How to accelerate SLG cloud modernization through emerging technology solutions

State and local government (SLG) leaders have been on the road to IT modernization for more than a decade. First appearing on NASCIO’s State CIO Top Ten Priorities list in 2010, IT modernization has ranked a top-three priority every year since. For some organizations, the pandemic served as a catalyst for cloud adoption and as-a-service consumption models. For others, it halted legacy migrations in favor of more immediate mission needs.

As we start to look at the pandemic in the rear-view mirror, however, SLG leaders across the country are looking to further accelerate modernization to overcome some core challenges of legacy technologies and systems, including security vulnerabilities (52 percent), high operations and maintenance costs (42 percent), difficulty integration with new technologies (42 percent), and data integrity issues (37 percent), according to new research from MeriTalk.

Now, leaders seek technology solutions that properly outfit their organizations for the future by upgrading legacy systems, prioritizing modernization and encouraging collaboration.

Prioritizing the greatest risk

From ransomware attacks on school systems and hospitals to threats on critical infrastructure and government agencies, legacy systems are not only holding SLGs back but actively jeopardizing data security and citizen services. Eighty-three percent of SLG IT decision-makers say retaining legacy applications makes them more vulnerable to cyber threats. And nearly half (47 percent) had a modernization project fail in the past 12 months due to legacy systems—wasting taxpayer money.

With 96 percent of IT decision-makers believing critical infrastructures are at risk due to legacy systems, how long until those failures lead to catastrophe?

SLG leaders must act now, starting with systems that pose the most significant risk. As agencies look to invest in systems that prioritize data protection, no two agencies are alike. The key is to determine the most personalized data protection system to meet specific goals and outcomes.

Celebrate innovation and initiative

Despite clear modernization advantages, more than one in three SLG organizations (36 percent) say their leadership operates with an “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” approach to legacy systems. Unsurprisingly, these organizations are significantly more likely to have experienced a modernization project failure in the last 12 months.

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