10 Questions to Ask Prior to Making IT Investments

In both the private and public sector, the need for increased operational efficiencies and cost reductions are driving IT adoption. The challenge for organizations today is that even though adoption is essential to transform their organization, an emphasis must be placed on preparing for future operational needs. This is a challenging balance for government organizations to achieve, but is essential to modernize government.

Post Highlights

  • Technology will continue to transform government, creating a proactive and responsive government
  • Consumerization of devices and technology has led to heightened expectations of government
  • Post concludes with 10 questions to ask prior to making IT investments

To add to the complexity, consumerization and technology use in our private lives is changing the way we live and socialize. The effect of consumerization is that constituents now have heightened expectations how government should deliver services.

In response to these new expectations by government, agencies have turned to websites that facilitate self-service and craft new digital identities for government through various social channels. Regardless of the digital initiatives government adopts, citizens are concerned with making it easy to engage with government for situations that impact them on a day-to-day basis. This means quickly plugging an annoying pothole on their commute, cleaning the poorly maintained vacant lot, and making sure the trash gets picked up.

This dynamic in government has forced administrators to focus on how services can be transformed through IT, linking constituent and operational needs. This process starts with smart investments and proper document management. For instance, with ECM, online services can effectively deliver a higher level of service to constituents. Constituents can use the web to report the annoying pothole, the dirty lot and any other conditions they may want addressed. Behind the web, ECM is automating these digital interactions to be sure that the right people know about the request and to track it to completion.

Yet, the transformation potential that technology presents today goes far beyond just dollars and efficiencies, technology is facilitating the underlying theme demanded by constituents – a more responsive and proactive government. Prior to adopting any kind of technology, agencies must consider some basic, preliminary questions related to adopting IT. Below are ten starting points to consider:

  1. What are the indirect and direct costs associated with adoption?
  2. How will costs change over time? What is fixed and what is variable cost? How will this impact our budgets moving forward?
  3. What is the problem we are trying to solve? What is our IT roadmap for future adoption?
  4. How is this technology preparing me for future development?
  5. Have we gained support by core stakeholders and users?
  6. Have we identified the key metrics we must track? What kind of efficiencies can we expect?
  7. What kind of training will we provide to staff?
  8. How is this new service working to remove silos?
  9. Is this system operable with existing technology? What kind of existing technology may I be able to leverage with the investment?
  10. What is the impact if there is a change to the administration?

These are just the start of thinking through how to measure and implement IT investments. By making smart investment decisions, agencies can improve service delivery, efficiency and reduce costs of government.

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OnBase is a proven enterprise content management solution for each level of government, helping each meet today’s challenges of smaller budgets and staffs while laying the foundation for simplified, efficient and mobile government information technology. To learn more, visit Hyland's resources page on GovLoop.

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