State & Local Governments Focus on Continuity of Operations

Rachel Eckert

By Rachel Eckert, SLED Manager

Fiscal environments at the state and local government level are very different today than they were even a few weeks ago. Budgets presented earlier this year are now being adjusted, as many governments face an upcoming revenue shortfall.

Taxes that would have been collected on our trips to the movies, restaurants and shopping malls are now not flowing into government treasuries. Fairfax County, Virginia, for example, is predicting significantly less revenue due to drops in sales tax collections, hotel occupancy taxes, car taxes, business taxes and more. With less revenue, they will have to delay some or all new programs, including additional funding for school technology purchases, police body cameras and affordable housing.

The impact is felt beyond Fairfax County. Seattle, Washington is predicting a revenue shortfall of $110 million. The State of New York comptroller has estimated that the current crisis could cost the state $7 billion in lost revenues for their fiscal year 2021, which started April 1.

State and local governments will still need to acquire IT though. As they navigate the current fiscal environment they will only be able to think about what’s most essential for their continued operations. Here’s how you can help support their critical needs:

  • Focus on solutions that support virtualized operations – With more government employees working remotely, many state and local governments are increasing their VPN accessibility and bandwidth. Face-to-face meetings are no longer a possibility and state and local governments are increasingly looking to virtual meeting spaces to facilitate continued communications.
  • Support the delivery and sharing of real-time information – Citizens are expecting to receive real-time information and updates often on the evolving situation — and the government’s response. Solutions that simplify the collection, cleansing, analysis, visualization and dissemination of data are a priority.
  • Ensure continued enterprise security across a mobile workforce – A more geographically diverse workforce working remotely needs access to a secure enterprise. Despite the current situation, state and local governments are still facing increased levels of cyber and ransomware attacks. Focus on solutions that support cybersecurity for a mobile workforce.

In the short-term, much of the IT spending will be focused on ensuring continuity of operations and increasing access to digital services. Vendors need to be laser-focused on the solutions that will help governments provide essential services — solutions that fill critical gaps in their continued delivery of services to the citizen.

Be flexible as you work with state and local governments, the revenue shortfall that many are facing now means budgets for the upcoming fiscal year remain uncertain. Work in partnership with them to find a solution and payment plan that works for both of you.

 

Want to learn more about how state and local governments are reacting to the current crisis? Reach out to immixGroup’s Market Intelligence team today.

Keep up on the latest IT trends in government. Subscribe to immixGroup’s Government Sales Insider blog now.

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