Jun 08 2022

The Speed of Government Increases as Current Events Force Quicker Evolution

The changes wrought by the pandemic and other events are no longer temporary fixes, but permanent characteristics.

Federal workers make it a habit to adapt and change with circumstances. For instance, they know that at least every four to eight years, there will be a new person in charge at the White House, and that means new agency heads and new policies.

But that’s a predictable, constitutionally mandated change. Lately, the necessary adaptations have come thick and fast. With the pandemic, one day the entire workforce is in the office and the next day, more than 90 percent of them who were able to were working at home.

This change resulting in remote or hybrid workplaces were expected to be temporary at first. Who expected that the federal workforce would only just be returning to the office more than two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Adaptation is one thing, but the government has now gone far beyond that. It’s been an evolution, as agencies have discovered that the supposed short-term fixes are the only way to survive in the modern world.

Just as the light-colored peppered moth turned black to conceal itself in the polluted environment of the Industrial Revolution, so has the government evolved in terms of technology, systems and processes in a short time in response to its surroundings.

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Exploring the Consistent Change Across Agencies

Three of the newest agency CIOs — all with both private- and public-sector experience — discuss the changes they’ve seen since rejoining the government in “Meet the CIOs: New IT Leaders Bring Private- and Public-Sector Experience to the Job.”

The tech leaders of the State, Energy and Homeland Security departments give us a look at how their agencies will upgrade tech to meet future needs such as better collaboration, stronger security and improved customer service.

In “How Agencies Can Best Implement Zero-Trust Architecture,” the evolution is in the area of security. Agencies are responding to increased threats, the expansion of endpoints as workers moved remote and an executive order from the White House by beginning the deployment of zero-trust architecture.

EXPLORE: How agencies can best implement zero-trust architecture.

The days when a solid firewall was good protection are gone; with endpoints and employees scattered over multiple networks, agencies plan now to depend on identity verification instead.

The story told in “Asset Disposition Services Get Rid of Devices So Agencies Don’t Have To” is an environmental one. Technological change means that old equipment is often discarded for new, and many agencies have developed processes by which outdated IT can be recycled or disposed of safely, without harm to the environment. These processes save both money and time, not to mention the Earth.

Given the changes that have been happening in the world, adaptation and evolution are critical. Government agencies are demonstrating their new nimbleness when it comes to developing new ways to work; emergency fixes have turned to permanent modernization.

IT leaders are still amazed that they were able to make those quick pivots, but they’ve also been inspired by it. Watch as the speed of government finally begins to increase.

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