Will cloud finally take off for state & local?

Rachel EckertBy Rachel Eckert, SLED consultant

Doesn’t it seem like every year is declared the year of cloud? But 2017 could actually kick off some serious cloud adoption in state and local governments for the next few years.

The state of Utah recently awarded master agreements to a variety of companies, including immixGroup, to provide cloud solutions through the NASPO ValuePoint multi-state cooperative procurement program. The master agreements are available to all 50 states and cover a full range of cloud solutions.

The contract has the potential to spur significant cloud adoption within states and localities, especially those with smaller budgets or where cloud initiatives haven’t moved as quickly. A few factors are already setting up the contract for success.

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Can data save state and local governments?

Rachel Eckertblog-sledanalyticsBy Rachel Eckert, SLED consultant

While the tumultuous situation in Washington is throwing a wrinkle into state and local politics, governments will continue to face a lack of funding and siloed operations. These two problems aren’t necessarily independent of each other, though. Siloed operations can create financial nightmares in the form of duplicative efforts and inefficient uses of data.

This was among the topics of discussion during last week’s Outlook 2017 event, organized by Governing Magazine.

Duplicative efforts and inefficiencies spell disaster for constrained budgets, which are already struggling to adequately fund education and public safety as Medicaid takes over an ever larger share of their budgets.

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What you need to know about selling to state and local in 2017

SLED, outsourcing, data centers, data storage

Eliminating data center management will be key for state and local government in 2017.

Rachel EckertBy Rachel Eckert, consultant

The state and local government IT landscape is ever-changing as it grapples with shrinking budgets and expanding responsibilities. But there’s one overarching trend tech companies selling to the state and local market can profit from in 2017: shrinking technology portfolios.

Eliminating technology from state and local government doesn’t sound like it would bode well for industry, but if government tech organizations focus on more long-term and strategic IT efforts, they’ll shift the balance away from maintaining their technology portfolios and more towards innovating. That means they’ll be looking for companies for that maintenance help – read “outsourcing.”

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How cloud and SaaS will drive SLED

Rachel Eckertblog-summit-sled-imageBy Rachel Eckert, SLED consultant

I’ve written about the importance of segmenting the State and Local and Education (SLED) markets for scalability and marketability, but do you know what to market?

Each market segment has its own unique set of issues, trends, and drivers, and knowing what those issues are is key to targeting your sales efforts.

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Will Hackers Cause Chaos on Election Day?

Rachel Eckert

passwordBy Rachel Eckert, SLED Consultant

It’s exactly three weeks from Election Day and officials are facing a serious problem. (No we’re not talking about any new recordings.)

More than 20 states have reported hacking attempts on their election systems, with specific attacks against online registration databases. While these recent attacks didn’t target actual voting or tabulation machines, a Department of Homeland Security official told NBC the attacks are serious enough to cause confusion and chaos.

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Philly’s Cloud-First Plans Delayed…For Now

Rachel EckertPhiladelphia, cloud, Charles Brennan, IT infrastructure, SLEDBy Rachel Eckert, SLED Consultant

It was nearly a year ago that I blogged about Philadelphia’s mission to become a cloud-first city. The CIO at the time, Adel Ebeid, said the goal was to host 30 percent of the city’s IT infrastructure in the cloud—primarily through SaaS delivery.

But as state and local governments know all too well, plans around technology don’t always come together.

Philly’s cloud plans have been put on ice as officials tackle ongoing projects and a struggling procurement system. The new CIO, Charles Brennan, has made a few changes to the city’s technology teams, including separating Open Data and Web Services roles.

He’s also indicated an interest in more open data, tackling the city’s aging IT infrastructure, and reworking the procurement system.

Read more about my take on Philly’s plans in StateScoop.

I’m also presenting a state and local market overview at immixGroup’s 3rd Annual Government IT Sales Summit on Nov. 17 in Reston, Va. Early bird ticket prices end soon, so register soon.

3 Areas States and Localities Need Help With the Election

Rachel Eckertelectronicvoting_092216By Rachel Eckert, SLED Consultant

The presidential election is Nov. 8, giving states and localities less than 50 days to get their voting machines ready. The preparations are not quite as mundane and routine as in previous elections, however, as reports circulate that the machines are susceptible to hacking. States are taking steps to ensure that votes cast this election are accounted for and protected.

The problem has been with electronic voting machines. They can be easy to hack and if they don’t leave a paper trail as votes are cast, then there can be significant problems.

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