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The Realities of Evolving the IT Workforce

Acting Illinois CIO Kirk Lonbom weighs in on the importance of change management and preparing for a retirement wave.

Illinois CIO Kirk Lonbom
CIO and Acting Illinois Secretary of the Department of Innovation & Technology Kirk Lonbom
David Kidd/e.Republic
The term “silver tsunami” has come up frequently in recent years in discussions around attracting and retaining an IT workforce. The vision of a mass retirement wave hitting government IT shops brought questions of how agencies would fill those staffing gaps, and what impact that would have on how they would continue to serve their enterprise as well as citizens.

But at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Midyear Conference in April, Government Technology heard from many state IT leaders that maybe the reality wasn’t as bad as predicted. Illinois Acting CIO Kirk Lonbom noted that while there are some people ready to retire in his department, not all those people will.

So Lonbom is focusing not on the numbers of retirees, but on how to best manage the workforce that he has, regardless of time in the industry. To keep staff trained and up to date, he points to a need for vendors to bring change management tools to the state along with new technologies.




Lauren Harrison is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 10 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.
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