Intrinsic Reasons Government Agencies Have Difficulty Monitoring and Changing The Technology They Use
There are many reasons even small government agencies have difficulty when they try to handle their own Information Technology needs. Government services are different from private businesses in several ways, making it difficult to implement real change. IT services for government organizations are an especially tricky area when it comes to making changes, as information technology is still growing in leaps and bounds and it can take hard work and persistence to keep up in all the necessary areas.
Citizens as Shareholders
Unfortunately, many government leaders will continue to use outdated technology on purpose and use the excuse that they are simply doing things they way they have always been done. This kind of attitude is strong in government, and it is made more difficult because the private citizens who are observing the activities taking place at government agencies have a feeling of ownership. Their sense of investment can make it difficult to make even desperately needed changes.
Those who have only ever worked in private businesses may feel baffled by this attitude, but it is difficult to change the minds of so many people who come in with these kinds of expectations. Citizens are essentially shareholders and feel they have a right to give input.
Filling IT Positions in Government Agencies
Even if employees are working directly for a specific agency who have the required knowledge and skills to provide significant support in the area of information technology, their job descriptions will probably need them to perform other duties which would keep them from having the time to do the best job on the IT problems. Government jobs are prescriptive, with narrow definitions describing particular responsibilities. Private industry may be more fluid with positions, allowing workers to exchange tasks they are individually responsible for.
Government agencies usually have to get permission for each position which is filled, as the salary must be justified. There are other disadvantages inherent in hiring and maintaining enough IT workers to be able to both be able to perform daily functions and keep abreast of all the latest and most important developments in information technology.
What a Private IT Company Can Offer
Most larger government organizations especially may have at least considered having an in-house IT department, without realizing all the advantages that come with outsourcing. When an agency outsources IT work, managers can choose the specific kinds of IT services for government organizations which is needed. It is only necessary to pay for services which are used, instead of paying each IT worker by time spent on the clock.
The agency will not need to go through the hiring process or pay for full-time salaries and benefits for any of the work which is outsourced, and even training will be provided by the IT company. If computer technicians are sick or take vacations, the company makes sure that the needs of the customer are still covered.
The kind of IT support for government organizations which is included may include any areas requested, including:
- Keeping up with the latest software and software updates. This can consist of more common uses like communication and word processing, and newer applications which can be recommended because they will help the agency run more efficiently.
- Making sure the hardware is up-to-date and compatible with all other areas of the information technology used by the organization. This is not just advantageous because of the large outlay required to purchase computer equipment, but it means that the IT company can be responsible for storing and maintaining the equipment.
- Data storage can be handled more efficiently and inexpensively by using newer methods like cloud storage, which provides a secure environment to store files and other kinds of data. This provides added benefits as cloud storage gives users the capability of accessing data from remote locations, and a backup plan will be available in case of a disaster. Government workers will also find it easier to share data stored in the cloud.
- Installing and monitoring the newest security software and patches and monitoring the system closely to ensure vital information is protected. Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important as businesses and agencies are coming under attack by hackers wanting to disrupt the system or use private information for financial gain.
- Giving important updates and training on new technologies at a basic level will ensure that everyone working for the organization will be able to get the most out of the services offered.
The Goals of Government Work: Efficiency, Outcomes and Customer Satisfaction
When it comes down to it, even the people who are the subject of government action are the consumers and owners of the services. Even when there are criminal actions which are resolved through a government agency, the rights of every party are carefully observed, with checks and balances built into the system. Every business and government agency strives to meet the objectives of the business while spending as little as possible.
Government agencies have different purposes from private businesses, but they are still essentially businesses. Making sure every government agency is using best practices is a way to ensure that work is done well, fast and as cheaply as possible. By using private companies to provide IT support for government organizations, higher standards can be attained by using only highly trained technicians who are leaders in their field. Specific tasks can be outsourced, so they don’t put a load on the regular workers, giving those workers the ability to perform their jobs at the top of their skills.
When government organizations use a company like Pulse Technology Solutions, they can prove up front that they are operating in a fiscally responsible manner. Pulse offers set fees and monthly payments so that the amounts can be accounted for and approved in advance. Municipal government agencies in Florida SWFL, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands can count on the experience Pulse has providing services and solving problems for other similar agencies. When agencies can provide transparency and show that they are dealing efficiently with day-to-day matters, they are more likely to have customer satisfaction leading to higher engagement and involvement in the community.