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Equipping the Federal Workforce for Mission Success: It Starts with the Right Technology

Generational dynamics and technological advancements are shaping a new U.S. workforce. Millennials now account for more than one-third of the labor force, and the federal government is wrestling with how best to meet the expectations of this younger, more mobile group of workers.

A recent study commissioned by Dell EMC revealed that 44 percent of global employees believe their workplace technology isn’t smart enough. This can present a challenge to agencies pursuing new talent, especially in this job-seekers’ market. Young workers and recent graduates view reliable technology, flexible work-life balance and rewarding organizational missions as career requirements, not options.

Two in five millennials say they would quit their jobs over poor workplace technology, and eight in 10 take a modernized IT environment into account when seeking employment.

Federal workers expect the same reliable, effective technology in the workplace as they do in their homes. But whether their desks are in an office or assisting recovery in a disaster zone, what it takes to meet these expectations varies. Regardless of mission, smart devices that run data-intensive apps, analyze sensitive data and deliver critical information need to meet employees where they are working.

To achieve end-to-end transformation across a diverse workforce, employees need devices that maximize productivity. Agency leadership must equip technology users with intuitive experiences and provide safe, secure access to the apps and data required to complete each mission. A combination of the right infrastructure, the right technologies and appropriate levels of data security, balanced for a seamless user experience is a great starting place for government to achieve workforce transformation.

Agencies are making progress adopting critical technology across the defense and civilian communities. The Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) Cloud Hosted Enterprise Services (CHES) program is a great example, allowing the agency to improve efficiency and agility, encourage innovation and generate cost savings across IT workforces with unified communication. CHES provides technology and expert services to ensure cloud-based enterprise-as-a-service offerings are effective during device migration. It allows service members to continue cohesive communications in a multi-cloud environment. It is critical that these services are in conjunction to cohesively meet both employee expectations and federal regulation requirements for optimum security.

In some cases, investing in the right technology is only half the battle. Agencies experience the unique challenge of ongoing cultural resistance to emerging technologies, with reasons varying from the generation gap to federal restrictions. Veteran employees as well as IT leadership need to prioritize workforce transformation in order to move forward with digital transformation as a whole by putting powerful technology in the hands of federal workers.

Federal IT leadership has the power to guide this progress, from clearly communicating the value of new technology investments to providing the necessary resources and training to make them useable and accessible to all employees.

Equipping the federal workforce for success means implementing the technology that attracts talent and allows individuals to complete each mission in a secure and flexible environment. At the same time, it means providing the clear communications and necessary training to make technological changes within the agency accessible to everyone in the workplace.

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