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How to Build Your Foundation for IT Innovation

There are a lot of interesting trends shaping government - the move to self-service platforms, cloud, mobile and leveraging big data. Although these trends are unique, one constant is that across all emerging trends, they are powered by documents.

Proper document management is essential to deliver services in new ways and improve internal efficiencies. As we’ve written and researched about ECM on GovLoop, one question that continues to arise is how ECM fits into a broader technology strategy.

It’s my belief that documents are the fuel powering government, and proper management is essential to make sure that government is providing modern and efficient services to government. Yet, to truly manage documents and resources, agencies must consider creating a comprehensive IT strategy. With the complexity of government services and process, it’s not just one solution that will solve an agencies’ challenges, it’s the intersection of technologies - like cloud, mobile, ECM and GIS. When these technologies work together, there are some remarkable innovations that can take place in government, transforming how services are delivered and internal operations within the agency.

To begin thinking about the intersection of emerging technology, agencies need to start with basic questions addressing what kinds of technology to invest in, and the broader implications of their investment. The decision should be rooted in terms of the impact on the workforce, and the benefits to the constituent. When thinking about what kinds of technology to invest in, here are some fundamental questions to get the conversations started within your agency. Although they are fairly basic, they are foundational questions to start with to build your IT strategy:

  1. How is this IT investment preparing our government for the future workforce?
  2. How is this IT investment setting a foundation for future government service?
  3. Is this IT investment allowing us to improve services with less budgets and staff?
  4. How else can we use this service? Will it be accessible agency wide?
  5. How can I work with the vendor to tailor this solution to meet my agency’s specific needs?
  6. Does it make sense to run a small pilot program first?
  7. How will I train staff and educate citizens about the new service?
  8. How will we update the technology as needed? What kind of resources will this require?
  9. Who’s doing this well? What can I learn from their experience?
  10. Are there any challenges or obstacles I know I will face? What preventative steps can I take to avoid these roadblocks?

There are numerous challenges facing government agencies, and technology can help reduce costs, improve efficiencies and improve morale. Technology isn’t the only part of the equation. In order to truly benefit from IT, leaders must embrace new ways of thinking, re-imagine the culture of their agencies and work diligently to find innovative solutions to complex problems.

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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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