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2021 in Review

As the editorial teams at StateScoop and EdScoop look back on 2021, the biggest stories of the year are obvious: $65 billion in new broadband funding to close the nation’s digital divide, the continued grappling match between chief information officers and their legacy IT systems, and a still-tense operating environment, but one officials are increasingly less likely to describe as a “crisis.” There was no bright line separating 2020 and 2021, and many of the same trends should continue into 2022, but gradually, public-sector leaders have shown they’re becoming acclimated to new (and often remote) working environments, as well as the increased pace of work in a world after the coronavirus. See the special report here.

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Out of crisis mode, into the future

With help from vaccines, improved digital services and a rejuvenated remote workforce, city technology officials have successfully navigated out of the “crisis mode” they entered in 2020 to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. But the work is far from over — there’s still plenty of work left to address long-term issues, like digital equity, that were exacerbated over the last year Ryan Johnston has the details.

How 2021 evolved IT and boosted broadband

Listen to the podcast.

State and local IT stories that made 2021

Representing a mild improvement over the tribulations of 2020, the past year was for state and local governments marked by many of the same high-intensity concerns. Colin Wood has the rundown.

The year 2021 in IT metaphors

Metaphors and analogies work because they convey a complex topic using familiar ideas. And in 2021, state and local IT officials offered up those lines well beyond the familiar scope of cybersecurity and sports. Unemployment insurance and other benefits systems were likened to pizza-delivery apps. Modernization efforts were compared to home improvement and laboratory monsters. And security wasn’t always a team sport — sometimes it was a bottomless feast, other times, something much more dangerous. Benjamin Freed has the turns of phrase.

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