Technology Is Essential for Achieving State Priorities

By Rachel Eckert, SLED Manager

It’s that time of the year, when governors make proclamations about budget priorities for the upcoming year. These speeches provide insight into areas where state agencies will be spending their money. These speeches rarely spell out overt technology priorities, but this year’s priorities of developing the workforce, improving physical infrastructure, increasing education funding and security — and not raising taxes cry out for technology.

Workforce Development
Many governors have spoken about increasing efforts to develop a more robust workforce. The discussion usually centers around training, especially technical training. Training today relies heavily on technology for its delivery of the curriculum and the subject material itself features a heavy dose of technology as well. In Massachusetts, for example, Governor Baker is advocating for training on advanced manufacturing, robotics and smart materials.

In California, the new governor stated a need for a comprehensive statewide strategy to uplift and upskill workers “to ensure technological advancements in AI, blockchain, big data…” State departments of labor and industry throughout the country will be looking for technology that will help match individuals to appropriate training programs, deliver education materials and track their progress.

Public Infrastructure
Another common theme is improving roadway infrastructure. Michigan struggles with an abundance of crumbling roads and bridges. In addition to repairing a multitude of unsafe roads and bridges, traffic congestion was also a problem cited by many other states, not just Michigan. State budgets do not have adequate funding to address this problem. With the help of public-private partnerships (P3s), though, many states are investigating new technology to help address infrastructure challenges, including traffic congestion.

Massachusetts is making investments in public infrastructure that will enable the next generation of zero-emission and autonomous vehicles. Investments being made by Michigan, Massachusetts, and many other states include technologies like in-road sensors, cameras, networking and cloud-based management systems.

No Tax Increases
Despite these additional priorities, most states are not raising taxes to accommodate the additional activities. Without tax increases, states must be more efficient with the funds they do have. This is where technology comes in — helping stretch resources so that agencies operate more efficiently. Scalable cloud-based systems enable states to acquire only the compute power they need. Security monitoring programs automate the surveillance of data systems and allow personnel to focus on higher priority items. To find funding for his priorities, Pennsylvania’s Governor Wolf has gone so far as to reduce the number of state employees to avoid raising taxes.

Each state has a different list of priorities While the priorities don’t blatantly call out technology elements, they include technology in some fashion: cloud-based systems to manage and track workforce development or manage traffic; automated security monitoring programs to safeguard roadway sensors in transportation systems. The trick is understanding which priorities lend themselves well to technology solutions and targeting those specific priorities with customized messaging that ensures your solution is meeting their needs.

 

If you would like help identifying the underlying technology aspects in your state, reach out to our Market Intelligence team to see how we can you target your technology.

Keep up on trends and drivers in SLED. Subscribe to the immixGroup’s Government Sales Insider blog.

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