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Selling To State and Local In a Time Of Crisis? Here Are Some Tips From Our Experts

Watch our on Demand Webinar: Working with State and Local Government in a Time of Crisis

Spending and priorities in the public-sector IT market are shifting as governments adjust to life in the time of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Last week, our panel of nationally known experts from government and private-sector technology offered up some perspectives and advice in a webinar on “Working with State & Local Government During a Crisis.” 

The webinar was moderated by Dustin Haisler, e.Republic’s chief innovation officer and panelists included Teri Takai, executive director of the Center for Digital Government (CDG); Phil Bertolini, co-director of CDG; Cathilea Robinett, president of e.Republic; and Joe Morris, vice president of Research for e.Republic.
Some key takeaways for the immediate future include:
  • Stimulus funding and adjustments to the state budget are shifting priorities and spending patterns.
  • With more people working remotely, tools to enable that — and make it secure — will be needed.
  • The state and local governments are moving more to the cloud, seeking "everything-as-a-service."
In the long term, key considerations will include:
  • How to do more with less, with government IT spending directed to COVID-19.
  • New technologies will come forward after this period (AI, emergency response tech, innovation in security, etc.). Be prepared for the "new normal" and remain agile. 
And for those selling to government, here are some key points:
  • Do your homework before you call on a CIO or government technologist.
  • Don’t cold call. No “prospecting.” Government IT folks are too busy right now, and you’ll leave a bad impression.
  • Stay abreast of the news so you know what government needs at the moment. This means being aware of the burgeoning need for online citizen services as more people work remotely.
  • State and local governments are looking for solutions specifically dealing with cloud migration, cybersecurity for those working remotely, disaster-recovery and business-continuity plans.
  • Communications have changed. With face-to-face meetings off the table for now, content matters more than ever.
Dustin Haisler is the chief innovation officer of Emergency Management’s parent company e.Republic. Previously the finance director and later CIO for Manor, Texas, a small city outside Austin, Haisler quickly built a track record and reputation as an early innovator in civic tech. As chief innovation officer, Haisler has a strategic role to help shape the company’s products, services and future direction. Primarily, he leads e.Republic Labs, a market connector created as an ecosystem to educate, accelerate and ultimately scale technology innovation within the public sector.