Choose your language:

France
Germany
Hong Kong
India
Ireland
Japan
Malaysia
Netherlands
New Zealand
Singapore
Sweden
United Kingdom
United States

Working With Government Agencies Calls for Well-Developed IT

In government, as in any industry of such scale, there is constantly new work to be done. Projects must be initiated, developed and maintained, all in the name of improving life for constituents and keeping the national infrastructure together. To complete a myriad of projects, local and national government entities typically partner with private companies. These are often large systems integrators or small businesses, and the variety of services those organizations can render is large and impressive.

As with any type of work in the modern world, these projects require a strong commitment to powerful IT. Hiring managers must be well-versed in advanced digital systems and understand the proper use of this technology. In addition to challenges organizations in any field face when taking on new IT projects, firms working with the government must often address additional considerations—extra elements that can make all the difference.

Complicating factors

Some of the difficulties that come from government contract work are simply amplified versions of enterprise concerns, and others are unique. Having both a plan to cope with these new factors and staff with the know-how to overcome them is vitally important for systems integrators or other businesses hoping to secure government contracts and excel in that capacity.

Cybersecurity

Any company is subject to attacks by cybercriminals. This problem is intensified when applied to public sector work. Organizations with government ties, whether on a local or national level, often have direct access to their constituents’ vital data and internal records. These resources could be a beacon for cyberattacks, as hackers driven by a variety of motives often try to move against government targets

Firms with inexperienced cybersecurity teams could find their attempts to work with public sector organizations rejected. The leaders of such entities are not eager to open holes in their digital armor and will look for partner firms that know how to proactively shut down the threat of a minor or major infiltration.

The White House is aware of the threats to modern organizations, and the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI) is one illustration of this point. One of the initiative’s stated goals is to promote awareness of modern digital dangers that extends to federal IT partners. Companies that are behind the times or have key staff who are not fully aware of the current IT threat landscape could be seen as weak prospective allies as the government becomes more security-savvy.

Companies that are behind the times or have key staff who are not fully aware of the current IT threat landscape could be seen as weak prospective allies as the government becomes more security-savvy.

IT legislation

Working with the government involves more than simply staying abreast of the current cybersecurity landscape. It also means staying within the guidelines laid out by rules and regulations. There are many of these different laws, some at the federal level and others are more local. The digital world is always in flux, meaning new rules are constantly in development to give the authorities weapons against new threats. While these laws apply to all companies, firms working directly with the government can expect a special focus on having a plan to obey them to the letter.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) maintains a list of rules pertaining to IT use by private sector companies. The rules convey that the government is both aware of the vital nature of IT and ready to take pains to protect infrastructure. Any firm working with the public sector should have staff able to assure its compliance with IT usage laws and offer proof. Any firm working with the public sector should have staff able to assure its compliance with IT usage laws and offer proof.

Any firm working with the public sector should have staff able to assure its compliance with IT usage laws and offer proof.

There are 10 fields tied directly to the GAO’s 34 specific rules for third-party infrastructure. These consist of one law, eight mandatory standards and 25 regulations and include requirements that businesses take precautions against any sort of mishap, internal or external, and manage their systems responsibly. Infrastructure musts like energy, transportation, waste and finance are all covered, with enforcement mechanisms that include large civil monetary payments, revocations of privileges and injunctions in court. Companies working with the government on these projects are subject to specific penalties if they stray from correct IT usage.

Network infrastructure evolution

The government is not known for its fast-moving IT adoption. In recent months, leaders have pushed for new implementations of solutions like the cloud and big data analytics. Virtualization and the cloud have been off the table for some time, as the technology was previously regarded as a safety liability. The increased interest in working from home, accessing data through multiple endpoints and dealing with massive data sets, however, has opened many eyes to the cloud. Now, companies working with federal entities can expect to glimpse their hosted infrastructure.

IT partners with no cloud knowledge will end up out of step with what official organizations want.

The federal government now has a cloud computing “roadmap,” drawn up by a team with the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This document is meant to standardize the path leaders take to the cloud, meaning all agencies will have compatible and secure connections to hosted data. Embracing this document could be important for agencies at all levels, and it could mean that IT partners with no cloud knowledge will end up out of step with what official organizations want.

