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Florida’s Retirement Problem and Its Role in IT Modernization

Many CIOs want to get rid of legacy technology like the mainframe. Florida CIO Eric Larson explains how the state's workforce situation is forcing the issue.

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The number of technology employees nearing retirement in the state of Florida is proof positive that the so-called "silver tsunami" phenomenon is alive and well. In the video above, we caught up with Florida Chief Information Officer Eric Larson, who explains that the state's aging workforce is complicating their path to modernization, especially when it comes to legacy systems.  

"We either have to modernize it, we have to outsource it, we have to get other people involved so we can sustain it until we can migrate to a different environment," Larson said in an interview at last month's NASCIO midyear conference.

As Larson explained, the Florida Agency for State Technology was directed by state lawmakers to outsource the mainframe, in part due to workforce constraints. 

"People that have been employed the longest won't be eligible to be employed by the state anymore," he said, "so that creates a crisis where we have a defined timeline to come up with another arrangement."

Noelle Knell has been the editor of Government Technology magazine for e.Republic since 2015. She has more than two decades of writing and editing experience, covering public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and on Twitter.