In a recent ETR Insights interview, we spoke with the CIO of a large, municipal health agency that reported that his IT budget was “going up” with “more projects and more funding as well.” We discussed his organization's current tech stack and most pressing IT initiatives, where Cloud migration was his “number one” priority, aiming to “migrate to the cloud within the next three years” and is eyeballing a “multi-cloud environment” that combines the best features and functions of AWS and Azure. He adds that cybersecurity is also “really high on everybody’s radar right now” as well, having witnessed one of his agency’s SaaS applications recently "hit by ransomware.”
On the topic of broad hiring trends in IT, our guest bucked some of the most recent Macro Views survey data showing slowing hiring by stating they “actually have open positions, so we’ll be hiring more people in the coming year.” Echoing the Macro Views data, he said wages for existing and new hires would likely grow in the coming months, too. Finding good talent is still a challenge for this public sector CIO, though: hiring for “entry to intermediate levels is not too bad, but more advanced levels – like your top-notch programmers and solutions architects – those types of positions are hard to find.”
For storage, our guest’s organization uses Dell EMC for hardware storage and Veeam for backup, and although he considers the current set-up to be “pretty good” he will “probably be evaluating additional vendors” as they migrate to the cloud. On the applications side they “are a Microsoft .NET shop with a SQL back-end.” For analytics, he says they are currently still IT-dependent but migrating "to a SQL data warehouse using Tableau and more visualization tools” as they create more of a self-service model.
Another area where the cloud migration is coalescing their organization's tool choices is a story as old as, well...Microsoft. Like many before him, our guest is slowly consolidating its productivity and collaboration tools around the famous windows logo. "We started out with Webex as the standard; however, during the pandemic, we rolled out Office 365 and that's when we switched to Teams. People were hesitant at first because they are so used to Webex. Of course, Zoom is very easy to use, but some people in our organization had security concerns about Zoom. Right now, people are very comfortable with Teams and more people are using SharePoint and OneDrive. One Drive is especially good for people working remotely because they may not need access to a corporate shared drive anymore; they can just store their files on OneDrive."
One niche productivity tool that Microsoft hasn't targeted yet is within the e-signature space, where Adobe still reigns. "We use Adobe Sign. We have the entire Adobe content management system. We signed a big contract with Adobe to really get a lot of their other products. So right now, actually, every state employee, not just our agency, has a license to Adobe Sign. It really came in pretty handy during the pandemic – it was what we needed – so we don't have to worry about using paper signatures anymore."
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