"></a> <span class="pw-box-counter" pw:channel="twitter"></span> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-facebook"></a> <span class="pw-box-counter" pw:channel="facebook"></span> </div> </div> Tue, 16 Apr 2019 14:20:39 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42311 at https://statetechmagazine.com States Must Commit to Cybersecurity Budgets https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/04/states-must-commit-cybersecurity-budgets <span>States Must Commit to Cybersecurity Budgets</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Tue, 04/16/2019 - 07:58</span> <div><p>Arizona CISO Mike Lettman shared a remarkable story in a discussion during <a href="https://statetechmagazine.com/nascio-2018">the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ 2018 Annual Conference</a>.</p> <p>Until recently, the Arizona state IT department lobbied the legislature annually for cybersecurity funding. If the funding didn’t come through one particular year, a lack of money <strong>could have forced Arizona to turn off its cyber defenses</strong>, Lettman said.</p> <p>In 2018, Arizona’s CIO and CISO <strong>won dedicated funding for cybersecurity in the state budget</strong> — a major victory in fully executing its cybersecurity strategy. Dependable cybersecurity spending reduced overall risk for the state, Lettman said.</p> <p>The New America think tank recently applauded Arizona’s strategy and how it has <a href="https://www.newamerica.org/cybersecurity-initiative/reports/cybersecurity-states-lessons-across-america/appendix-ii-arizona-and-the-arizona-cyber-threat-response-alliance-actra-the-community-approach" target="_blank">established a strong public-private partnership to support it</a>. And that’s key to Lettman’s fight. His efforts would have been wasted if he didn’t have the tools to carry out his strategy.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" data-widget="image" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/cyber-security-report.html" id="" rel="" target="_blank" title=""><img alt="Cybersecurity_IR_howstrong_700x220.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/Cybersecurity_IR_howstrong_700x220.jpg" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">CIOs and CISOs Face Hurdles in Cybersecurity Conversations</h2> <p>Four in 10 state and local IT leaders lack the tools to identify and report vulnerabilities in their networks, <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/statescoop-media/uploads/Tenable-DisruptiveStudy-Final-1.pdf" target="_blank">according to a study conducted last year</a> by CyberScoop and StateScoop, and underwritten by <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/tenable.html" target="_blank">Tenable</a>.</p> <p>Two-thirds of respondents asserted that communicating risks to state and local officials remains challenging <strong>because officials don’t comprehend the technology and risks</strong>, nor can they grasp the metrics.</p> <p><strong>Roughly half of states do not have a dedicated cybersecurity budget</strong>, according to NASCIO. Undoubtedly, this lack of dedicated funding is due in part to the difficulty of communicating the urgency of cybersecurity challenges to lawmakers. Among states that do have a cybersecurity budget, <strong>more than a third have experienced no growth or a reduction in their budgets</strong>, according to NASCIO’s 2018 survey of the 50 state CIOs.</p> <p>And this underscores NASCIO’s further suggestion that states might not spend enough on cybersecurity overall. In the survey, NASCIO found that many states allocate only 1 or 2 percent of their IT budgets to cybersecurity, while federal agencies dedicate more — <strong>perhaps 5 to 12 percent</strong> of their total IT budgets, depending on the agency.</p> <p>Let’s hope more states follow Arizona’s lead and budget sustained cybersecurity funding for their enterprises.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/ryan-petersen"><img src="/sites/statetechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/ryan-petersen-2013-headshot.jpg?itok=iV6msfy0" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/ryan-petersen"> <div>Ryan Petersen</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="google-plus" href="https://plus.google.com/110888965639568833839/posts?rel=author"><span>Google+</span></a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=RyanPete&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Ryan has been a magazine and newspaper editor for 18 years, with the last 12 covering a variety of bases for CDW’s family of tech magazines. As Editor in Chief, he works on developing editorial strategy and is always on the lookout for new writing talent and sharing great stories with the IT world. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys spending time with his family, biking and obsessively following Iowa Hawkeye sports and Cubs baseball.