In an era of budget cuts, some technology vendors are offering solutions that move beyond the client/server/silo model, focusing instead on providing flexible services at a lowered cost. CivSource spoke with Steve Stratton, VP Federal and NSG, at Commercial Data Systems (CDS), one such company, about these issues.
According to Stratton, state and local governments are shifting the way they think about technology, and not only because of shrinking budgets. “The cloud is becoming less scary as governments and agencies start to look at what they provide.” The mindshift, he says is in governments and agencies moving to a service provider model instead of siloed bureaucracies.
In the past, budgets were constructed to leverage big, complex systems. Now, by utilizing more simple and flexible technology as well as creating shared services, governments and agencies are able to cut technology costs and increase efficiency.
CDS for its part, works with its clients as a strategic partner. Stratton says the goal is to, “train and turnover,” giving clients control of their technology management. “CIOs are starting to understand that silos are ineffecient and that outsourcing isn’t ideal,” he says. Virtualization and private cloud solutions allow CIOs to maintain control in-house and run a portfolio of services rather than managing a single silo.
At the state and local level this can mean managing a multi-campus community college or building a technology infrastructure that can stay online in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
Stratton notes that projects like these have a near-immediate effect, “state and local sees impact sooner than the federal level. We can stay close to communities and see outcomes first hand, in terms of job creation and cost cutting. No one wants to mention that we just made the traffic ticketing system more efficient, but it saves resources.”