Ride the Wave

Ride the Wave

Public agencies must embrace technological change

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In an era defined by rapid technological advancement, the importance of staying ahead of the curve cannot be overstated. For AAMVA members tasked with serving constituents and fulfilling critical government functions, the ability to adapt to evolving technology is not just advantageous—it’s essential for survival. As new innovations emerge and customer expectations evolve, our agencies must prioritize resources to meet the ever-changing demands of the digital age.

The pace of technological change is relentless, with breakthroughs occurring at an unprecedented rate. From artificial intelligence and blockchain to Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G connectivity, the possibilities are endless. While these advancements offer immense potential for improving efficiency, enhancing service delivery, and addressing pressing societal challenges, they also present challenges. In today’s fast-paced world, being reactive is no longer sufficient; public agencies must be proactive in anticipating and embracing technological change.

This is why AAMVA has made the hard, yet necessary, strategic decisions about migrating to new technology and sunsetting legacy platforms as detailed in this issue and in other communications. The consequences of falling behind are not merely theoretical—they have real-world implications for citizens. Outdated systems can lead to delays in service delivery, increased costs, decreased public trust and potentially fatal consequences. Each outage caused by our lack of redundancy, or a driver record not updated because states are on different platforms, is a lost opportunity to better serve our mission. In an age where citizens expect seamless digital experiences akin to those offered by private-sector companies, public agencies must rise to the challenge or risk being left behind.

To navigate these complexities, we must prioritize resources for technology investments—both AAMVA resources and individual jurisdiction resources. This includes not only funding for hardware and software upgrades but also investment in talent development, training and organizational culture. Building a workforce that is tech-savvy, adaptable and forward-thinking is essential for driving innovation and maintaining competitiveness in the digital age.

Furthermore, we must work collaboratively between the public and private sectors to cultivate a culture of innovation that encourages experimentation and risk-taking. By fostering a culture of innovation, public agencies can harness the collective intelligence of their workforce and leverage external expertise to address complex challenges. Through public-private partnerships, consortia or research initiatives, pooling resources and sharing knowledge can accelerate progress and maximize impact.

Furthermore, public agencies must prioritize equity and inclusion in their technology initiatives to ensure that the benefits of technological advancement are shared by all members of society. This means actively addressing digital divides, ensuring accessibility for individuals with disabilities and leveraging technology to advance social justice and equity goals. By prioritizing equity and inclusion, public agencies can harness the power of technology to create a more just and equitable society for all.

Ultimately, staying ahead of the technology curve is not just a matter of survival—it’s a moral imperative. In an increasingly interconnected and technologically driven world, public agencies have a responsibility to harness the power of technology for the greater good. By prioritizing resources, fostering a culture of innovation and embracing strategic partnerships, public agencies can navigate the complexities of the digital age and emerge as leaders in the pursuit of progress and prosperity for all.

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