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 16 Apr 2019 11:58:49 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42306 at https://statetechmagazine.com IT Managers Can Facilitate Good Decisions with Strong Data Visualization https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/04/it-managers-can-facilitate-good-decisions-strong-data-visualization <span>IT Managers Can Facilitate Good Decisions with Strong Data Visualization</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/mickey-mccarter" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mickey McCarter</span></span> <span>Mon, 04/15/2019 - 12:55</span> <div><p>They say <strong>a picture is worth a thousand words</strong>, but the right picture can be worth so much more: It can <strong>explain, persuade, clarify and convince</strong>, or it can be deceptive and confusing. </p> <p>In an environment where politics and special interests often control the agenda, good data-based decision-making offers <strong>an objective way to allocate resources</strong>, respond to complaints and comments, and deliver services to constituents. <a href="https://www.govtech.com/data/Visualization-Takes-Open-Data-to-the-Next-Level.html" target="_blank">State and local IT teams can use visualization tools and dashboards</a> to help both <strong>managers and customers pull meaning out of data previously locked away</strong>. </p> <p>But there can be <strong>severe consequences to choosing the wrong statistics or the wrong graph style</strong>, leading to constituents and managers making bad decisions. IT teams shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for help and guidance to ensure that data visualizations are accurate and useful. Here are some best practices to get started.</p> <h2>1. Know the Data to Avoid Errors in Graphic Representations</h2> <p>Low storage costs and inexpensive, fast, database engines make it <strong>easy to save raw data from many different sources</strong>. Documenting the metadata that make the raw data useful can prove more time-consuming. Without context, however, a raw data stream is open to misinterpretation. </p> <p>For example, <strong>electric meter usage data can help in planning for energy management and maintenance programs</strong>. But someone using that data could easily come to incorrect conclusions without documentation that the data were available only from a sample of homes that have had their meters replaced. Those meters may account only for new homes, specific neighborhoods or young families. </p> <p><strong>Data visualization often brings together different data sources</strong> in the same image to show correlations. Without a good understanding of the raw data and its meaning, there cannot be certainty that <a href="https://www.slideshare.net/TableauSoftware/top-7-government-business-intelligence-trends-for-2017" target="_blank">the visualization gives a good picture</a> of what is really happening. People may draw false conclusions.</p> <p>Documentation of data sources and context and creation of good metadata are critical first steps to any data visualization and dashboard project. <strong>Providing context for graphics or the dashboard is equally important</strong>. Various tactics can put things into context for the viewer — including minima/maxima, comparisons to previous data and overlays of related data.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/digital-transformation-report.html" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital Transformation by CDW" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/statetechmagazine.com/files/Digital%20Transformation_IR_2.jpg" /></a></p> <h2>2. Know the Audience Whether Decision Makers or Constituents</h2> <p>Data visualization tools from <strong>vendors such as <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/microsoft-interstitial.html" target="_blank">Microsoft</a>, <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/oracle.html" target="_blank">Oracle</a> and <a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/brand/ibm.html" target="_blank">IBM</a></strong> make it easy to pull together data from disparate databases and quickly build a wide variety of graphics to present the information. </p> <p>Picking the right information and presenting it in the right way requires more than knowing the data — <strong>it requires knowing the audience that will use the visuals</strong>. Do they use this data to make decisions or do they simply monitor it? Do they dynamically adjust the visualization, or would a static presentation be more appropriate? Does the audience make short-term financial decisions or decide long-term strategy? Are the visuals for internal consumption, or will they be available for constituents to see on the web?</p> <p>Making choices on graph types, data overlays and even color depends on <strong>knowing what type of decision-making will come out of the data visualization</strong>.