Three Trends for Federal Government Technology in 2023
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) strategic plan, the next five years will redefine the federal sector. The GAO plan outlines 12 key trends for federal agencies to focus on between now and 2027 including security, workforce needs and digital technology.
These trends are an important starting point, however, below we rank the top three trends that we predict will impact the federal sector the most in 2023 based on conversations with customers.
1. Hurry Up: Make Tech Upgrade Decisions Faster
Did you know it takes government organizations an average of 22 months to purchase new devices? That’s the longest cycle for technology purchases compared to other industries including the private sector. 68% of executives working in this sector attribute these delays to a lack of specific information from their technology providers. A lack of transparency from technology providers isn’t a reasonable excuse for such a prolonged process. Better relationships between agencies and technology partners can help them achieve organizational goals.
2. Casting a Wide Net: The Cyber Talent Shortage and Attracting New Applicants
The government isn’t immune to the labor shortage that many other industries are facing. Within the government, there’s specifically a cybersecurity talent shortage. CyberSeek estimates that over 714,000 cybersecurity jobs are open nationwide, with almost 39,000 vacant cybersecurity jobs in the government. Leaving these jobs vacant could leave federal government agencies vulnerable to cyberattacks due to a lack of oversight around online activities. The industry needs to rethink how to attract and retain new talent in this field to stay vigilant against cyberattacks. A few ideas to increase accessibility and expand outreach to attract a broader pool of candidates:
- Rethinking education requirements: Instead of restricting some applicants to those with college degrees, federal agencies should consider applicants with cybersecurity certifications. Cybersecurity certifications exist to provide potential applicants with technical knowledge and hands-on training needed for a job in the industry.
- Provide educational materials and guidance on careers in the federal sector. This guide from the Workforce Development Bureau outlines the basics of a career in this field. It lists federal departments, including National Security, and the occupations and basic responsibilities assigned to that department. Sharing details on a job within the industry ensures that applicants can make an informed decision when they apply to a job.
- Investing the right technology: Technology should make federal workers’ jobs easier, not harder. Candidates will be encouraged to apply to agencies that use innovative technologies with the understanding that the agency is investing in tools that are boosting efficiency.
3. Pressure to Migrate: Cloud Adoption
Cloud adoption is rapidly accelerating. In 2021, total federal spending on cloud services was estimated to reach $8.1 billion, compared to $6.9 billion just a year before. Part of the reason for this acceleration is the sheer amount of data edge devices collect. With so many different parties requiring secure access to this data, the cloud is the only way for all parties to access data in a flexible environment. In 2023, “cloud adoption” or “cloud migration” will become buzzwords for government agencies as they migrate from legacy systems to the cloud.
From Catching Up to Settling Down
Digital transformation is about optimizing processes and making operations more efficient. Cloud adoption is a huge part of this shift, and will be the “centerpiece of new digital experiences.” But as much as these technology solutions are important, so too are human solutions. A shift to the cloud means an emphasis on talent capable of preventing cyberattacks, and investing in the next generation’s workforce. The government sector is undergoing transformative change, and as we head into 2023, it’s imperative for leaders to think about their plans for next year.
To get more of these insights and learn how to prepare your agency for 2023, visit our federal government solutions page.