State and local government agencies in the U.S. have prioritized IT modernization. For Texas, prioritizing modernization efforts not only enables the workforce to keep up with changing user needs but also responds to the growing need for increased speed to mission delivery, state officials said.

Jennifer Buaas, the director of Strategic Digital Services for the Texas Department of Information Resources, said that the Texas legislature sees the importance of IT modernization and has made it a priority statewide.

“We are modernizing to enable our workforce and enable our constituents to access the services they need through digital solutions,” Buass said during a virtual even.

Recently the Texas legislature funded a massive modernization effort for the Office for the Secretary of State. The action was particularly focused “on our business services moving towards more digital services and looking at our infrastructure on the back end. But our focus ultimately was better digital services for our stakeholders and constituents,” said Daniel Teczar, the chief information officer for the Office of the Texas Secretary of State.

However, this modernization effort was not without its challenges. According to Teczar, the office’s legacy filling system present significant challenges in this effort.

“The systems that we used for business filings were about 20-years-old. And it’s challenging to maintain certainly for my staff and our business staff. There are many workarounds in place that we must do to keep things like process agents working. And those challenges that come with a 20-year-old system are tough and taxing,” Teczar said.

Additionally, the state has also made broadband access a priority as well. Buaas explained that broadband access is just as important as supplying digital services.

“We are also promoting broadband access because you can have digital services, but if your constituents do not have access to those digital services, what good are they really,” she added.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk State and Local Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.