The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted our society—from where we work to how we purchase everyday items. It’s caused a huge disparity in healthcare for many Americans, and a number of businesses are suffering from a drowning economy.
While government organizations are being called to find solutions to such societal issues, we’re finding that our traditional methods and decades-old IT systems are no longer viable solutions. Issues like cybersecurity risks, healthcare inequality, and remote workplace inefficiency are difficult to face without some form of innovation.
Read on to learn how government agencies are using new technology and innovative practices to thrive in a time of crisis.
The Pandemic’s Impact on Consumer Spending and Online Security
In the past, innovation in government technology at a large scale proved to be a challenging feat. In addition to facing constant budget cuts, there’s also the arduous process of training hundreds of officials and team members to use new practices and systems. However, with the emergence of a global pandemic, we’ve been given the perfect—and urgent—opportunity to drive rapid digital transformation.
State, local, and federal government agencies can no longer rely on legacy systems and outdated practices. The virus and its many challenges have called agencies to evolve with the ever-changing digital age. For instance, implementing a stronger IT network and integrating more advanced daily operations are crucial for the security and quality of our work.
To better support our communities, we need data-driven solutions and technological tools that help teams collaborate remotely and are aligned with the mission. At the same time, they must also tackle privacy and security concerns.
It’s becoming the new norm for government agencies to utilize the technology that commercial organizations have been using for years. Bloomberg projected that government agencies would invest $7.1 billion in developing cloud infrastructure in 2020—up from just $2.4 billion in 2014. State and federal agencies are using cloud computing to manage a backlog of cases, improve citizen services, and provide quick and comprehensive responses to their community’s issues.
Here are a few other technologies that are becoming more accessible to government agencies:
- Open-source software
- API connectivity
- Machine learning
- Digital visualization
- Robotic process automation (RPA)
The Challenge of Remote Work
The global pandemic has forced many organizations to switch to a remote work environment, which has greatly impacted workforce management in government. Such change has challenged leaders to think differently and innovate their regular practices—not to mention execute these changes with urgency.
One of the biggest additions to government remote work has been the use of virtual private networks to keep employees and community data safe. This ensures that, even at home, team members can feel secure logging in to complete necessary work.
COVID-19 has introduced new cyber threats and more frequent attacks that we haven’t encountered before. Over the past year, there’s been an influx of visitors to government sites, especially the unemployment application site. Where it once received around 93,000 visitors a week, the site is now seeing a lofty 1.4 million.
Such an increase in traffic means that government IT professionals must find solutions to keep the site running efficiently for the people who need aid, while also protecting government assets against cybercriminals.
When it comes to identifying the causes of the virus and tracking how it spreads, many organizations are using machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced data analytics. For instance, federal agencies are teaming up to provide innovative solutions to the pandemic.
The Food and Drug Administration, Veterans Affairs Department, and National Institutes of Health began working together to 3D print personal protective gear. In the same vein, the Center for Disease Control and the Department of Health and Human Services began utilizing advanced data analytics for contact tracing and learning how the virus spreads.
Learn More about Government Innovation
In the past, it was almost unheard of for government agencies to be at the forefront of technological advances. But, because of the global pandemic, these organizations are leaving behind outdated and archaic practices.
We’re utilizing more artificial intelligence and data analytics in daily operations to learn about the virus and provide solutions to the community. These organizations are on the way to achieving transformational change to solve our society’s big issues like a global health crisis, cybersecurity, and a safe and effective digital workforce.
Performance Institute is dedicated to sharing knowledge about new technology and methods, so that government professionals and leaders can grow their knowledge. Enroll in one of our upcoming trainings today to get started on your path to better technology and innovation.