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Vendors have been a huge help

One vendor representative, who works with state, local and education customers, said that early in the pandemic, the company was hearing regularly from customers who needed additional licenses and help scaling up their operations.

“It has been the most intense couple months of my professional life,” the expert said. “We were working as much as we could to scale services and maintain security for these users.”

Another CIO said they were talking to their vendors, asking for more license for several different software products, just to keep operations afloat.

“We were talking to our vendor partners and saying ‘I need this access right now, how can you help me?’” the CIO said.

The conversations, initially, weren’t about how the agencies could pay their vendors for the licenses they required, but rather how they could get them.

“Our vendor partners rose to the challenge and helped us out when we needed it,” the CIO said. “We were so thankful for the good relationships we had with them so that we could meet this demand.”