CompTIA Survey Assesses Local Government IT Operations
In an ongoing trend that now spans nearly a decade — nine years, to be more precise — the 2022 State of City and County IT National Survey conducted by tech industry association CompTIA once again catapults cybersecurity to the top of the list of priorities and concerns among such organizations.
Indeed, 97 percent of respondents listed cybersecurity as their top priority. Survey participants cite increased security concerns stemming from the overseas conflict in Ukraine, ongoing ransomware attacks, and overall increasing volumes and severity of cyberthreats and attacks.
Summary of Key Findings
These top-line items in the survey results are quoted verbatim, from CompTIA’s press release (dated June 9) trumpeting the release of its findings:
Modernizing outdated systems was second on this year’s list of top priorities, up from fourth in 2021.
Expectations for budget increases soared in this year’s survey, with 51 percent anticipating an increase of 1 percent to 4 percent, and another 33 percent anticipating an increase of 5 percent or more.
Regarding the impact of COVID, 97 percent expanded the use of collaboration platforms and/or remote meetings in 2021.
Several new technologies are finding their way into the operations of cities and counties including UAVs, automation, IoT, 5G [and more ... ].
Top Priorities for 2022-2023, As Per Survey Population
These, too are quoted verbatim from page 2 of the afore-linked report. Here they are:
1) Cybersecurity / data loss prevention
2) Modernizing outdated IT systems
4) Launching or updating digital services for citizens
5) Migrating systems / applications to the cloud
6) Addressing integrating disparate systems
7) Addressing data silos
8) Streamlining procurement processes
9) COVID-specific initiatives
The Certification Tie-ins Are Both Obvious and Extensive
Certainly this means that aspiring and practicing IT pros can start factoring city- and county-level employment into their career planning goals. Admittedly, local government jobs usually don’t pay as well as private industry, but they tend to offer long-term stability, intensely local places of work, limited travel requirements, and increasing levels of support and means for WFH (work from home) opportunities, both full- and part-time.
Looking over the preceding list of priorities, it looks like IT pros interested in any or all of the following kinds of certification should be able to parlay them into meaningful local government employment, should they be so inclined:
Most levels of security certification, from Security+ through CISSP (and its management-oriented "Concentrations" topper). Likewise, all kinds of security specialties, from audit, to cloud, to pen testing and ethical hacking, are likely to bring about either full-time employment or consulting opportunities to local governments.
IT and cloud architecture professionals who have at medium- to senior-level certs (including the likes of TOGAF, AWS Certified Solution Architect, ITIL Master, and so forth) can make hay out of their mission-critical skills related to modernizing outdated IT systems, cloud migration, systems integration, and addressing data silos.
Cloud, storage and virtualization certifications, and those who hold them, can also play vital roles in modernization, consolidation, and cloud migration, especially once the design is done and the real work gets going.
I can’t help but see this as a golden opportunity for those with tech interests who also want to stay put where they currently live, without having to commute (either physically or virtually) to major metro areas to practice their trades. If you see it this way, too, then you may want to start investigating opportunities in you local city and county governments nearby.