A recent survey of the Nationwide Affiliation of State Know-how Administrators’ membership, which incorporates state chief expertise officers, discovered the COVID-19 pandemic launched dramatic organizational modifications that many imagine may very well be everlasting.
The outcomes revealed Tuesday present that respondents, who represented 38 states, reported that the well being disaster sparked main investments in remote-work applied sciences, together with laptops, video-conferencing software program, chatbots and VPN licenses. However 89% mentioned the investments over the previous 12 months have left them assured that their states are “well-prepared” to answer a future wave of the pandemic.
Many respondents additionally mentioned they had been in a position to meet their states’ web bandwidth necessities, at the same time as hundreds of thousands of presidency employees nationwide had been despatched house: 39.5% mentioned it took “no effort” to fulfill their states’ wants, whereas 34.2% mentioned it took “minimal effort.” And 58% mentioned the rise of near-universal telework and distant education has accelerated broadband growth plans of their states.
Greater than half additionally mentioned their knowledge facilities “carried out adequately” with out the necessity for main changes, although 16% mentioned they’ve needed to shift extra of their workloads to cloud providers, mirroring a development of accelerated cloud migrations because the pandemic’s worn on.
The survey additionally supplied extra affirmation that IT departments have been central to states’ pandemic responses, with 76% concerned with organising contact-tracing platforms and 61% engaged on vaccine orders.
However the survey additionally discovered state tech administrators acknowledging that their organizations weren’t ready for COVID-19, and that the disaster has altered their workforces, probably for the lengthy haul. Whereas 37% mentioned they thought their states’ catastrophe response and enterprise continuity plans supplied enough steering, 34% mentioned their plans weren’t sufficient and 29% mentioned their plans didn’t tackle pandemics in any respect. Some respondents mentioned that the pandemic has “highlighted the necessity to check extra situations” and that catastrophe plans will have to be up to date.
And even with vaccinations taking maintain, three-quarters of officers interviewed by NASTD mentioned they anticipate a rise in telework coupled with a discount in on-site IT workers. And 19% mentioned they anticipate that rise to be everlasting. Solely 5% mentioned the in-office workforce would be the similar as earlier than when the pandemic lastly eases.
However 34% mentioned they really feel the proliferation of collaboration instruments made their workforces extra environment friendly over the previous 12 months.
“Even when the pandemic subsides, the long run state authorities workforce will incorporate extra telework. On-line collaborative instruments will even be important for engaging in state authorities enterprise,” the survey reads.