Brief 

The sheer size of projects undertaken with federal infrastructure funding is expected to boost adoption of IT in state and local government agencies, according to Cyndee Hoagland, senior vice president for Trimble’s Public Sector and Enterprise Accounts division. Among the tech solutions likely to see the biggest gains are those providing digital workflows and common data environments such as building information modeling, Hoagland says, noting the crucial role to be played by IT departments.

 

Insight

Information technology will play a bigger role in state and local government agencies as they manage new infrastructure projects and funding, an expert predicts.

“The volume of projects we’ll see will become even more massive, which means the data that’s going to have to be managed will be even more massive,” said Cyndee Hoagland, senior vice president for Trimble’s Public Sector and Enterprise Accounts. “IT departments will be critical in achieving digitization.”

Two laws in particular are driving the changes: the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which the White House calls “the largest ever investments in broadband, rail and transit, clean energy, and water,” and the American Rescue Plan Act, which “provided over $350 billion in critical resources to every state, county, city, and unit of local government to support their response to the COVID-19 public health emergency,” including broadband infrastructure.

Under BIL, the Biden administration has so far allocated more than $110 billion in funding for 4,300 projects affecting 3,200 communities nationwide, according to a May 16 fact sheet. The White House published a technical assistance guide May 18 “to help state, local, tribal and territorial navigate, access and deploy infrastructure resources” in accordance with BIL.

Technologies that Hoagland sees supporting efforts to digitize construction efforts include digital workflows; common data environments (CDEs), in which teams can work off the same set of data; and building information modeling (BIM). The U.S. Transportation Department defines BIM as “a collaborative work method for structuring, managing, and using data and information about transportation assets throughout their lifecycle.”

 

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