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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3 ways to be part of smart transportation

Rachel Eckert Rachel Eckert, SLED consultant

Transportation is increasingly becoming more connected as part of ongoing smart cities/states initiatives. States are connecting transit and working on multi-modal systems to facilitate easier and quicker commutes that efficiently move people and goods throughout a region.

This requires a great deal of data, compelling state and local governments to look to the private sector to develop technology that can collect, store, analyze and visualize that data. This information can then be turned into things like mobile applications that allow users to purchase tickets for buses and other transit through one streamlined application.

Here are three ways state and local governments could be utilizing this data:

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What you need to do to sell IoT security to state and local

Lloyd McCoy Jr.IoT, cybersecurity, SLEDBy Lloyd McCoy Jr., DOD manager

State and local governments are becoming more proactive in their approach to IT and cybersecurity, together spending more than the federal government. They will invest $101.3 billion on IT this year, with counties and states increasing their budget by about 1.5 percent annually, according to e.Republic.

It’s safe to say a good portion of their budgets will be spent on cybersecurity, a push triggered by the internet of things (IoT) and how it’s being used for smart cities projects. State IT executives are more aware of IoT cybersecurity implications than at the federal level because they’re dealing with certain functions only at the municipal level like industrial systems and facilities HVAC.

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How tech companies can step up after latest ransomware attack

Lloyd McCoy Jr.By Lloyd McCoy Jr., DOD manager

Most of us are still reeling from the turmoil brought on by the WannaCry malware last weekend. While most of you reading were not directly affected, the global scale of the ransomware attack cannot be ignored. Even though our federal, state and local governments were spared the brunt of the attacks, they are, by no means, immune to the dangers posed by ransomware.

Some sectors of government are more vulnerable than others and so the IT industry, particularly those companies specializing in anti-ransomware solutions, should be aware of these distinctions.

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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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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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