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How ARPA Can Help State and Local Agencies Modernize and Better Serve Citizens

Over the past year, as state and local government agencies have met the challenges brought on by the pandemic, there’s been an increased focus on cloud migration, cybersecurity, the digital divide, and smart city initiatives.

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Over the past year, as state and local government agencies have met the challenges brought on by the pandemic, there’s been an increased focus on cloud migration, cybersecurity, the digital divide, and smart city initiatives. While initial investments in these areas by agencies have greatly benefited citizens, there is still more that can be accomplished with the right funding. Fortunately, that help has arrived.

Like all of us, state agencies and local governments have been forced to meet the challenges brought on by the pandemic. Disruptions to the workplace and to the workforce, cybersecurity and physical security concerns, and economic, educational, and social inequalities have been added to the traditional challenges of attracting and retaining employees and businesses, supporting public services and infrastructure, and protecting communities.

Cities and states across the country have embraced remote and hybrid work, finding new ways to deliver secure digital services and increase citizen access and safety. Many of these changes materialized at warp speed during the pandemic, but they’ve laid a foundation governments can build on to deliver more connected experiences and cultivate connected communities.

To aid in this transformation, the federal government has disbursed an unprecedented amount of funds to help states and localities invest in essential services like public safety, public health, human services, infrastructure, and broadband. This has created a unique opportunity for state and local government agencies to not only maintain business continuity during the ongoing public health emergency, but to make strategic investments for the long-term in cloud migration, cybersecurity, bridging the digital divide, and connected community initiatives.

In addition to funding from the CARES act, the passing of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) set aside roughly $350 billion through Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to be utilized directly for state and local governments. This funding is making it possible for agencies to enable hybrid work and provide safe environments and efficient services for their citizens. Based on lessons learned from the early rounds of stimulus aid, the federal government has intentionally left guidance broad for how state and local governments can use ARPA funding. With the rescue plan funds, there is a much wider latitude and greater local discretion about how to apply federal aid in a way that best meets their needs, making now the time to invest in intelligent, secure, cloud-based IT solutions.

Meraki is dedicated to supporting agencies no matter where they sit in their current digital transformation journey.

Each government is built based on the unique needs of their citizens and the services that solve for those needs. Historically, services have been facilitated and transacted face-to-face in a physical government space, but that world has evolved. This hybrid government is one where needs are met with services that are delivered no matter where employees sit or citizens are located.

We provide a unique, intuitive approach to technology by helping governments build a network delivering customizable and transformational experiences that result in empowered employees, safe and protected citizens, and secure physical and digital assets. Delivering on that promise, the Meraki platform offers unrivaled performance, security, and scale—removing complexity and converging IT, physical security, and IoT.

Whether it’s a hybrid workforce or safe environment, Meraki is here to support these experiences with an easy-to-use platform that allows agencies to deploy faster, manage anywhere, and scale reliably. By bringing products, insights, operations, and ecosystem partners together, we allow you to focus on the projects that improve citizens’ lives instead of worrying about network management.

Furthermore, with Meraki SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) solutions, the transition to multi-cloud and hybrid work has been turbo-charged, bringing into sharp focus the challenges agencies face in maintaining consistent security and experience for users. SASE benefits include reducing complexity and cost, enabling new digital scenarios, improving security, boosting productivity, and simplifying user experience.

In the end, Meraki solutions and federal funding can help governments meet the changing demands at a scale and speed they never would have thought possible, bringing them closer to achieving their mission and producing better outcomes for employees, businesses, and most importantly, citizens.

Visit our federal funding page for more information related to ARPA and other federal grants, or contact a Meraki representative today!