</p> <p>When a dashboard supports short-term operational decision-making — such as whether to create a problem report or to approve a request — <strong>data visualization can speed decision-making and improve accuracy</strong> through the use of colors, graphics such as arrows and limit lines, and graphical and table data together on the same visualization. </p> <p>Although it’s tempting to be transparent and deliver the same information in the same format to constituents, doing so can lead to significant misunderstandings. <strong>Constituents won’t have the same context and subject matter expertise</strong> as internal users, and they require <a href="https://www.tableau.com/solutions/customer/minnesota-pollution-control-agency-clears-view-data" target="_blank">a presentation in a different format with significant additional explanations</a>. </p> <p><a href="https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/04/how-tech-helps-state-and-local-governments-battle-opioid-crisis" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: Discover how data helps state and local governments fight the opioid crisis</strong></em></a></p> <h2>3. Know the Statistics to Present Accurate Information</h2> <p>When a dashboard simply shows time-based data on a graph, it doesn’t involve a lot of statistics. But when a visualization tries to show the relationship between different data sets through correlation, summary and averaging, or other statistical manipulations, <strong>it’s important to ensure the math is right</strong>. A full-time data scientist can help <strong>ensure the accurate use of statistics</strong>. If a full-time data scientist is not available, some short-term help can ensure their appropriate use.</p> <p>A similar concern lies in the graphics themselves. <strong>Many business intelligence and visualization tools have a huge variety of graphic options</strong> — not just tables and charts but also bubble charts, heat maps, mosaic graphs, treemaps and more. Selecting the right graph type and the right axis scales is not just a matter of aesthetics; <strong>it’s the best way to focus the viewer’s attention</strong> and <a href="https://statescoop.com/harvard-chronicles-governments-best-data-visualizations-in-searchable-database/" target="_blank">deliver the right information as accurately as possible</a>. </p> <p>For IT teams that have learned to graph using Excel, <strong>some training on choosing and presenting information in graphics</strong> is a requirement. A good place to start is with Edward Tufte’s classic book, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. </p> <p>A natural way for governments to help end users understand data is to use geographic-based visualizations, since <strong>so much of what governments deliver is based on location</strong>. When using geographic visualizations, however, <strong>it is important to use clear, precise geocoding</strong>. For example, if data were coded only to the county level, then users shouldn’t be able to zoom into a level that implies greater precision.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/joel-snyder"><img src="/sites/statetechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/author/Joel_Studio_Headshot_180.jpg?itok=TYcy4rmk" width="58" height="58" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/joel-snyder"> <div>Joel Snyder</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Joel Snyder, Ph.D., is a senior IT consultant with 30 years of practice. An internationally recognized expert in the areas of security, messaging and networks, Dr. Snyder is a popular speaker and author and is known for his unbiased and comprehensive tests of security and networking products. His clients include major organizations on six continents.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 15 Apr 2019 16:55:31 +0000 Mickey McCarter 42301 at https://statetechmagazine.com Q&A: Brazos County, Texas, Sheriff Embraces 21st Century Public Safety Tech https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/04/qa-brazos-county-texas-sheriff-embraces-21st-century-public-safety-tech <span>Q&amp;A: Brazos County, Texas, Sheriff Embraces 21st Century Public Safety Tech</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Fri, 04/12/2019 - 09:00</span> <div><p><a href="https://www.brazoscountytx.gov/" target="_blank">Brazos County, Texas</a>, got its first glimpse into the future in 2010. Police Sgt. Josh Hearen attended a demonstration for the nation’s first public safety broadband network in neighboring <a href="https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2018/05/harris-county-improves-disaster-recovery-hyperconverged-infrastructure">Harris County</a>, a First Responders Network Authority (FirstNet) Early Builder. </p> <p>“Josh planted the seed here that maybe we could work off that core antenna and test some of the devices,” recalls <a href="http://brazoscountytx.gov/index.aspx?NID=205" target="_blank">Brazos County Sheriff </a>Chris Kirk. Harris County <strong>loaned them six devices, and the test proved successful</strong>. Within a few years, Brazos County was operating on band class 14 — the public safety spectrum — and continued until November 2017, when Texas opted into FirstNet. <strong>“We started the project the week of Thanksgiving,” says Kirk, and they haven’t looked back. </strong></p> <p><em>StateTech</em> recently spoke with Kirk and Hearen about their experiences transitioning to and using FirstNet.