What you need to know about FirstNet

SLED, FirstNet, law enforcement, public safetyHalf of all states have officially signed up to be part of a nationwide broadband network to connect law enforcement and public safety officials. The network is called FirstNet and it’s an important topic we’ll cover at immixGroup’s 4th Annual Government IT Sales Summit on Nov. 16.

Once built, the network promises to improve many aspects of community safety, including connecting responders in rural communities, enhancing situational awareness during emergencies and ensuring coordinated responses to human-made disasters. Getting the network built is the first step and then it will eventually require technologies to improve the situational awareness and responses of those first responders.

So what is FirstNet and what can you expect going forward?

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Here are the top 5 public sector tech trends for FY18

Chris WiedemannFY18, government, ITBy Chris Wiedemann, consultant

There are only two days left in the federal government’s 2017 fiscal year. Are you ready for 2018?

While we still don’t know the amounts for federal IT budgets, we do know the government IT sector is a healthy one at around $80 billion a year. Add in state and local governments and educational institutions and you have a market valued at more than $180 billion.

Here are the five government trends we’re tracking for 2018:

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Here’s when you should be talking to your SLED customers

Rachel EckertSLED, procurement, sales, public sectorBy Rachel Eckert, consultant

The new state, local, and education (SLED) fiscal year kicked off July 1 for most of the market, and with that governments began a new budget (assuming of course that the legislature passed it). A new budget means fresh money and hope for many in the IT industry about new opportunities.

If you’ve worked in the public sector, be that federal or SLED, you know that nothing in government is immediate. Turning opportunities into deals takes time and careful planning. Also, having an understanding of the government’s planning cycle can help ensure that you’re approaching decision makers with proposals at the right time.

Here is a rundown of their planning cycle and what your actions should be during each quarter:

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How you can help cash-strapped states get funding

Rachel EckertSLED, funding grantsBy Rachel Eckert, consultant

Budgets are tight for state and local governments and education (SLED) and there is no relief in sight.

An expanding list of priorities and mandates are competing for funds that don’t seem to be growing at the same rate. With efforts focused on legacy application migration or other mammoth projects, where does SLED find the funds for new and innovative technology? Grants.

Grants and federal assistance can provide those funds to explore new and innovative technology and programs like the internet of things (IoT) and autonomous vehicles. They also provide funds to address major challenges like the opioid crisis. State and local governments and educational institutions can apply for funding that can help to continue efforts to drive innovation in government. And for industry, this means that tight budgets don’t have to push your deals.

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Can data analytics help stop the opioid crisis?

data analytics, opioid crisis, big dataRachel EckertBy Rachel Eckert, SLED consultant

As the country grapples with a growing opioid crisis, many state and local governments have been struggling to fight this battle through a myriad of health and law enforcement resources. Some are doing better than others in their attempts to fight this health care disaster.

But there’s more that these jurisdictions, with the help of the IT industry, can do to battle the crisis through the use of technology, specifically, analytics.

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Technology’s risky. Can this security solution help?

Lloyd McCoy Jr.The recent media coverage about data leaks and breaches  and government surveillance has so much to do with privacy, security and access. We might as well as get comfortable with security as a major challenge given that people aren’t ready to part with their mobile devices and the convenience of being able to work wherever they want.

At the same time, business interest in the internet of things, especially in government agencies is growing.  But security in IoT is still a major hurdle, causing some agencies to pump the brakes a bit.

So where does that leave the tech sector? There may be a continuing stream of risk, but there’s also opportunity, especially for companies with Identity Access Management (IAM) solutions that can address some of these valid security concerns.

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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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