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The Florida Department of Management Services is one agency looking to new technologies to help deal with the retirements of key staffers.
State governments face what some have termed a “silver tsunami” of employees retiring and taking with them years of institutional knowledge. In a bid to replace those departing workers, some states are turning to new technology to try and ease the brain drain.
Among them is Florida’s Department of Management Services (DMS), which tested a cloud-based subscription to help prepare and publish data reports when it realized the staff member who had been preparing those reports was ready to retire.
Florida’s compilation of the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, which is used by state and local governments to meet their state and federal reporting requirements, presents a “high-risk area for the loss of institutional knowledge,” DMS said in recent budget documents.
The agency said the new subscription would replace manual processes with electronic ones, produce a more timely and accurate financial report and enable reporting efficiencies between other Florida agencies, some of which already use the cloud-based system.
When implementation is complete, DMS said the software will map data from its sources to reporting documents while employees are still in place to assist. The data mapping and streamlining will save time pulling, reporting and validating data and allow agency employees and auditors to simultaneously work on a single document.
DMS said it anticipates the new subscription could also replace other legacy software programs. An agency spokesperson declined to comment further.
Florida is just one state government that is looking to cope with retirements, although some like Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont have argued that the wave of departures has been milder than previously feared.
In cybersecurity roles across state governments, Meredith Ward, director of policy and research for the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, said during a GCN webinar that many leaders “hold their breath” when they look at the percentage of their workforce eligible for retirement and hope they do not all leave at once. The threat of retirement or resignation is compounded by the burnout all government workers face.
In a bid to get the workforce issues under control, Ward recommended that states carry out an assessment every year to determine which jobs could be made obsolete by modernization, who is eligible to retire and which skills agencies may need to replace. Having an idea of what is coming for the workforce is “really huge,” she said.
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