Innovative Ideas for Funding Small Government Modernization
In government offices across the nation, antiquated legacy systems create embarrassing errors and potentially hazardous security breaches. The effort to maintain outdated software creates an expensive burden on overtaxed government IT departments. For most agencies, the question is not whether to modernize IT systems but how to go about it.
Funding is often the biggest obstacle to refurbishing a system that’s past its prime, but state and local governments have found creative means of acquiring the funds necessary to modernize their infrastructure.
One way to overcome financial barriers is to forge partnerships that allow the cost to be shared rather than shouldered alone. Local, state, and federal government entities with overlapping needs can share resources and facilitate more expedient collaboration through a tech partnership. State and local government agencies might also build a partnership with a university, utility company, or other community service provider to help fund modernization.
Charges and Fees
According to the Government Finance Officers Association, “When certain services provided especially benefit a particular group, then governments should consider charges and fees on the direct recipients of those that receive benefits from such services.” Kansas pioneered eGovernment with the development of the Information Network of Kansas, Inc. (INK) in 1991. The state also provided a model for the effective use of innovative fee structures to fund tech projects. INK offered most of its services free of charge to the public; however, the program provides a paid, premium subscription for business services, such as filing applications.
In addition to offering easier access to public information and select legal, banking and business services to premium members, INK has given more than $3 million in grants to improve access to government information and services. Many state and local governments and institutions, as well as large corporations, offer sizable grants that can be used towards modernization. Federal agencies such as the SNAP Process and Technology Improvement Grant and the Homeland Security Grant Program also offer competitive modernization funds.
Liquidation of Public Assets
To make room for more modern government, it’s necessary to get rid of old IT equipment. The liquidation of public assets such as used computers and servers can help to fund the purchase of new technology.
One of the most ingenious state level technology fundraising ventures is Virginia’s Lobbyist-In-A-Box. This information service provides users with the ability to track legislation and filter data in customized reports. Like INK, a premium version is offered at a fee of $400 for state agencies and $600 for other subscribers. In this way, data can be used over and over to create a revenue stream.
Finally, there’s no reason to rely strictly on one source of funding for modernization efforts. A diversified strategy offers protection in the event that one resource should become untenable. Combine funds from partnerships, fees, bonds, and grants to effectively move your modernization plan forward.
Agile Development Expedites Government Solutions
During agile development, developers work in short development cycles of two to four weeks. Smaller deliverables are provided at more frequent intervals. Frequent meetings between stakeholders and developers allow for the rapid resolution of problems as they arise and the ability to adapt early to changing requirements. Agile development offers government agencies a way to build out a better system over short cycles with fewer obstacles, decreasing the total cost.
At Antares, we’ve worked with government agencies to custom design and construct software that modernizes functionality, security, and responsiveness. We help agencies transition smoothly from their legacy systems to more modern options, and we keep costs competitive.
Take a look at our case study about our partnership with St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office to create a more functional, efficient Jail Log Book application.
CONTACT US today to learn how we can help you modernize your agency’s operations.