Just lately, I attended POLITICO’s “The Fifty: America’s Governors,” offered by Cisco, held throughout the Nationwide Governors Affiliation (NGA) 2023 Winter Assembly in Washington, D.C. This occasion introduced collectively six sitting governors and leaders from each the private and non-private sector to debate workforce improvement, cybersecurity, digital fairness, reimagining authorities providers, and supporting important infrastructure. The convening supplied a singular discussion board to raised perceive the present political and expertise environments state leaders are grappling with, and in our conversations with state authorities leaders all through the weekend, three key priorities for state governments in 2023 grew to become clear.
3 key priorities
My colleague, Rachel Barger, SVP of Americas Gross sales at Cisco, kicked off this system which included interviews between POLITICO reporters and 6 sitting governors (beneath) from throughout the nation. Fran Katsoudas, Cisco’s EVP and Chief Individuals, Coverage, and Objective Officer, joined to debate how the tech business is working with states to assist them overcome obstacles.
In the course of the occasion, three key priorities state governments might be coping with all through 2023 emerged:
- Digging in on workforce improvement.
- Investing in cyber resilience.
- Extending connectivity and addressing digital inequity.
Precedence 1: Digging in on workforce improvement
Workforce shortages have reached a disaster level for the U.S. economic system, with expertise and cybersecurity abilities gaps being main ache factors. Workforce improvement unlocks significant alternatives for people, and investing in upskilling and reskilling in states drives financial improvement — and jobs create taxpayers and taxpayers fund authorities. In my expertise, this subject is paramount for each governor Cisco’s state, native governments, and schooling (SLED) crew helps.
In response to an October 2022 report by the Nationwide Affiliation of State CIO’s (NASCIO), workforce is among the many high 10 coverage imperatives for state governments. A technique Cisco is addressing the digital and cybersecurity abilities hole is thru Cisco Networking Academy, which has outfitted 17.5 million college students throughout 190 nations with high quality networking and cybersecurity abilities because it started 25 years in the past.
As talked about by Rachel throughout the occasion, at Cisco we’re partnering with state and native governments and entities round workforce. However we’re keenly conscious that a lot of our prospects within the non-public sector are additionally trying to fill these kind of jobs. That offers us the chance to be that bridge to attach each the private and non-private sector with Cisco Networking Academy skilled college students, who can energy the way forward for authorities and the varied industries supporting financial development.
Precedence 2: Investing in cyber resilience
The U.S. at the moment has an estimated 700,000 vacancies in cyber-enabled jobs. Cybersecurity is high of thoughts for each state and native authorities, and it’s an space Cisco is acutely centered on. This contains:
Our crew at Cisco can also be working alongside state companies on cybersecurity planning and serving to them leverage Cisco’s Talos Incident Response Providers to proactively assess, strengthen, and evolve incident readiness.
Precedence 3: Extending connectivity and addressing digital inequity
The speedy swap to digital environments for college kids and academics throughout the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted uneven entry to broadband in each rural and concrete areas of the U.S. For instance, 82% of the U.S. Traditionally Black Faculties and Universities (HBCUs) are located in broadband deserts. To assist communities overcome this digital inequity, the IIJA is providing $65 billion for extending broadband within the U.S. And I’m proud to share Cisco’s efforts to accomplice with authorities companies and academic establishments to increase connectivity to communities.
Our efforts have already bore fruit, together with:
We’ve discovered that authorities leaders are inquisitive about what their friends in different states are doing on these matters. That’s the place we really feel Cisco can add sturdy worth to the dialogue. By offering state governments with success tales and modern use circumstances, and by providing our experience and expertise gained by supporting different states throughout the nation, we provide a reputable path to serving to state governments meet the challenges that lie forward.