</p> <h2><span style="color: #c74037;">STATETECH:</span> Can you think of a case that went more smoothly because of the network?</h2> <p><strong>HEAREN: </strong>There was a fraud case at the tax office. An individual came in from Houston to register and title a vehicle in Brazos County, and the vehicle was listed as stolen. The tax office called our nonemergency dispatch line, and the patrol lieutenant was able to remote into the tax office cameras from his vehicle, actually get his eyes on the suspects that were in the building and <strong>watch them through the IP cameras </strong>while the officers responded. He was able to direct the responding officers to exactly where they needed to be to apprehend the stolen vehicle. </p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/melissa-delaney"> <div>Melissa Delaney</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Melissa Delaney is a freelance journalist who specializes in business technology. She is a frequent contributor to the CDW family of technology magazines.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 12 Apr 2019 13:00:00 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42296 at https://statetechmagazine.com How 5G Networks Will Benefit State and Local Agencies https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/04/how-5g-networks-will-benefit-state-and-local-agencies <span>How 5G Networks Will Benefit State and Local Agencies</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Thu, 04/11/2019 - 10:08</span> <div><p>5G is coming very soon. The fifth generation of cellular technology promises to <a href="https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2018/04/difference-between-downloadupload-speeds-smart-city-5g-perfcon">deliver speeds 10 times faster than 4G LTE</a> wireless networks and cut latency to milliseconds. Not only will speeds be fast but network delays are expected to be extremely few, which should be <strong>a boon for city, county and state governments that want to use 5G to power Internet of Things sensors</strong>.</p> <p>5G is expected to enhance mobility services in smart cities and for public safety agencies. “The capacity, speed and latency of 5G service makes it perfect for IoT and smart cities solutions, making objects like light poles, pavement and traffic signals smarter,” Sean Harrington, <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?b=vzn" target="_blank">Verizon</a>'s vice president for city solutions, <a href="https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2018/10/how-5g-wireless-networks-will-impact-smart-cities">tells <em>StateTech</em></a>.</p> <p>In addition to enabling new applications for smart cities, 5G is also expected to <a href="https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/03/how-5g-and-multi-access-edge-computing-can-optimize-public-safety-perfcon">enable a wide range of benefits for first responders</a>, including <strong>real-time analytics of video surveillance, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, traffic management </strong>and other public safety functions. </p> <p><a href="https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/03/benefits-5g-network-slicing-public-safety-perfcon" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Find out how 5G network slicing technology can benefit public safety. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">What Is the State of 5G Network Rollout Plans?</h2> <p>Verizon <a href="https://www.fiercewireless.com/5g/verizon-to-launch-mobile-5g-chicago-and-minneapolis-april-11" target="_blank">launched</a> its first mobile 5G service in <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/3/18293773/verizon-5g-wireless-network-rollout-chicago-minneapolis" target="_blank">“select areas” of Chicago and Minneapolis on April 3</a>, and will deploy standards-based 5G services <a href="https://www.fiercewireless.com/wireless/verizon-to-launch-mobile-5g-service-30-markets-year" target="_blank">in more than 30 U.S. cities this year</a>. (Verizon launched a fixed-broadband 5G in October with limited availability in four cities.) </p> <p>Meanwhile, <a href="https://www.lightreading.com/mobile/5g/atandt-adds-2-more-us-cities-to-5g-plans-in-2019/d/d-id/749428" target="_blank">AT&amp;T currently has select parts of 12 markets</a> deployed with 39-gigahertz millimeter wave 5G mobile service, including Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas; Houston; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, Fla.; Louisville, Ken.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; New Orleans; Raleigh, N.C.; San Antonio; and Waco, Texas. The carrier also plans to launch the service in Chicago and Minneapolis.