Subscribed: Budgeting for the Digital Age at #MACoCon

A panel of experts offered best practices for counties to understand, control, and manage IT costs.

Shifting to cloud services can yield significant benefits, such as deploying modern digital services and the ability to scale up computing resources to meet mission needs. But, it can also result in unexpected costs.

As such, counties must weigh the long-term inefficiencies of migrating applications as-is into cloud environments against the immediate financial costs of modernizing in advance or replacing them altogether.

At this year’s MACo Winter Conference, the MACo Budget and Finance Officers Affiliate hosted a session on the evolution of IT costs — including best practices for counties to leverage modern technologies and best practices to harness new capabilities and deliver services to the public faster and more efficiently.

Dorchester County Council Member Lenny Pfeffer led the conversation and moderated an informative Q&A at the “Subscribed: Budgeting for the Digital Age” session.

The panel speakers included:

  • Ted Zaleski, Director, Budget and Management, Carroll County
  • Remi Omisore, Principal, CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen) Baltimore
  • Xhevair ‘Jev’ Maskuli, Senior Solutions Architect, Informatica

Zaleski described the challenges — from a county budget perspective — with IT costs moving from a fixed-cost model a subscription-based model. Zaleski also stressed the importance of communication between budget and IT leaders, especially during the planning and implementation of new technology projects.

Omisore provided an overview of GASB 87, which requires most leases be capitalized and recorded on the balance sheet, changes how they are reported, and eliminates most operating (non-capitalized) leases. Omisore also shared tips for accounting for subscription-based information technology arrangements (SBITAs), which have become increasingly common among state and local governments in recent years.

Maskuli discussed best practices for counties to understand their IT infrastructure, control costs, and successfully migrate to the cloud. Maskuli also highlighted the importance determining what/when data needs to move to the cloud, as well as choosing vendors.

The session was held on December 9, 2021, at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, Maryland.

More about MACo’s Winter Conference: