SLED 101 Series – Technology Solves Problems

By Rachel Eckert, SLED market intelligence manager

In our last installment we walked through the IT budget process to help you focus your sales efforts more strategically and develop more targeted account lists.

This, our fourth installment, will dive into what technologies states and localities will be buying with their IT budgets and how vitally important the role of citizen is to driving adoption.

Despite some uncertainty in IT spending, state, local and education organizations are still looking for technology solutions. The ongoing pandemic caused major shifts, not only to working environments, but in how SLED organizations provided citizen services. With an inability to provide in-person services, SLED organizations needed to rapidly deploy digital and online services, forcing many states to re-evaluate their IT suites.

Cybersecurity is a constant

Even during a time rapid changes, there is still one constant when it comes to states, counties and cities — cybersecurity. With the rise in ransomware attacks over the last several years, several states have made the shift to a “whole-of-state” approach, which I wrote about in a recent blog. This means the state and all of the jurisdictions in the state work together to develop a plan for a coordinated response during an incident.

Cloud computing

State CIO’s ranked cloud technology as their third priority, behind digital government. However, cities and counties do not place as much of an emphasis on cloud, ranking it near the bottom.

For state government, the migration to the cloud has been a significant component of their transition to digital services as they slowly modernize legacy applications. The need for enhanced digital services is clear. Everyone from the DMV to the Department of Revenue will be finding additional online services they can implement to counter the lack of in-person services.

Delivery of local citizen services

For local governments however, the focus on citizen experience is driven by the fact that services many citizens touch daily are provided by local governments.

For example, the eligibility and distribution of vaccines is predominately a local government activity. Due to the budget constraints they experience on a regular basis, implementation of new robust mobile apps and online services just isn’t feasible. Instead, they have to make small incremental improvements to specific applications. That’s why you find cloud towards the bottom on both counties and cities.  

Delivery of services to citizens is, at the end of the day, the primary driver of technology adoption. The graphic below demonstrates the connection between technology and key concerns SLED organizations are grappling with.

Health & Human Services

In the Health & Human Services market segment, some of their biggest concerns are managing vaccine distribution and modernizing unemployment systems. In managing vaccine eligibility and distribution, the process is completely reliant on cloud-based systems that individual counties use to track population eligibility, appointments, follow-ups and more. These county systems also feed into state systems, thus emphasizing the need for cloud-based SaaS systems to manage data collection and to facilitate real-time analytics that track the state’s progress and resource alignment.

Education

In the Education market segment, with the move to remote learning and hybrid learning this past school year, digitally created content exploded. All this newly created digital content means school districts needed to expand their storage capacity, something cloud-based storage is perfectly positioned to deliver in a scalable and secure fashion.

Behind many of these “headlines” there is a strong connection to technology that states and localities will be leveraging to help address their challenges. When you are talking with states and localities make the conversation about their needs, their concerns and how your technology helps them solve a problem. Don’t talk about the technology. Focus on the solution your technology delivers!

Stay tuned for our next blog on navigating the procurement landscape!

If you want to learn more about how to target the SLED market, watch my recent SLED 101 webinar.

We’re here to help you succeed in the SLED market. Check out our SLED Support Center for resources to help grow your business.

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