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How IT Can Leverage Past Success and Build Toward the Future

Post-pandemic, gov tech's stock is high in states, cities and counties nationwide. CIOs and other IT leaders need to capitalize on this momentum now to ensure more big wins.

Spring is here for those of us in Michigan, and summer is beginning for many across the country. So much has changed in the world of government technology, and this has shifted the playing field in many positive ways. Everyone is focused on getting things done. What will it take to impact the way governments deliver services longer term? How do we continue to ensure citizens receive increased value and service from government?

Welcome to part two of our series that started with a column on how to UNITE to get everything started. Now it is time to BUILD to make sure you get it done.


There has never been a time like today when the technology team belongs to every aspect of government. You all kept the government operating in one of the toughest times in our history. The trick now is to continue to stay part of the larger enterprise team as day-to-day operational issues occur. It is important to continue to be strategic and transparent with your agencies and departments. It is time for the leader of the technology organization to belong at the highest level of the team. Be at the big table helping make the big decisions to serve your citizens.


In our last column, we talked about the need to build strong relationships with the business of government. Now, we need to utilize them. Expectations have never been higher, and getting things done is at a premium. It is time to bring those allies to the table to push initiatives forward and to utilize your team like you never have before. Have them reach out into the business units to gain the knowledge they need to push hard. Have them cement those relationships by creating quick wins that lead to bigger successes. Utilize everything at your disposal to win.


Government technology leaders have been and continue to be in a pitched battle for quality resources. Many experts talk about keeping what you have versus constantly seeking out the new. It is time to invest in your team by providing the best training possible. Don’t fret that you may lose members of the team as they gain expertise; instead, revel in the fact that you may keep them against all odds when you invest in them now. It is also time to invest in eliminating your technical debt. Modernization is a must if you are ever to benefit from the new functionalities provided by modern technologies. Invest in your team and invest in your technologies — it's a winning combination.


Leave it to technology professionals to speak a different language than everyone else. The world of acronyms is at your disposal to dazzle the best of the best. But now is the time to speak the language of business. Ensure that you are sending the right message at the right time building on the "why" behind everything you do. Be a storyteller who limits technical terms at all costs. The greatest compliment you can receive from your partners and customers is that they understand what you say and believe what you believe. In other words, they understand the "why" and are ready to move forward as partners.

D = Drive

The relationships are built, the strategic plans are ready, the funding is in hand and you have leadership's support. Now it is time to drive forward to get it done. Drive the plans with an eye on completion. Drive the team to meet or exceed expectations on every project. Drive the timelines to ensure success is possible. Drive leadership expectations to keep your stakeholders on board. Finally, drive a team culture that is inclusive and goal oriented. Everyone wins!

Much of what we discussed in these two columns is paramount to being successful in the world of government technology. You must UNITE with everyone involved to bring much-needed initiatives to the forefront while embracing the need to BUILD to get it done. You know what to do and there is no time like the present to obtain what your organization needs — a big win!