COTS Solutions to Help States Ride the “Silver Tsunami”
May 28, 2015 Leave a comment
There’s been a lot of talk lately among state government CIOs around the impending “silver tsunami,” with CIOs expecting as much as one third of their workforce to reach retirement eligibility by 2020. To make matters worse, many CIOs are struggling to recruit, retain, and incentivize the next generation workforce, the so-called “millennials.” A combination of mass retirements and unsuccessful recruiting efforts will undoubtedly leave a large workforce gap in state’s IT ranks and a significant problem for the states at large.
One of the main functions of state IT workforces is to support and maintain the large, aging infrastructure operating in most states. As this “silver tsunami” hits, the states will largely be without the knowledge, expertise, experience, and manpower necessary to operate and maintain their IT systems that keep states up and running. The question of how to keep their infrastructures and systems running is something the states are going to have to grapple with in the near future.
In a recent NASCIO (National Associate of State Chief Information Officer’s) Corporate Leadership Council meeting, Tennessee’s CIO proposed CIOs and IT organizations need to start looking to COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) solutions rather than customizing each and every application to their unique needs. States simply don’t and won’t have the manpower and expertise to be able to man these complex systems. In addition to being easier to maintain, a COTS solution also provides significant cost savings for IT organizations and states at large.
Using more COTS solutions would mean an IT organization’s manpower and expertise could be focused more on the strategic direction of the enterprise and less on day-to-day operations. This presents a good opportunity for COTS vendors who can position their solutions to states as a means to increase efficiency with minimal manpower.
COTS vendors should approach IT organizations with a message of efficiency. State lawmakers and citizens need to be reassured, there will not be any gap in service to support their day-to-day activities. CIOs will be looking for a solution that can ensure that constant level of service. In light of the impending “silver tsunami” looming over the states, CIOs will be especially receptive to solutions that increase their efficiency and allow them to provide the same or increased level of service with fewer resources.
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