In this blog series, we have been talking about modernizing government IT as a journey rather than event. We have discussed planning as a necessary and sometimes eye-opening step in starting out on the journey. We have noted recent cyber attacks as a wake-up call for getting serious about building cybersecurity into those plans.
And the journey continues. Traveling does not need to be lonely. Here, I want to talk about the benefit of engaging with fellow travelers on the journey to IT modernization.
Most road trippers know the experience of seeing the same cars over and over on the highway. We often see the same people at multiple rest stops or motels along a cross-country interstate journey. I’ve asked “Where ya heading?” of more than one family after bumping into them a few times over a couple days drive. We share advice on things to see and do, or must-have rides at an amusement park or even warnings about speed traps along the route.
State and local governments are all fellow travelers on the road to modernized IT. In research, CenturyLink recently conducted with 451 Research, we found that 35 percent of those government IT leaders surveyed either had no digital transformation strategy or were just in the research stage, while another 25 percent were just beginning to tackle the siloed nature of their data and systems as a first step.
But, another 40 percent reported that they had a formal plan and were executing. So, some agencies are more advanced than others, and the ability to share experiences makes the importance of learning from others and finding partners crucial to successful deployments. This wide spread of experience can be made to work to your advantage no matter which group you fall into.
We talk to public sector IT people everywhere and help share ideas. Recently, CenturyLink hosted a series of discussions on digital transformation at NASCIO (National Association of State Chief Information Officers) where leaders shared their experiences around a community table. We also work to publicize success stories, like this one from Utah State University’s upgrade of an obsolete phone system. Like many of you reading this, we’re also active in sharing information in the smart cities movement.
And that’s just a sampling of the wisdom that can be tapped as you look at your challenges and opportunities. This journey to IT modernization needs fellow travelers. There is a lot to be learned from the experience of others.
In addition, the practical truth is that there is too much to do and not enough money or time to do it. No one can do all this alone. A traveling companion can take over driving for some stretches, or check the maps while you take the wheel.
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