Earlier this month, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) released its list of the top IT-related priorities for the upcoming year. The five strategies topping this year’s annual list are already visible in almost every state and local spending plan.

Technology professionals have allocated funding to the following:

  • Cybersecurity and risk management.
  • Digital government.
  • Workforce.
  • Legacy modernization.
  • Identity/access management.

These IT priorities also follow mandates and support from the federal government. The national Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has issued a strategic plan that charts a course for the next two years. It supports greater investment in risk mitigation, collaboration, and information sharing. To eventually build out a nationwide cybersecurity framework, the plan is also designed to help state and local officials modernize and integrate their existing digital services.

The Department of Homeland Security’s new State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program provides more funding to support change in America’s technology landscape. Announced in September, this federal funding program authorizes $1 billion for state and local entities over four years to enhance cybersecurity. The funding is available to support cybersecurity projects and it is important to note that local governments are set to receive 80% of all state allocations.

Rural areas must receive 25% of what each state is allocated but before any funding is released, states must create a cybersecurity planning committee. These committees are encouraged to work with state technology officials to approve statewide cybersecurity plans. Only then will the federal funds be released to each state.

New federal funding for cybersecurity is already impacting state and local plans for 2023.  Network security will be a top priority. State IT departments are expected to invest heavily in identity/access management because of the threats that loom large for breaches with individual identity being compromised.

Integration has also become a major component of cyber defense. The North Carolina governor launched an initiative in March to create a new Joint Cybersecurity Task Force. It will be responsible for the coordination of cybersecurity measures at the state level as well as the national guard and other regional organizations.

In February, the state of New York announced an allocation of $60 million for a new cybersecurity joint operations command center. From a Brooklyn location, the center will coordinate cyber defense efforts on a regional basis to provide a coordinated network of cybersecurity services. The services will extend to the state’s major urban hubs – Albany, Buffalo, New York, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers.

Even with state assistance, local officials are launching their own cybersecurity/access management projects. Most appear to be focused on individual network weaknesses. The upcoming opportunities listed here are indicative of what will be launched in 2023.

A $16.3 million funding allocation for 2023 will allow officials in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to embark on a plan to develop applications that will be used across all municipal departments. This initiative will be designed to modernize legacy platforms and develop new digital services. The project will include modernization of the city’s current tax legacy system, an integrated jail management system and an enterprise resource platform.

City officials in Seattle, Washington will launch a $5 million technology project in 2023. The funding will be used to develop a modernized application for one of the city’s largest departments, the Seattle Department of Transportation. That department’s legacy platforms are a high priority, and the plan is to implement streamlined, integrative management systems that allow for improved project tracking and local fieldwork as well as improved coordination with private sector partners. Ongoing projects including the Move Seattle levy will be included as well as upcoming planned projects.

A $2 million security, risk and compliance project will be launched in Madison, Wisconsin in 2023. The city’s new cybersecurity program involves the acquisition of multi-factor authentication technology, contracting with a private access management consultant and obtaining a security vulnerability assessment. The objective is to recommend and prioritize future cybersecurity upgrades. In addition to new cybersecurity systems, the city of Madison will also invest $1.6 million to create a robust digital environment for city operations. New technology acquisitions will integrate all city services into one digital solution.

Investments in workforce management, another high priority of technology officials, is evident in a $2 million project in Redmond, Washington. The city depends on a human resources management system that is almost obsolete and a payroll system that is scheduled to sunset in 2025. Funding has been allocated for a modernized workforce management system that will include acquisition of advanced scheduler technology along with learning management and performance management tools to modernize timekeeping, HR management and payroll systems. Funding will also be available to migrate the workforce system to the cloud for additional systems integration and business process automation.

Legacy modernization in 2023 will be bolstered by $100 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding but some states are allocating even more. The state of Washington is considering its own state-based legacy modernization fund to provide grants to agencies for the purchase of technology that synchronizes data from outdated platforms and unifies it for transfer.

A new capital project programmed for 2023 in Syracuse, New York allocates $450,000 for an assessment of the cybersecurity defenses that the city currently has in place to prevent card data theft. Findings from the assessment will inform recommended upgrades to strengthen cybersecurity around card transactions and ultimately ensure payment card industry compliance. Efforts to observe the standards will mitigate the risk of a data breach and credit card fraud.

These are but a few upcoming opportunities that indicate the prioritization of technology modernization in 2023. The country’s technology infrastructure is a high priority and the initiatives throughout the country will result in the launch of thousands of new collaborative opportunities for public and private sector partners.

Mary Scott Nabers

As President and CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc., Mary Scott Nabers has decades of experience working in the public-private sector. A well-recognized expert in the P3 and government contracting fields, she is often asked to share her industry insights with top publications and through professional speaking engagements.