Last year, Congress allocated $1 billion in funding to support technology modernization projects. States, counties, cities and educational institutions are now receiving funding and $100 million flowed to modernization projects at the state and local levels of government last month alone. The funding will support long-overdue efforts to modernize technology systems, secure networks, enhance efficiency and expand the public’s access to services.

The surge in funding has led to intensive planning for modernization projects. Public officials have signed off on planning documents and contracting partners are already in high demand. The need for collaboration will escalate quickly in the coming months and continue for the next several years because modernizing public sector technology will not be quick.

Photo courtesy of the city of Henderson Nevada 300x199 The new year will usher in thousands of technology modernization projects in America

Photo courtesy of the city of Henderson, Nev.

A $12.9 million project at the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) in Texas is scheduled to launch in 2023. Initial plans outline an investment of $6 million to modernize an expansive archive of legal records. The agency plans to migrate thousands of records from several legal divisions within the agency to a consolidated case management platform. The data can then be shared across all legal divisions to improve operational efficiency. The effort will also allow for enhanced security. Beginning in 2024, request for proposals (RFPs) will be issued and agency officials will begin selecting contractors and service providers to consolidate and migrate 14 different case management systems. The case modernization project will ultimately require more than $12 million in funding. The project will include funding for professional services as well because of ongoing understaffing issues at the agency.

This is only one of several modernization projects that the OAG will launch to alleviate strain on its aging technology systems. In 2024 another project to decommission a mainframe containing legacy data from child support cases will begin. The current mainframe for child support cases has been in use for 25 years and is nearing the end of its lifecycle. An investment of $20 million will allow the state to archive the data on modernized storage platforms that will simplify access and compliance reporting.

The state of Iowa also plans to re-platform its child support legacy mainframe system. The state’s Department of Human Services (DHS) will launch modernization projects similar to what is planned for Texas. Recently a request for information (RFI) for potential vendors capable of assisting with data conversion, cybersecurity and document management was issued. The input received will be used to finalize the scope of a future RFP and the agency’s technology modernization plan. Iowa’s DHS is also operating with workforce shortages and the new technology will alleviate some of that strain while providing more flexibility and efficiency.

The state of Colorado will also begin upgrading its technology infrastructure. Many of the projects currently outlined in planning documents indicate an immediate focus on the state’s department of human services. The agency will begin by modernizing its existing identity management system. Private sector input was solicited through an RFI in January. The agency is exploring options for migrating the current identity management information system to a modernized platform that will allow for more adaptive and scalable programming. The state is also seeking to establish baselines for the budgeting and timelining of subsequent modernization projects.

In New York City, a $764 million electronic medical records system (EMR) is programmed for capital funding beginning in September of 2023. City leaders will modernize the City Health and Hospitals Corporation’s entire technology infrastructure and the current electronic medical records system will be replaced and upgraded. This project will impact the largest municipal healthcare organization in the country and the modernization initiative is critical to ensuring that patients receive appropriate kinds of medical care.. The current legacy system is more than 25 years old, and it must be modernized to keep pace with growth.

City leaders also plan to fund a project to replace and modernize a data-sharing platform within the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. A $93 million funding allocation will support development of a next-generation data platform that modernizes and expands the department’s data-sharing capabilities. Department officials will use the upgraded data platform to share information seamlessly across all parts of the department. The effort will provide greater efficiency and cohesion as well as enhanced network security. The project will also have numerous components for automation which will provide assistance currently needed to address a shortage of skilled technology employees.

The city of Henderson, Nev., has announced plans to launch an electronic communications pilot project for law enforcement in 2023 at a cost of $438,000. City leaders will solicit assistance as efforts begin to modernize its case management system. The pilot project will focus on the foundational concept of a system that allows a wider range of multimedia. The funding will support the investigation of innovative technologies capable of capturing electronic communication records and systematizing them to improve public safety.

City leaders in Henderson also announced several other more traditional modernization projects. Beginning in 2024, a project will be initiated to replace existing customer relationship management software that is used throughout the entire city. The project will be designed to support the city’s transition to a modernized, web-based application for its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.

Government agencies and public entities of every type are not only struggling with huge modernization needs, public officials are also dealing with significant staffing issues. Because technology is such a critical component of every aspect of the economy, the demand for IT professionals continues to escalate. Government, in many cases, simply cannot compete for the talent needed. And as time passes, old legacy systems and a lack of skilled staff create security weaknesses, and the danger of technology breaches grows. These issues are daunting and the funding now available to lessen them will ensure thousands of opportunities for contractors to partner with government in the next few years.

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.