Enrich the lives and livelihoods of tribal members with secure, effective and manageable IT and communication infrastructure.
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) presents an important opportunity to enhance the health, education, and economic well-being of your tribal members through improvements to the information technology and communication systems supporting your community’s critical services.
But technology acquisition in and of itself is not enough. The right investments must include sustainable ways to manage and support this infrastructure once it is in place. The last thing any organization needs is untenable shelfware or new gear that is too costly to preserve.
Plan and purchase with purpose. Structured possesses 30 years of insightful experience proving that deliberate IT and communication infrastructure projects lead to better healthcare services, secure remote work, easier access to education, greater business opportunities, and clearer communication throughout communities.
Discussing Digital Disruption in Tribal Organizations
American Indian and Alaska Native tribal nations have been striving for generations against great odds to build productive, diversified economies that strengthen self-determination and fund essential services that positively impact all members — as well as neighboring communities.
While the pandemic dealt a significant blow to many of those economies and that progress, we are finally entering a period of rebuilding and renewal. Today, tribal nations face an unprecedented opportunity to reinvest in their communities, recover from the pandemic’s losses, and revitalize important programs and businesses.
Admittedly, the need is great. Chronic underfunding from the federal government has severely impaired programs for tribal government and public services, healthcare, and education, to name a few. Poverty, income inequality, substandard housing, food insecurity, and infrastructure problems like unavailable access to clean water – not to mention the internet – all require significant investment.
Fortunately, well-designed and well-executed improvements to information technology and communications infrastructure can help alleviate some of these iniquities and should deliver significant economic returns.
Government & Community Services
Tribal governments face myriad decisions about how best to fund executive, legislative and judicial operations; social programs; first responder services; workforce development; land and natural resource management and much more. A stable, optimized and manageable IT and communications infrastructure sits at the heart of each of these initiatives.
Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) platforms – think phone systems, video meetings, team file sharing with real-time collaborative editing, file storage, and instant messaging – offered a life ring to organizations struggling to maintain productivity in the face of shutdowns and a distributed workforce. These systems, plus multifactor authentication and identity management tools for added security, will continue to be a vital resource even after the world is able to resume more traditional workstyles.
On tribal lands, which can span hundreds or even thousands of square miles, a robust UCC platform can provide citizens – and even non-native employees – with a more flexible way to remain productive at work, to attend meetings, or to access important social services when distance is a hindrance.
When needed, upgrades to the attendant IT infrastructure in data centers and at the network edge – route/switch, compute and storage, wireless, and security tools like next-generation firewalls (NGFW) and endpoint protection platforms (EPP) – can also facilitate better network performance, end-user access, and much stronger threat mitigation.
Tourism and hospitality, including gaming, provide essential revenues for many tribal organizations. Fortunately, travel and gathering restrictions slowly are being lifted so there’s hope for a return of pre-pandemic crowds.
In preparation for this return, many nations are taking a critical look at customer experience and are leveraging CARES Act and ARP funds to upgrade networking, wireless, and security infrastructure in their hotels and casinos. Modern route/switch infrastructure offers speed, efficiency and resiliency over legacy equipment, but perhaps the biggest gains come from upgraded WiFi.
Newer wireless systems have enhanced authentication protocols for greater security but also offer more robust automation and analytics capabilities. This intelligence can facilitate data collection and even proximity services to provide upselling opportunities and better, more convenient customer experiences – such as wayfinding, mobile notifications, virtual concierge services, exclusive guest offers and more.
As ever, security and compliance must be a top priority in hotels, casinos and the wide range of diversified businesses owned and operated by tribal nations. Structured offers physical security systems that include cameras and access control systems as well as information security hardware, software and services integral to IT. We also provide governance, risk and compliance services — including standards-based risk assessments, penetration testing, and policy gap analysis — for all regulatory frameworks that impact tribal nations.
Finally, Structured’s experience with the CARES Act and ARP has provided us with insight into how these funds can be leveraged to reduce tribal spend on costs like payroll, adding a strong measure of sustainability to capital expenditures.
According to a 2020 report from the National Congress of American Indians, “Indian Country is young.” Approximately 29 percent of Native people are younger than 18, propelling educational priorities like establishing reliable internet access in remote areas, 1:1 laptop-to-student programs, and better WiFi in schools to the forefront of tribal long-term planning.
Structured has extensive experience building manageable and stable IT and communications infrastructure for education that helps teachers deliver engaging lessons, enhances student learning, and streamlines operations for administration and staff.
Like tribal government, schools have come to rely heavily on UCC platforms for communications, especially how they facilitate communication with students and their families. Modern collaboration platforms are easy to use and manage, allow for real-time alerts and mass notifications, and integrate well with other applications that schools use.
The pandemic changed how healthcare services were delivered in every part of the world. Telehealth services became more mainstream, and caregivers relied on data collected from internet of medical things (IoMT) sensors to closely monitor patient health when in-person visits weren’t possible.
While people are beginning to resume their routine preventive healthcare visits in clinics and doctor’s offices, telehealth services will continue to play an important role in delivering quality care to the sickest and most vulnerable among us. Structured can design and deploy the underlying IT and communications infrastructure that healthcare providers need to deliver telehealth – as well as on-site – services.
Our long history of successful technology implementations with tribal healthcare institutions has allowed them to ensure better outcomes and experiences for patients and their families. These projects have also held the added benefit of alleviating clinician and staff burnout by streamlining network access and optimizing the delivery of healthcare applications, all while improving information security and protecting patient data.
Structured has a full complement of compliance services for tribal organizations, including vulnerability assessments, policy creation, control validation, and regulatory gap analysis/compliance audits.
Consider working with us to meet regulatory requirements for:
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
Sets requirements for any organizations “that store, process or transmit cardholder data.”
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Regulates how public and private educational institutions handle student data.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
Requires the application of three rules concerning the handling of protected healthcare information (PHI) to a healthcare covered entity; privacy, security, and breach notification. Business associates of a covered entity are required to be covered by agreements, specifying their responsibilities with PHI.
Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC)
CMMC is a compliance framework that is applicable to government contractors in the supply chain. Currently it applies to contractors of DoD, but may expand to other departments in the future. The information that is to be secured is Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI).
Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS)
CJIS is a network system that provides information on criminal activities for law enforcement agencies and authorized users. Maintaining access to use that network requires compliance with cybersecurity requirements for system hardening, access control, and data protection.
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Bridge the Gap
Experience, People, Processes and Technologies since 1992
Discover what’s possible. The digital age is creating enormous opportunities for organizations to innovate, automate, and grow — and technology is the springboard. Embrace the digital age and transform your business with Structured.