11AM PT, 2PM ET
Last Friday, March 27, e.Republic hosted a webinar to break down the complexity of how to work with state and local government agencies in a time of crisis. In the span of a few weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrust every state and local government agency into crisis-response mode. Industry partners play a critical role in aiding this response, but they must rethink their approach so they don’t overwhelm leaders during this time. The webinar brought together former government officials at the state and local level, a gov tech market expert, and e.Republic’s own company president, to frame the challenges and priorities of current government officials and how best to engage – and not engage – with them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- What are the immediate impacts of this crisis on state and local government IT organizations?
- 26 states and countless cities and counties have all issued shelter-in-place orders that have shifted non-essential private-sector and government workforces to a work-from-home model. Business leaders are helping by focusing on citizen communications, bringing essential services online, transitioning their workforce to a virtual setup, and reevaluating their primary and secondary suppliers.
- What are the mid-range impacts?
- Three to six months after the pandemic subsides, state and local agencies will begin looking at how to adapt their organizational plan based on the steps they took in their initial response. Agencies will use this time to refocus their strategy, re-prioritize their technology portfolio, re-align future actions with agency leadership, and re-review cybersecurity efforts and the supply chain.
- And the long-term impacts?
- Looking to the future, agencies will begin to shift their focus to preparing their organizations to the post-COVID-19 new normal. Specifically, agencies will reevaluate their disaster recovery and business continuity plans, enhance remote work capabilities and identify new technologies for mission-critical services. In addition, agencies will begin to plan for additional policy and IT modernization strategies to better respond to future crises. Expect to see new technology utilization (including many capabilities as-a-service) as the best practices that emerge during this crisis become a standard part of an IT organization’s portfolio.
- How should the private sector engage with state and local agencies during this crisis?
- Now more than ever, industry partners should stop cold-outreach campaigns. Stop contacting officials with unsolicited e-mails and phone calls. Instead, focus on the immediate needs of state and local agencies. It’s vital for industry partners to do their homework, including analyzing emergency procurements, to best understand the specific needs of state and local agencies and align any communication to solving these challenges.
- What does the funding and procurement landscape look like in state and local government today?
- Although many non-essential procurements have been put on hold, we expect to see a significant increase in essential service and technology funding with the passing of federal government aid. The historic $2.2 trillion stimulus passed by Congress last week provides approximately $424 billion to the state and local level ($274 billion in supplemental aid and $150 billion in direct support). This funding will be allocated to a variety of essential services, each with underlying technology needs – including elections security, telehealth, emergency preparedness and much more.