Outfitting the Public Sector for a Digital Future

By Elizabeth Clor

Government teleworking is on the rise—the Social Security Agency recently converted 4,000 call center employees to at-home agents, for instance. This movement to remote work has been exacerbated by the pandemic, but public sector agencies at the federal, state and local levels are poised to benefit from thoughtful IT activity as a result.  

Still, the process of developing a comprehensive IT strategy is difficult for one department within a single agency, let alone the IT infrastructure that powers any level of government. Even if deployment and implementation goes smoothly, freshly procured or integrated solutions still require constant monitoring and regular updates that help avoid latency and system failure issues. The introduction of new IT systems and digital tools can create issues with legacy systems or non-compatible networks—both common in public sector environments.

With the right IT solutions and tools though, public sector agencies can streamline internal digital operations and provide more robust online services to constituents.

Powering the Next Phase of Government with the Right Tools

As government agencies, staff and citizens continue to increase digital engagement, demand for stronger IT protocols, more efficient tools and integrated infrastructure with built-in compliance grows. The Atlassian suite of tools, in particular, offer managed and professional services that have the potential to alleviate administrative, digital workflow and data sharing burdens for public sector clients. 

Here’s a snapshot of specific applications for the public sector:

Jira: Jira offers public sector leaders the visibility to dictate and monitor timelines for specific digital and web-oriented tasks, set clear deadlines for agency IT system upgrades or solution implementations, and customize templates for agency workflows across teams. Agency IT administrators benefit from Jira’s straightforward, comprehensive task management dashboard built to deliver efficiency to internal workflows and ownership clarity to complex projects that involve interagency collaboration.

Confluence: Confluence is a web-based wiki that connects to an Atlassian cloud and allows agencies to create and share web pages, documentation and media assets that can be customized to fit the needs of a specific agency. Confluence also offers a secure cloud option that adheres to major compliance standards including FedRAMP and HIPAA.

Jira Service Desk: Jira Service Desk offers an IT support ticketing and task management system that can be accessed through a one-touch customer portal on an agency’s website, or through a central email address. Service Desk is meant to complement the efforts of existing IT service professionals working to address on-premises and remote network issues impacting agency staff and citizens interacting with digital assets.

Crowd: Crowd delivers centralized identity management and log-in security for public and private sector Atlassian customers. For the public sector, in particular, Crowd offers an integrated approach to modernizing and streamlining digital government workflows with the help of the Atlassian tools (like Confluence or Jira) through a single sign-on experience. Once deployed, users can be managed by agency admins from multiple directories, including: Active Directory, LDAP, OpenLDAP or Microsoft Azure AD. Crowd allows agency IT teams to control authentication permissions from a single location; adding an extra layer of security and visibility. 

Moving into the Future

Government IT leaders need to invest in lasting relationships with selected partners that offer vetted professional services needed to make implementation happen. They should look for external IT solution providers that deliver efficient workflows and operations, map to agency priorities and citizen demands for service, and continue past deployment to implementation and maintenance. While there is no single blueprint for public sector IT modernization and digital transformation, working with an industry partner that has beyond-deployment expertise in disaster recovery, customization and scaling solutions, like Atlassian’s suite, can help.