2020 is behind us but numerous challenges remain as the State of California looks ahead to 2023.  

It’s been just over a year since many of us began sheltering in place and, as a result, working remotely. While many smaller, private sector companies had – or quickly obtained – the agility to make such a drastic pivot, large organizations like, say, the government of California, weren’t as well-equipped. Yet they like all of us made valiant efforts to keep the state up and running. We’ve all learned a number of lessons over the past year, which hopefully will inform decisions and actions in the future. To that end, the California Department of Technology (CDT) recently unveiled its latest strategic plan, titled Vision 2023. Over the next few weeks Kiefer will be taking a deep dive into the plan to share insights and analysis around how the modern workplace, Microsoft tools, and business intelligence can help.   

Same Old Situation 

One of the readily apparent takeaways from the strategic plan is that CDT – and state government in general – found familiar problems and challenges in 2020 exacerbated by the difficulties resulting from the pandemic. One common theme is aging infrastructure and an aging workforce. The state has been issuing this warning for many years now. The strategic plan suggests vendors can play a role in addressing this by engaging in knowledge transfer with the state.  

At Kiefer, knowledge transfer is baked into every engagement we undertake. From nose to tail, on any project knowledge transfer, for us, is a crucial and ongoing process. Vendors doing business with the state, and state agencies hiring vendors, should both be in agreement that any technology project should also be an exercise in educating state employees so they’re positioned for long-term success and sustainability.  

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work 

According to Vision 2023, state agencies continue to concern themselves with whether their staff have easy access to the tools they need to succeed. Certainly, this concern was top-of-mind this past year. In the plan, CDT surveyed employees and a common question was “How can we work together in one shared environment, as one organization?”  

Furthermore, CDT states “employees are frustrated that they cannot look up each other’s contact information or availability [or] work on documents together in real-time with colleagues from other departments (as collaboration tools replicate departmental boundaries).”  

“Staff in different departments need to be able to find each other in seconds, collaborate on documents and data in real-time and chat on video, no matter where they are. They need consistent, easy access to the modern tools to do their jobs, from analyzing or sharing data to managing projects.” 

Fortunately, there are proven technologies that effectively address these issues. In 2020 and through to present day, Kiefer has been very busy helping state and local agencies accomplish exactly what Vision 2023 outlines. Our modern workplace practice area centers around using SharePoint Online and Microsoft Teams to make that real-time collaboration and communication not just possible but commonplace.  

Banner to download a free non-technical white paper on how to get the most out of SharePoint

Doing More with Less 

It’s a common refrain for anyone with even passing association with government IT. But departments and agencies have been called to continue doing more with less since the start of the pandemic. In the strategic plan, CDT concludes “there is growing recognition across agencies, departments, legislative staff and the Legislative Analyst’s Office that we need pathways to get to better faster.” 

Get better faster. One of the ways we’ve been helping our state government clients do that is by leveraging the investments they’ve already made in Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 contains a wealth of possibilities and powerful tools, like Power BI. Sometimes, though, people aren’t sure how to unlock the full range of its capabilities. That’s another area we’ve focused on this year. You can get better faster when you’re able to understand and then unleash the power you already have. 

That’s all for our first look at Vision 2023. Check back over the next few weeks for more strategic plan analysis from your friends at Kiefer Consulting.  

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