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Though budgets tighten, federal technology funding may arrive

While recent pandemic relief aid didn’t include explicit funding for IT or cybersecurity, state and local officials are now looking to possible funding through the CARES Act.

One city technology leader said CARES funding could help to close the city’s digital divide. Another said talks are now underway to find funding for technology and automation as a way to better serve citizens.

“Demand on our service is going to skyrocket,” one IT leader said. “But investment is going to be stagnant if not decreasing.”

One official said IT organizations need to continue serving more as “brokers of services” as opposed to builders of custom solutions.

“We’ve been transitioning to be a broker, but especially now, we really need to worry less about building and owning,” the official said.

That shift could make it easier for states and localities to get federal funding for technology, another CIO said.

“If we’re talking about services, then that absolutely qualifies for CARES,” the official said.

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