By Sherman Parker, vice president and general manager, Public Sector, Xerox

It’s no secret that we’re living in tough economic times and turning an optimistic lens on the road ahead can be difficult. Yet, I was pleasantly surprised at the rather upbeat and enthusiastic mood at this year’s Beyond the Beltway conference – an annual briefing on the state and local government IT market. Government IT: Things Are Getting Better

Allow me to share some important takeaways from the event, so my fellow government IT leaders, and citizens alike, can share in my optimism:

  • Collaboration – 67 percent of state government CIOs ranked centralized services as their primary goal. This means decreased security gaps, increased productivity and improved office efficiencies. Government leaders can partner with companies like Xerox to assess their IT infrastructure to uncover flaws and suggest improvements.
  • Security is top of mind – In today’s hyper-connected world, security is essential and government agencies are not taking it lightly. Governments should consider collaborating with industry IT leaders that have the technology and nimbleness to respond. Xerox, together with McAfee and Cisco, introduced ConnectKey this year to provide a range of advanced features and technologies to help ensure important information stays secure.
  • Mobile – Now more than ever, people are relying on mobile devices as their primary source for communicating – whether it be sending simple emails or managing their bank accounts. Government CIOs are recognizing the need to invest in mobile device management. According to a recent survey, 60 percent of workers want to print from their mobile device. Government leaders are seeking new ways to embed mobile into their infrastructures.

According to the Center for Digital Government, things are getting better. State spend has increased by 2.2 percent. 42 states enacted higher general fund spending. Confidence is up. People are pleased to be working in the state and local government. They are starting to think creatively and look for ways to make up for the deficits.

Witnessing this, as a citizen and as someone in the business, makes me more optimistic than ever.