Remote work has long been on the public sector’s radar, but not all government employees are equipped with the tools to perform their duties virtually. After all, agencies typically operate in person and have been reluctant to change activities such as worker training and certification without good reason.
Since the pandemic was declared in 2020, agencies have become more open to conducting training and certifications virtually. So far, the results suggest there is untapped potential for agencies at every level. For example, a 2020 International Data Corporation (IDC) report found organizations with virtual training could deploy new IT resources 59% faster.
“I think people are starting to get acclimated to the reality of teleconferencing and working from home,” said John Walter, Specialist Solutions Architect at Red Hat, a leading enterprise open source software provider.
Walter and Alex Unger, Red Hat’s North American Training Partner Manager, shared three reasons why agencies should train and certify their workforces virtually going forward.
1. Convenience for employees
Onsite education often revolves around instructors’ schedules, with training and certifications frequently occurring during employees’ work days.
With virtual courses, workers can train or secure certifications at the pace that suits their routines best.
“In a remote world, it opens our availability,” Unger said. “There is 24/7 access. We can work around peoples’ schedules and adapt to that.”
2. Adopt new tools more easily
Virtual training and certifications allow agencies to quickly and easily familiarize their talent with the latest developments in areas like open source software. Open source software licenses its source code to all interested parties, helping users strive for limitless collaboration. Using open source software, developers can rapidly develop strong tools together.
“We’ve seen a negative impact on the individual or organization if someone isn’t familiarized with these skillsets,” Walter said of tools such as open source software. “It’s a tangible, sizable difference between comfortability and competency with those who have been trained and certified with a lot of these new technologies, and those who have not.”
3. Promote DevSecOps agencywide
DevSecOps combines software development, IT operations and security into one business methodology. Virtual lessons from providers such as Red Hat can train and certify government employees in topics like DevSecOps that will help them perform more efficiently.
Practicing DevSecOps, agencies can continuously deliver secure, higher-quality software faster. Besides mission wins, the goal is a stronger customer experience for citizens.
“All sides of the house need to have security present at the very beginning of the process,” Walter said. “Security has to take an integral role in the full life cycle of the applications we’re building.” When their employees can develop anytime and anywhere, agencies can accomplish their goals no matter how their talent is dispersed.
This article is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent guide, “Your Guide to Virtual Collaboration and Training in Government.” Download the full guide here.