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GovBytes: Overcoming "Application Bloat"

Does your organization suffer from "application bloat"? If you're managing a different budget tracking system for each department or have to input every employee into multiple online training systems, your organization might have too many applications. State and local governments are trying to figure out ways to streamline their IT costs by consolidating and standardizing applications across agencies.

In 2009, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick issued an executive order to consolidate all executive IT operations. Curtis Wood, CIO of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), is charged with combining the IT programs and staff of 14 different agencies ranging from the Parole Board to fire services to emergency management.

As Wood surveyed the applications in use, he saw plenty of opportunities for streamlining and cost savings. “Why have 14 different inventory asset management or fleet management applications?” he asked.

Application Consolidation — Where the Real Savings Is

Adopting an agency, state, or city-wide system can create significant cost savings, but it's not without challenges. For one, there's the lost productivity as employees work to learn and acclimate to a new application. Change is hard and can be frustrating for those that were experts at the old way of doing business. Has your organization consolidated its applications? What were the biggest challenges or lessons learned?

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"GovBytes" is a blog series created by GovLoop in partnership with Government Technology. If you see great a story on Gov Tech and want to ask a question around it, please send it to [email protected].

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