The 2023 National Association of State Technology Directors (NASTD) West-East Seminar held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, was the most well attended regional NASTD event to date―they just keep getting bigger and better. This year, state reports and panel discussions addressed a variety of topics across the spectrum of IT strategy and operations, including current challenges, management strategies, best practices and state initiatives. Here are three of my takeaways from the event:
- Government agencies are taking advantage of innovation and enhanced technology capabilities. Agencies have become adept at crafting Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and service provider contracts in ways that no longer lock them long-term into utilizing specific technologies or solutions. Instead, they’re positioning themselves to be more agile and able to adopt emerging technologies when it makes sense for their enterprise objectives.
- More people want to talk about these emerging technologies now. This is especially true for enterprise focused Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite solutions that deliver low latency and Quality of Service (QOS) to support high priority and latency sensitive applications. Hughes Managed LEO generated a lot of buzz this year because it represents an opportunity for agencies to obtain satellite internet via OneWeb capacity that is 100% dedicated to enterprise services―so there’s no worry about sharing best-effort capacity with consumer applications and users. That means guaranteed Service Level Agreements.
LEO solutions can also help to address broadband expansion initiatives to rural areas. For example, states have deep concerns about trying to build terrestrial networks further out. And rightly so, because they are expensive and time-intensive efforts! Emerging technologies, like LEO, on the other hand, offer a cost-effective way to connect people right now, without worrying about investments in cable or fiber lines.
- State agencies are grappling with cybersecurity and staffing challenges, just like large federal agencies and commercial enterprises are. Partnering with a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) can help to solve both of these challenges by ensuring that an agency is protected under any circumstance and has access to the IT staff it needs. Even for agencies with a solid in-house IT team, an MSSP can complement existing resources to improve security and enable uninterrupted citizen services.
With the excitement and enthusiasm on display at this year’s NASTD event, there’s no doubt that state IT teams are well positioned to explore and adopt advancements in network technology and expect more from their networks. Connectivity is the backbone of nearly every aspect of state and local government, requiring powerful networks to support the services that constituents have come to expect. Whether its managed broadband services, real-time digital signage communications to keep citizens informed or SD-WAN solutions for distributed government offices, Hughes has you covered – our wide range of Managed Network Services enables your network to do more.