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Sprint, which is trying to merge with <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/?b=tmo" target="_blank">T-Mobile</a>, <a href="https://www.fiercewireless.com/wireless/sprint-to-launch-commercial-5g-4-us-cities-may" target="_blank">plans to launch standards-based commercial 5G</a> in four cities in May — Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and Kansas City, Mo. — and in five other cities before the end of June: Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington, D.C.</p> <p>T-Mobile plans to launch devices that can take advantage of the 600MHz wireless spectrum for 5G <a href="https://www.cnet.com/news/t-mobile-delays-full-600-mhz-5g-launch-until-second-half/" target="_blank">in the second half of the year</a>. That spectrum has strong propagation characteristics, meaning it can travel far and penetrate buildings well. </p> <p>5G enables <strong>quick sharing of rich data and information into the field while boosting connectivity</strong>. Governments anticipate a slew of new mobile and stationary networking devices as 5G rolls out across U.S. cities and states.</p> <p><a href="https://www.fiercewireless.com/wireless/west-virginia-22nd-state-to-adopt-streamlined-rules-for-5g-small-cell-deployments" target="_blank">As FierceWireless reports</a>, 22 states “have enacted legislation aimed at greasing the bureaucratic wheels for wireless carriers deploying 5G small cell infrastructure.” <a href="https://www.fiercewireless.com/wireless/operators-face-local-opposition-to-5g-small-cell-deployments" target="_blank">The publication also notes that in September</a>, the Federal Communications Commission “passed a wireless pre-emption order that it says will help<strong> streamline 5G small cell deployments</strong> and ensure that wireless carriers have low-cost access to public rights of way and existing support structures such as city-owned utility poles and street lights.” </p> <p><a href="https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/01/operational-benefits-deploying-public-safety-tech-innovations" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Discover the operational benefits of cutting-edge public safety tech. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">How Will 5G Help Smart Cities and Public Safety?</h2> <p>Currently, as Harrington notes, there are IoT and smart city applications running well on 4G LTE, “but there will be others in the future that will require single-digit millisecond latency and massive bandwidth — applications that otherwise won’t be possible without 5G technology. <strong>Applications like autonomous mobility</strong>, for instance.”</p> <p>City departments can also leverage 5G to <strong>stream live video wirelessly from HD cameras positioned on streetlights at intersections</strong>. “This raw video can then be processed with specialized video analytics in the multi-access edge compute to help detect, classify and track cars, bicyclists and pedestrians as they pass through the intersection, allowing for further improvement in congestion management and increased pedestrian safety,” Harrington says.</p> <blockquote><p>First responders will also see benefits from 5G, especially when combined with multi-access edge computing solutions. Nick Nilan, director of public sector product development at Verizon, <a href="https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/03/how-5g-and-multi-access-edge-computing-can-optimize-public-safety-perfcon" target="_blank">tells <em>StateTech</em></a> that such solutions could “assess surveillance feeds for facial and image recognition to produce alerts, spurring immediate actions such as sounding alarms and locking doors.”</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="https://ieee-vics.org/speakers/kevincurran/" target="_blank">Kevin Curran</a>, an IEEE senior member and professor of cybersecurity at Ulster University, concurs and tells StateTech that edge computing in public surveillance systems “will be able to find extraordinary events and make real-time safety decisions.” They can use artificial intelligence “to merge the images and data from their various sensors to adapt instantly.” These sensors generate large amounts of data, Curran notes, often about 1.5 gigabytes per second, <strong>“so being able to incorporate edge computing allows more rapid responses.”</strong></p> <p>Multi-access edge computing and 5G also enable vehicle-to-vehicle communications, which can be used to allow first responder vehicles to communicate with each other and with civilian vehicles, Curran says. “5G's latencies below 20 milliseconds are <strong>crucial for traffic safety applications</strong>,” he says. “This will lead to increased road safety.” </p> <p>State and local government IT leaders should discuss with their wireless carrier and vendor partners their needs and what they would want to use 5G for as they craft their future network plans. </p> <p>Not a lot of 5G network coverage live now. But as 2019 rolls on and 2020 comes into view, state and local agencies can begin to take advantage of these next-generation networks.