Government leaders explore technology’s role in a COVID-19 Florida and beyond

State government leaders highlighted the roles technology and innovation play Wednesday at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the need for an interconnected Florida.

The state has more than 100,000 contractors and state employees across various departments and agencies, many of whom were forced to work from home at some point during the pandemic. With that many workers and overlapping agency tasks, legislative, policy and agency leaders said Wednesday that technology can soften the workload and eliminate redundancies in services and data management.

Recovering from the state unemployment system’s failures earlier this year became an early topic of the conversation between The Southern Group’s Rachel Cone and leaders in the process.

Chris Spencer, Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ policy and budget director, said the state successfully used automation to assist Reemployment Assistance office staff by working through basic tasks.

“It’s not replacing people,” Spencer said. “It’s making the people you have more efficient and reducing the cost the state has to incur in overtime and other types of areas around the state.”

Department of Management Services Secretary Jonathan Satter, who DeSantis tasked during the employment crisis to right the state’s sinking unemployment ship, said the state

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