These articles were designed to help local government leaders develop “tech fitness” for their organizations. The idea of tech fitness is to ensure that organizations can meet expectations for technologically driven services, which today, include most government services. By itself, cybersecurity has become the most mission critical. Tech fitness represents the overall capacity of organizations to protect and manage their systems so they can continue to provide needed services to residents.
All organizations need an expert to advise their leaders about technology and help them make sound decisions. These articles are intended to give those leaders a basic understanding of the issues, so they can make sound decisions without being technology experts themselves.
One of the biggest challenges to elected and appointed officials as well as senior (non-technology) managers is that technology has become the single biggest method for delivering government services. They need to develop and maintain an understanding of technology leadership (planning, budgeting, decision making) along with an appreciation of the challenges of cybersecurity to meet constituent expectations for digital services. At the same time, they need to find ways of increasing the capacity of staff to meet those needs.
The articles compiled in this report were written for and originally appeared between October 2022 and November 2023 in New Jersey Municipalities, the magazine of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. The author plans to update them to keep them current given the speed of technological change, challenges, capacity, and expectations.