For Federal Agencies, the Pandemic Offers Opportunities to Rethink Employee Recruitment and Technology Investments

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Over the past two years, the federal government has accomplished what almost no one thought possible: sending employees to work from home exclusively amid the pandemic. The new dispersed work environment, while challenging, has become a textbook case for successful transformation within massive institutions. Federal remote work continues to perform so well that the Office of Personnel Management recently issued new telecommuting and remote operations guidance for agencies in response to the increase…

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Over the past two years, the federal government has accomplished what almost no one thought possible: sending employees to work from home exclusively amid the pandemic. The new dispersed work environment, while challenging, has become a textbook case for successful transformation within massive institutions. Federal remote work continues to work so well that the Office of Personnel Management recently released new guidance on telework and remote operations for agencies in response to growing interest from – and for – federal workers. .

This enormous shift in the working environment has forced government and public sector leaders to overcome the hurdles of “how it has always been done” and anticipate the rapid changes that have come with abandoning the status quo. This meant not only supporting personnel as they moved remotely, but making smart and quick investments to ensure mission success.

The pandemic has triggered a massive demand for investment in network resources and new technologies to support the exodus from traditional office spaces to kitchen tables and guest bedrooms. As a result, many agencies have implemented or augmented their cloud computing solutions and adopted SaaS and other applications to enable employees to continue collaborating with each other and access the vital information they need to do their jobs. work.

The resulting success stories don’t just highlight flexibility that didn’t exist before or wasn’t known; they emphasize the resilience of federal agencies and personnel and have forged leaders throughout the transition.

Now, as we enter the third year of the pandemic, the lines between the new normal and the next normal continue to shift with each passing day. One thing is clear, as leaders continue to manage a remote or hybrid workforce, there are significant opportunities to assess what has been done, where gaps or opportunities continue to exist, and to invest in the right technological resources to continue to thrive safely in this environment. .

The resulting incentives to invest in emerging technologies are just the icing on the cake; helping agencies and teams capitalize on innovation that helps get work done while promoting the concept of prosperity at work and at home. In addition, the broad shift to remote work offers the opportunity to open recruitment pools to a wider range of talent and to strengthen employee training programs.

This is clearly stated in the riverbed | Aternity Hybrid Work Global Survey 2021, which revealed that 86% of global public sector leaders will invest in technology to support a hybrid workforce over the next year. Additionally, 85% believe a hybrid working model will have a lasting and positive impact on society and the world.

Other Technology Investments: You Can’t Protect What You Can’t See

As agencies allocate funds to critical technology investments, visibility solutions are needed more than ever. Previous cloud and application investments have resulted in more complex and dispersed networks, making it harder to gain visibility into platforms and networks and ensure optimization and security. With approximately 45% of government leaders responding that a cybersecurity breach would be seriously disruptive, there is no reason for agencies to wait to invest in the right tools to monitor and alert to potential threats and malicious activity. Understanding the types of threats and anomalies to monitor and knowing the tools available to get the job done is crucial to enabling decision makers to act quickly and respond to network attacks.

Increase in recruitment opportunities

The government is notoriously tough on job seekers, with many strict guidelines and regulations that often limit hiring practices. With a growing labor shortage and skills gap, recruiters are working with new flexibility in a remote working environment. Without the strict requirement that all new hires work full-time in a physical office, the talent pool has swelled dramatically, creating new job opportunities across the country.

This is a boon for agencies struggling to fill roles; 94% of public sector leaders think the new work environment will make it easier to recruit and help them better compete with the private sector. Additionally, flexibility helps achieve more diversity, equity and inclusion goals and improves access to a wider range of skills.

The pandemic-accelerated pace of modernization is paving the way for innovation and exploration of emerging technologies, new resources, and reimagined ways of operating. It is also a chance for the government to play a leadership role in implementing and executing solutions that will benefit future missions and their employees in general.

With these technologies in place, it is critical for agencies to maintain visibility into these new systems and networks to maintain momentum of their progression and enable a hybrid workforce to advance agency missions. agency.

Marlin McFate is Chief Technology Officer for the Public Sector at Riverbed.

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