Recently, we’ve had two special edition posts. First, a feature from #PublicSectorNow that took a look at – and gave some praise for – the impressive results of remote telework that are keeping governments running around the world. Next, some insightful guidance in how to lead through crisis.
The world has undoubtedly changed, what appears to be, overnight. Now, with many countries and communities in different stages of reopening and recovery, government authorities and organizations are constantly thinking about how to keep critical public services running without disruption.
As more and more government functions become enabled by technology, many agencies and departments adhere to varying degrees of business continuity plans (BCP). However, from what we have seen, many of these plans focused simply keeping the lights on, while very few governments planned for a scenario where the vast majority of their workforce would be incapable of working in their traditional workspace. And this is just one side of the same coin. Government organizations are still faced with the pressing need to continue to safely uphold standards of civic engagement and participation.
It is difficult to understand the scope of the change that will be required. Much of our former realities will be challenging or impractical to return to, particularly in any immediate timeframe. However, one thing is clear: Government is being redefined by the changes of today and the uncertainties of tomorrow.
Redesign government service through operational resiliency and continuity
As governments primarily dealt with imperative medical and economic matters during the earlier weeks and months of the pandemic, the urgent task of restoring government operations continues to grow. There is no question that the safety and health of your workforce is critically important. But it is possible to increase capacity over time. Governments can adopt certain approaches that both cater to the safety of employees and boost service capabilities where and when they’re needed.
Governments and public sector organizations must be diligent in how they prioritize services and define clear roles for their employees. Is an election cycle coming up in the near future? Make sure to secure elections against cyber threats and safeguard voters. Critical infrastructure segments and their subsequent services require endurance and consistency. Of these services and programs that are deemed “essential” must remain secure and uninterrupted. Meanwhile, to protect budgets, staff, and this operational continuity, it is imperative that government organizations identify services that can evolve to alternate delivery and consumption models.
The immediate challenge is then how to accelerate the use of digital tools and technologies. Governments must assess their technology requirements and adoption plans to accomplish resiliency and continuity. For example, what might a minimally viable agenda have to include?
- Network readiness and scalability
- Robust and all-encompassing cyber security strategy
- Application capacity
- New technology requirements
- Workforce collaboration needs
- Data privacy compliance
- Secure and seamless technology consumption models
And finally, efforts to change must be properly managed. People don’t generally like change. But, now is the time to consider how to make improvements more permanent.
Enable secure government telework
The changes that we are experiencing today will have a lasting impact on the future of work. The need for a resilient organization is vital for navigating in a disrupted world and the workforce is key to adaptability.
Use technology to reduce the burden on your employees and to remain adaptable to evolving situations. Flexible, secure network access allows you to work the way you need to, from anywhere. Give your workforce the tools to uphold operations and productivity with seamless collaboration across distributed teams. Accelerate teamwork and work smarter with stronger engagement and employee experiences. Reduce cyber risk through secure user access and device verification at scale while upholding employee safety.
Build trusted experiences for your countries and communities
Keep your workforce and constituents engaged, informed, and connected to key information from any location.
People count on you to work in their best interest. Maintaining their trust is always important, but even more so during these uncertain times. The unmatched security, network access, seamless collaboration, and operational capacity of Cisco’s broad portfolio of solutions enables governments around the world to connect with confidence, from anywhere.
Bridge to Possible
We are committed to improving the human impact of technology. Cisco brings together your workforce and workplace – no matter where they are – for secure, trusted experiences for organizational and operational resiliency to power an inclusive future where people, society, and the planet all thrive.
Share your thoughts. Join the conversation. And keep an eye out for our next #GovernmentNow post. We look forward to taking this journey with you.