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The telework rush hasn't been a disaster

No state government was prepared when the COVID-19 pandemic forced their employees to start working from home en masse. Few workers anticipated the mental anguish of social isolation orders, agencies lacked sufficient equipment and software licenses and cybersecurity officials didn’t have enough time to ensure operations could continue under existing privacy and data-security standards. But multiple statewide CISOs told StateScoop they were surprised at how successfully their organizations adapted. And with the prospect of remote work becoming more common in the coming years, they’re questioning technology frameworks that had never been been tested so strenuously. “Maybe government can operate in a dispersed fashion,” said John MacMillan, Pennsylvania’s chief information officer. Colin Wood reports.

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Remote work wasn't in Delaware's IT plan when the pandemic hit

Delaware began phasing out its stay-at-home order this week. But, state CIO James Collins admitted in a video interview, adjusting to a telework environment wasn't the easiest transition when the lockdown began. Moving most state employees to a remote work environment wasn’t in Delaware’s disaster recovery plan, Collins said. “That just wasn’t in the plan,” he said. “We had a group of folks that had the ability to work from home and had the devices, but not in a large, large scale.” Over the course of April, Collins and his team deployed remote desktop services, devices like laptops, collaboration tools, virtual meeting tools and other platforms so that people could continue their work. Watch the interview.

New York delivers 10,000 tablets to elderly to close digital divide

New York City agencies have begun distributing 10,000 internet-connected devices to elderly residents in an effort to close the city’s digital divide, the size of which has been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic closing many in-person government services this year. The city partnered with electronics manufacturer LG to provide free tablets to elderly residents across the five boroughs, along with a year of free technology training and digital literacy education for recipients. The distribution is part of the $2.1 billion “Internet Master Plan” the city introduced this year to connect the 18% of New Yorkers who lack stable internet access at home. Ryan Johnston reports.

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