We recently attended the Oklahoma Digital Government Summit, which we also sponsored. It was a great networking and learning event with IT professionals from state and local governments, education, and other organizations across the state. We enjoyed the opportunity to connect with some of our clients outside of the office and partners we work with regularly, as well as meet new people.

Not surprisingly, security was a hot topic at the event. It’s something we face every single day as IT professionals. Another great presentation was a keynote speaker talking about improving communications, which is also an important topic of discussion in the IT world.

Cyber security

The number of cyber security attacks continue to increase every year, and I don’t see that trend changing anytime soon. It’s all about the money for the people who orchestrate these attacks, and honestly no company is safe from cyber attacks. If you have customer data of any kind in your system, you’re a target.

Many of the presentations talked about how to prevent cyber attacks and the importance of having a process in place if an attack occurs. What steps will you take to secure your systems? If something happens, how will you notify your customers that their data has been compromised?

Because it was a government conference, there was lots of conversation about citizen expectations around data privacy and protection. In state and local governments, there’s not a significant return on investment for the systems themselves as there can be in the private sector. But there is a public return on investment and the morale factor to think about with citizens and their expectations.

Communications in IT

One of the keynote presentations centered around improving communications in IT. It wasn’t about talking to each other more, but rather about how to be more clear and concise in making your point, which can apply to sales, customer communication, or even interpersonal communication. One of the tips he mentioned was to know the key points you need to make in a meeting and ensure you have a plan for how you’ll get those points across in a concise way.

The conference didn’t include many sessions specifically about application development or software solutions, though we were certainly happy to talk about those topics with anyone interested. But mostly, there was lots of conversation about cyber security and data protection, which is important for government agencies and businesses of all sizes to be thinking about.

Overall, it was a great conference and a wonderful opportunity to network with state and local governments.

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