Possible solutions

Being unable to take on government contracts and watching them pass to competitors could be disastrous for private service providers. These companies need to find a solution that will help them get the experience they need to seize those opportunities. Third-party staffing, talent management and services firms can help in several notable ways, each meant to enable a company to take its IT to the next level

Third-party staffing

There is no need to launch a talent search alone. This is a sensitive and specialized area, one where expert partners can help systems integrators achieve their goals. Meeting the many requirements present to work on government projects could be easier with the help of such a firm. Awareness of considerations that must be given to government IT, up to the moment, is one of the main things such an agency can offer. By working with one of these agencies, companies can be sure that a prospective employee will fill a specific need.

There is an art to selecting employees with compatible skill sets, assembling a team that will be able to solve government IT problems and help an organization partnering with federal entities work on whatever project it undertakes. For the specific cases presented by government IT, the expertise and knowledge needed to excel could be esoteric or hard to come by. Leading staffing firms can match companies with military veterans returning to civilian life, for example. With an intimate knowledge of federal procedure, these workers could be a valuable human resource.

There is an art to selecting employees with compatible skill sets, assembling a team that will be able to solve government IT problems.

Talent management

Hiring staff can be tricky, and holding onto those workers over the long term can be a challenge as well. Hiring a third-party partner for talent management can help firms be sure they are meeting the needs of their workers and running departments that employees will want to be part of for years to come. When a certain set of skills becomes subject to intense demand, workers with that knowledge can end up changing positions often—going where they feel well-compensated and appreciated.

Talent management partners can make sure the firms they work with are well-suited to keeping workers for years to come, providing value and continuity. Professionals who form permanent bonds with their employers can carry their knowledge forward, and having a consistent and experienced team in the office over years could have a positive effect on morale. Holding onto employees lets a business build a culture, rather than simply serving as a station for ambitious workers to pass through on their way to other companies.

Holding onto employees lets a business build a culture, rather than simply serving as a station for ambitious workers to pass through on their way to other companies.

Once workers have become assets to a company, optimizing their contribution is another important aspect of talent management. Leading firms in the field leverage in-depth studies of companies’ current IT needs to transform the productivity per employee that leaders can hope to extract.With expert coaching and guidance, the workers can contribute more to the effort than ever before; perhaps more than they themselves knew they were capable of.

Consulting and services

If systems integrators entering into new contracts do not want to take on the burden of permanent new staff positions, they can still gain access to the skills they need to succeed on a contract basis. Third parties can provide a variety of skilled and knowledgeable employees who will work with a company on every stage of its government IT projects. This is especially pertinent if the business needs to harness a unique set of talents over a project’s short duration.

A government partner may not have a specialist on staff to solve various types of crises. That is not a problem, as long as that company calls in a third-party firm’s consultants. These workers can augment a team, delivering advice from a unique perspective and helping the company meet its requirements. The government has strict requirements for its partners—with its need for efficiency and security, this is understandable. With a consultant on hand, even a small firm that would normally be unable to meet a project’s requirements with its permanent staff can deliver exactly what the federal or local entity needs.

With a consultant on hand, even a small firm that would normally be unable to meet a project’s requirements with its permanent staff can deliver exactly what the federal or local entity needs.

Conclusion

There are opportunities in government work for companies, which is great news for businesses with the human resources to contribute. At both the federal and state level, there is a constant need for private sector firms with special experience to step in and deliver IT solutions. Third-party IT staffing, talent management and services firms could provide a way to harness the talent and skills that these companies need.

There are several ways firms can engage with partners to address their IT services needs. These companies can lead the search for new talent, provide management to help keep the workers already in place or unite companies with consultants on a contract basis to provide services. Such partnerships can make the difference between a company not being prepared to secure a government contract and becoming a key public sector asset.

Sources consulted

http://www.whitehouse.gov/cybersecurity/ comprehensive-national-cybersecurity-initiative
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-1075R
http://www.nist.gov/itl/cloud/upload/SP_500_293_volumeI-2.pdf

About TEKsystems®

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, we understand people. Every year we deploy over 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals – while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.

TEKsystems. Our people make IT possible.