</p> <p><em>This article is part of </em>StateTech<em>'s <a href="https://statetechmagazine.com/citizen">CITizen blog series</a>. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/statelocalIT?f=tweets">#StateLocalIT</a> hashtag.</em></p> <p><em><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://statetechmagazine.com/citizen" target="_blank"><img alt="CITizen_blog_cropped_0.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://statetechmagazine.com/sites/statetechmagazine.com/files/CITizen_blog_cropped_0.jpg" /></a></em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/11356"><img src="/sites/statetechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/Dan_Fagan.jpg?itok=UGnKv_e_" width="58" height="58" alt="Dan Fagan" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/taxonomy/term/11356"> <div>Dan Fagan</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Dan Fagan is the Business Lead for Strategic Markets at CDWG</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 11 Apr 2019 14:08:47 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42291 at https://statetechmagazine.com Q&A: New Colorado CIO Sees Opportunities in Digital Government and Innovation https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/04/qa-new-colorado-cio-sees-opportunities-digital-government-and-innovation <span>Q&amp;A: New Colorado CIO Sees Opportunities in Digital Government and Innovation</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Thu, 04/11/2019 - 08:10</span> <div><p>In January, Colorado gained a new CIO and executive director for the state’s Governor’s Office of Information Technology: <strong>Theresa Szczurek</strong>, co-founder of <a href="https://www.radishsystems.com/" target="_blank">Radish Systems</a>, a software firm that develops “voice with visuals” self-service and other live-assistance communications platforms. Szczurek previously served as a management consultant.</p> <p><em>StateTech</em> chatted with Szczurek about her state’s pressing IT requirements, applications for exciting new technology and the <a href="https://www.nascio.org/TopTen/ArtMID/659/ArticleID/744/State-CIO-Top-Ten-Policy-and-Technology-Priorities-for-2019" target="_blank">top CIO priorities surveyed by the National Association for State Chief Information Officers</a>.</p> <h2><span style="color: #c74037;">STATETECH: </span>Now that you’re CIO of Colorado, what are your first priorities? </h2> <p><strong>SZCZUREK: </strong>The first priority is around supporting the vision of Gov. Jared Polis and the new administration. Gov. Polis is really focused on <strong>cost reduction, consistency and efficiency, and he wants to bring in an entrepreneurial spirit and creativity</strong>. I think the fact that I had both big company — <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/theresaszczurek/" target="_blank">AT&amp;T</a> — and small entrepreneurial company experience was a plus for him in that department.</p> <p>Our <a href="http://www.oit.state.co.us/" target="_blank">Office of Information Technology</a> supports 17 executive branch agencies throughout the state. Therefore, we support the governor’s focus on healthcare, which is led by Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera. As we think of universal healthcare in a large state like Colorado, it will include<strong> a telehealth component</strong>, given <a href="https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/04/tech-helps-deliver-telehealth-care-remote-areas">the state’s rural populations</a>, and our office will support that.</p> <p>Other things in the governor’s vision include support for broadband. For example, one of his primary focus areass leading a statewide effort to <strong>expand broadband coverage and capacity</strong>. We are on track to deliver on our goal of providing <strong>92 percent</strong> rural broadband access by the end of 2020. This is tied in with economic development, of course, because it will create new jobs and expand markets for new and existing businesses, and it will provide better access to educational opportunities and improve public safety.</p> <p><a href="https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/03/how-states-are-going-smart-state-journey" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM STATETECH: </strong>Find out how different states are going on a smart state journey. </em></a></p> <h2><span style="color: #c74037;">STATETECH: </span>In addition to telehealth, are there other specific initiatives or programs that demand your attention? </h2> <p><strong>SZCZUREK: </strong>We are supporting and building many of the state’s systems. We’re managing the infrastructure for 17 agencies, which includes<strong> the voice data network, the data centers and the public safety communications network</strong> for first responders. We support a wide range of applications — <strong>1,200 total</strong> — so that has to be our top priority. We do it very well, and will continue the focus on that.