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VMware Public Sector 2023 Predictions: A Whole of Government Approach, Multi-Cloud Adoption, and the Quest for Talent


Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2023.  Read them in this 15th annual series exclusive.

A Whole of Government Approach, Multi-Cloud Adoption, and the Quest for Talent

This past year, digital transformation, including cloud adoption, has remained a top priority for agencies as the lingering effects of the pandemic accelerated their timelines. Next year, government agencies will need to continue to modernize their infrastructure and build resilient and secure systems supported by a strong workforce.

With these ideas in mind, VMware's public sector experts weighed in on what should be at the top of mind for agencies in 2023.

Keith Nakasone, Federal Strategist, VMware

Experience is the new transformation: Federal and State agencies have a unique position when considering their budgets and investments. First of all, their budgets are largely funded by taxpayers. These same taxpayers vote for their elected officials that have a serious impact on their citizen experience. Creating a better citizen experience through IT investment is moving closer to the ballot sheet and constituents are looking for leaders who can help create public service agencies that benefit their community and make their lives better. With digital experiences becoming the norm for citizens, they expect a level of digital competency from their public services, aligned with other areas of their lives. Administrations and agencies that prioritize IT investments that benefit the citizen experience will be the most effective leaders in their jurisdictions. 

Federal Agencies, Hybrid work and the quest for talent: Years of the big tech boom have created an unbelievably tight market for talent, especially those that are skilled in cloud, AI and machine learning. While agencies have struggled to attract top tech talent, the tides may be turning. More agencies are adopting hybrid work models that allow for a larger pool of candidates in the first place. Coupled with flexibility, quality of life and more advanced IT deployments from agencies, there is an opportunity to create a workplace of choice within the Government. The more investments that are made in the training and reskilling of the workforce, the more opportunities agencies will have to hire and retain some of the top talent across the industry. 

The Whole of Government Approach to Adoption: IT procurement adoption is hard enough. Add in disparate agencies, evolving rules and regulations and different protocols for onboarding, the hurdles become insurmountable and the problems that the Government set out to solve have already changed. 2023 is as good of a time as any to practice a ‘whole of Government' approach to IT adoption. This means that Federal, State and Local governments can work together, with a singular set of guidelines to address their most pressing IT needs like cybersecurity, multi cloud adoption and data protection. While FedRAMP, StateRAMP and other guidelines have good intentions, they cannibalize the ability to get things done and for decisions to be made. A whole of government approach could energize agencies, support the public/private sector relationship and help agencies set out to do what they are there for - supporting its citizens. 

Jeremiah Sanders, Senior Transformation Strategist, VMware

Public Cloud and its ‘Hotel California' Problem: Everyone can recite the lyrics to the song, but some might get triggered by the words, "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave" when they are looking at their cloud cost bills. As public cloud afforded many incredible advancements and unique, best-of-breed services, the idea that everything should move to the cloud may have been overzealous. Cloud consumption costs have spiraled out of control at some agencies that moved workloads that are better suited running elsewhere in a multicloud operating model and there is an opportunity for workload repatriation - meaning a return to data centers and on prem solutions where it makes sense. 2023 will see more agencies align on multi cloud adoption and find the right mix of solutions that most benefits their needs. Public cloud should be central to operating workloads that demand high elasticity and during the high rate of change of initial development, but not everything within the walls of an agency or organization needs to be on it and eating up precious budget. 

Creating a ‘Containerized' Workforce: Legacy development processes within the government space are very manual and serialized, typically relying on the ‘waterfall' approach or linear progression through application lifecycle management. In modern enterprise operations, these tactics are archaic and they have moved on to agile processes leveraging practices like lean product management and user-centered design that are often foreign concepts to public sector IT teams. 2023 becomes the year the public sector leverages these modern software practices and relies on containerization to scale operations across multiple clouds and build modern applications to meet the digital demands of the citizenry. Closing the gap between development and operations not only has significant implications to the developer workforce, by giving them more advanced techniques and ensuring better operational results that enhance a more attractive role, but it provides constituents with the best of breed applications available.  

Herb Thompson, SLED Strategist, VMware

Improving Cybersecurity Maturity and Organizational Resilience: Ransomware and cyber attacks are increasing. In fact, in 2022, nearly 60 percent of U.S. cybersecurity professionals experienced a ransomware attack in the past 12 months, according to VMware's 2022 Global Incident Response Threat Report. But with the right tools and communications in place, government employees can mitigate and respond to cyber attacks more quickly and effectively. In 2023, state and local governments are going to continue improving their cybersecurity maturity based upon the NIST Risk Framework and moving towards a zero-trust security architecture. Almost all states today currently have identity and access management projects underway, with the goal of moving towards Citizen 360 and away from security point controls. Improving organizational resilience, meaning the ability for people to work from anywhere and be able to collaborate effectively and securely while improving identity and access management will be a continued theme for state and local governments. 

Recruitment, Retention & Development: Staffing and resource management to accomplish projects will continue to be a key issue facing state and local governments. In 2023, states will continue to focus their efforts on recruiting talent, developing and upskilling talent and retaining talent against the private sector who can offer more competitive salaries. Agencies will be looking for new and improved ways to offer skills development to its workforce in hopes of retaining and attracting talent to help solve pertinent issues such as closing the digital divide, broadband expansion, and distributed equitable services that are easily consumed by citizens. In the New Year, we'll likely see focused trainings to upskill and incentivize staff becoming paramount and carved out in budgets early and more often. 

Increased Focus on Application Portfolio Management: Cities, counties and states alike are working on its application portfolio management. According to a recent joint study from VMware and NASCIO, 64% of states currently do not have a solid application portfolio management process. In 2023, I predict that agencies will continue to work towards improving their management process and moving towards container based application delivery as they continue to modernize and eliminate technical debt.


Published Monday, December 19, 2022 7:31 AM by David Marshall
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