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December 2020

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2020 in Review: The Gov Tech World Turned Upside Down

Government Technology’s editorial staff looks back on the year that was and the complex ways the COVID-19 pandemic impacted everything from policing and civic tech to infrastructure and telework.

Year in Review

On the Move: Tracking Gov Tech Leadership Changes in 2020

Despite the challenges this year brought, one thing remained unchecked: State and local government information technology chiefs continued to move on from gov tech or shift to new opportunities in new jurisdictions.

Emerging Tech Gets Off the Ground Amid Pandemic Response

Drones, thermal imaging and contact tracing got traction in all levels of government as COVID-19 broke down procurement barriers, sped up development and paved the way for getting new tech up and running.

COVID-19: The Ultimate Stress Test for Major Government Systems

Crashing state unemployment websites. Overwhelmed call centers. Millions out of work. Cloud technologies stepped up to the plate as the public sector worked to get citizens what they needed during the pandemic.

Grim Forecast, Pandemic Collide in Banner Cybersecurity Year

Before COVID-19 swept the globe, experts were already predicting a disastrous year in cybersecurity. The pandemic offered hackers new attack vectors and proved governments must always be ready for the unexpected.

States Prioritized Broadband as COVID-19 Took Hold

As COVID-19 forced droves of Americans to work and learn from home in 2020, the importance of reliable high-speed Internet highlighted the digital divide in ways state leadership couldn’t ignore.

COVID-19 Pushes Digital Services from Luxury to Necessity

For many jurisdictions, moving citizen services online was a long-term, “nice-to-have” project, but the pandemic forced new ways to bring city hall to the people, rather than the people to city hall.

Swift Shift to Telework Proves Public-Sector’s Agility

Many public leaders long believed that the people’s business could not be done from outside the walls of government buildings, but COVID-19 showed government can function from anywhere — quickly.

COVID-19 Fueled Innovation in Public Transit Solutions

While the pandemic meant fewer cars on the road as many Americans worked from home, transportation agencies looked to new ways trains, buses and ride shares could get essential workers to their jobs.

In 2020, a Reckoning for Law Enforcement and Tech Ethics

From worldwide protests to policy moves from technology giants like IBM and Amazon, the past year saw police use of tools like facial recognition and body cams come under scrutiny like never before.

Departments

Virginia Tackles Pandemic Response, Opioid Crisis with Data

CDO Carlos Rivero explains how he aligns his priorities with the CIO’s, how COVID-19 accelerated Virginia’s data governance strategy and how his time with the Federal Transit Administration informs state-level work.

Point of View

Year in Review 2020: Lessons from a Most Challenging Year

While the year that was 2020 immediately conjures words like “challenge,” “hardship” and “crisis,” there are lessons to be gleaned that offer important perspective as we approach the New Year.

News

NASA Fits Orbiter Camera With AI to Track Changes on Mars

Plus, drones that can plant thousands of trees in a day, mobile Microsoft data centers designed to set up in remote or hazardous locations, and a five-story building in Shanghai that “walked” itself down the street.

Columns

The Case for Embracing Video Technologies in Government

From police body cameras to virtual city council meetings to deepfakes, video wove its way through the many technology stories of 2020, and state and local IT agencies need to embrace it in their portfolios.

7 Ways to Make Remote Work Successful Beyond COVID-19

Work from home was at first a temporary pandemic solution, but as public and private organizations alike make remote work permanent, they’ll need to make adjustments to more than just where staff are located.

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