</p> <p>Additionally, there are increasing threats facing private and government systems in terms of cybersecurity. We have a talented information security officer, and we are expanding our cybersecurity work. For example, we’re moving to<strong> enable two-factor authentication statewide</strong>, and we are educating state employees on cybersecurity risks. Often, employee negligence and bad habits can be some of the biggest risks.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/11391"><img src="/sites/statetechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/Mickey_McCarter.jpg?itok=tWzGOlTU" width="58" height="58" alt="Mickey McCarter" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/taxonomy/term/11391"> <div>Mickey McCarter</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Mickey McCarter is the senior editor of StateTech Magazine.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 11 Apr 2019 12:10:34 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42286 at https://statetechmagazine.com Cloud Migration Takes the Pain Out of Permitting Processes https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/04/cloud-migration-takes-pain-out-permitting-processes <span>Cloud Migration Takes the Pain Out of Permitting Processes</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Tue, 04/09/2019 - 07:28</span> <div><p>Instead of making separate trips to local and state government offices to apply for some building, electrical and other permits, Rhode Island homeowners, businesses and contractors can take care of these tasks all at once <strong>through an online service</strong>.</p> <p>In 2016, <a href="https://www.ri.gov/" target="_blank">Rhode Island</a> launched a statewide, <a href="http://permits.ri.gov/" target="_blank">cloud-based e-permitting system</a> that connects the state with its municipalities. It centralizes and streamlines the permitting process, <strong>resulting in faster approvals, improved customer service and cost savings for the government</strong>.</p> <p>“Previously, it was entirely paper-based, and some permits required visits to both the local town hall and the state’s offices, so it was two stops. Now, it’s an entirely electronic process that can be done on your phone,” says Elizabeth Tanner, director of the <a href="http://www.dbr.ri.gov/" target="_blank">Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation</a>.</p> <p>State and local governments have spent the past decade expanding their <strong>e-government services</strong> — and that effort includes e-permitting systems, through which residents and businesses can go online to apply for, pay for and track the progress of their permit or license applications. Those e-permitting systems <strong>take advantage of opportunities offered by cloud computing and server technologies</strong>.</p> <p>“More and more, people are expecting to have that easy online experience they have when they go to Amazon,” says Amy Hille Glasscock, senior policy analyst at the <a href="https://www.nascio.org/" target="_blank">National Association of State Chief Information Officers</a>. “It’s a lot more efficient and saves time.”</p> <p>Government agencies work more productively with e-permitting by automating the back-end workflow and allowing agencies to manage the permit approval process electronically through the cloud, Glasscock adds.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/hybrid-cloud-infrastructure-report.html" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Why Cloud Is the Key for E-Government </h2> <p>Multiple state agencies, including the <a href="http://www.omb.ri.gov/reform/" target="_blank">Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Regulatory Reform</a>, the <a href="http://www.doit.ri.gov/" target="_blank">Department of Administration’s IT Division</a> and the quasi-public <a href="https://commerceri.com/" target="_blank">Rhode Island Commerce Corp.</a>, collaborated on the e-permit project to streamline the permitting process and boost economic development, Tanner says.</p> <p>Rhode Island standardized on cloud-based permitting software that is hosted on <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/microsoftazure.html" target="_blank">Microsoft Azure</a>. The state pilot included 10 municipalities as well as the <a href="http://fire-marshal.ri.gov/" target="_blank">Office of the State Fire Marshal</a> and the <a href="http://www.ribcc.ri.gov/" target="_blank">Building Code Commission</a>.</p> <p>Today,<strong> 28 of the state’s 39 municipalities</strong> have gone online with the new system, and another three will be up and running by the second quarter of 2019, Tanner says.</p> <p>Besides fast processing times, the e-permitting system <strong>provides convenience and transparency</strong>. Residents, contractors and builders use the system to apply for building, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, moving, demolition and solar permits.