Business View Magazine - Sept 2023

11 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE VOLUME 10, ISSUE 9 Source -, Dr. Alan R. Shark, First Published Aug June 21, 2022 For well over decade, IT managers have listed cybersecurity as their number one concern. Both the CompTIA Public Technology Institute (PTI) and the National Association of State Information Officers (NASCIO) have been tracking top trends in IT management, policy, governance and operational issues as they relate to state and local government. Only recently has “procurement” entered the top 10 issues domain—and it’s about time. Over the past several years, I have had the pleasure to speak before several procurement officer events, as well as a purchasing cooperative. What I learned from these experiences was that purchasing managers have a genuine desire to learn more about the IT enterprise. Likewise, IT managers described their relationship with procurement as somewhat mixed, often blaming outdated procedures, not individuals. Both sides have voiced the need for greater understanding and cooperation. As we all know IT is quite specialized, and aside from laptops and related equipment, the rest is far from being labeled as a “commodity item.” The pandemic (the beast) might have been the important and critical catalyst for change. Never in the history of public management has city and county IT support had to pivot to a remote workforce while continuing to serve citizens in such a short period in time. Rules were side-stepped to make the great shift to remote work possible. Hundreds of thousands of laptops, monitors, cameras and headsets had to be acquired in record time. Less obvious was the massive procurement of VPN networks, collaboration software and cybersecurity monitoring devices. The pandemic forced everyone to operate and move in ways and speed not thought possible. The pandemic forced local governments to accelerate plans for the digitalization of government. Much of what had been deemed temporary has now largely been maintained and is most likely here to stay. As more government employees were forced to work remotely, cyber criminals sought (often successfully) to exploit the new remote workforce landscape. Not only did ransomware attacks increase, but we also learned of a new type of attack referred to as a “supply-chain” attack where a cybercriminal would hack a vendor’s customer database so that when updates were pushed out, so too was malicious malware. The 2022 CompTIA Public Technology Institute (PTI) State of City and County IT National Survey THE BEAUTY OF THE BEAST: WHY THE PANDEMIC & CYBERSECURITY MIGHT ACTUALLY IMPROVE PROCUREMENT AND IT COLLABORATION OPENING L INES