</p> <p>“People can order permits from home or their work site anytime, 24/7, not just during office hours,” Tanner says. “It’s also incredibly transparent. They can check progress online and see that their application has moved from one person to the next, and not worry that it’s stuck on someone’s desk.”</p> <p>For many jurisdictions, it’s the first time employees don’t have to input data manually. And<strong> the cloud has reduced annual maintenance costs for some cities and towns replacing aging permit systems</strong>.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/wylie-wong"><img src="/sites/statetechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/wylie-wong.jpg?itok=gph_Y-uT" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/wylie-wong"> <div>Wylie Wong</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=WylieWong&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Wylie Wong is a freelance journalist who specializes in business, technology and sports. He is a regular contributor to the CDW family of technology magazines.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 09 Apr 2019 11:28:08 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42276 at https://statetechmagazine.com 4 Ways to Make Mobile Field Devices Work https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/04/4-ways-make-mobile-field-devices-work <span>4 Ways to Make Mobile Field Devices Work </span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Mon, 04/08/2019 - 13:25</span> <div><p>Mobile field devices help state and local agencies in a variety of ways.</p> <p>They make issuing citations like parking tickets easier and more reliable.</p> <p>First responders around the country are also using them to <strong>keep track of personnel, map locations and share data in real time during emergency scenarios</strong>.</p> <p>UAnd using handheld technology helps city and state agencies gain efficiencies, increase accuracy and integrate information more easily with state networks and databases. Here are four tips state and local government IT leaders should follow to ensure that their mobile deployments are smooth. </p> <ol><li> <p><strong>Make a plan.</strong> Agencies need to pinpoint where the technology fits in their long-term roadmaps. “Don’t just buy something and send it out into the field without considering aspects like security and the policies you need in place,” says Amy Hille Glasscock of the <a href="https://nascio.org" target="_blank">National Association of State Chief Information Officers</a>. “That can help avoid some of the problems that come along with mobile devices.”</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Lock them down. </strong>Mobile devices have a greater potential for damage, theft or misuse, as well as cybersecurity issues, Glasscock says. “You need to make sure they have appropriate mobile security measures in place, that they’re password- protected and can be wiped remotely if they’re lost.”</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Avoid “shiny-toy syndrome.”</strong> Learn how to tell the difference between technology that looks cool and things your department really needs, advises Pat Riley, District 1 director for the <a href="http://www.idahofirechiefs.org/" target="_blank">Idaho Fire Chiefs Association</a>. “Don’t let technology drive you; you need to drive it,” he says.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Don’t forget about the end users. </strong>Changing how people do their jobs can take time. “Our biggest challenge was training,” says Afton Terry, acting supervisor for the <a href="http://www.longbeach.gov/finance/about-our-department/" target="_blank">Long Beach Commercial Services Bureau</a>’s parking unit. “We made sure to communicate with our vendor and get hands-on training for all agencies involved.”</p> </li> </ol><p>For more on mobile device deployments, check out our feature article, “<a href="https://statetechmagazine.com/article/2019/04/versatile-mobile-devices-speed-work-local-officials-field">Versatile Mobile Devices Speed Up Work for Local Officials in the Field</a>.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/dan-tynan"><img src="/sites/statetechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/dan-tynan-180.jpg?itok=mnbuJzub" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/dan-tynan"> <div>Dan Tynan</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="google-plus" href="http://plus.google.com/102093055760798427858/posts?rel=author"><span>Google+</span></a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=tynanwrites&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Dan Tynan is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. He has won numerous journalism awards and his work has appeared in more than 70 publications, several of them not yet dead.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 08 Apr 2019 17:25:08 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42271 at https://statetechmagazine.com