How to Get Rid of IT Sprawl

So you’ve officially decided that the obsolete, inefficient way of managing information technology at your agency should no longer be utilized. Congratulations! You’ve effectively decided to get rid of IT sprawl, a reality too often seen in government.

As a refresher, IT sprawl happens when information is separated, disparate applications are deployed, and there are a huge number of IT systems to manage and support. Too many cooks stirring the pot of IT slows down and forces inefficiency upon agencies. With that understanding in mind, it’s time to discuss how to get rid of IT sprawl, and think about consolidating your agency’s tools into one hub.

There are many potential barriers that can prevent consolidation– for example, cost and resources. Most pressing of those barriers, however, is change management. Change is a struggle – particularly in government agencies, where the same practices have been used over and over throughout the years. But it can happen.

First, it’s important for agencies to consider the complexities of IT software. Security, access and licensing, maintenance, ease of use, backup and disaster recovery all complicate the question of how much redundancy you can afford to have. And the overabundance of options can complicate decisions around the best place to store information or build workflows.

Secondly, understand that when it comes to applications, less is more. By consolidating one-off solutions and leveraging a common platform for agency applications across the system, departments can streamline operations, reduce costs, and provide better service to customers.

Thirdly, focus the transformation from automating for process efficiency, to empowering employees to be able to understand exactly what’s changing. As a result, employees will be able to make educated decisions around daily issues and tasks.

Fourth, recognize that there are potential barriers that emerge when agencies make the decision to utilize a new system or technology. Reducing IT sprawl is more than simply integrating a new process; it’s an active change in agency culture, employee responsibility and attitudes towards efficiency.

Your agency can combat IT sprawl with OnBase by Hyland. With OnBase, you can combine key document management, people-driven work like service requests and incident management, electronic document and data capture, information hubs for instant access, and mobile functionality into one platform that supports an unlimited number of content-enabled applications.

Combining the technologies means that the same solution can be rolled out to every department within an agency. With that in mind, the same type of training can be used for everyone – and support is only needed for a single system. If that isn’t efficiency in government, we don’t know what is.

Ultimately, moving your agency forward efficiently takes a lot of work, and without managing IT sprawl proactively and systematically, it’s unlikely to happen. By utilizing an all-in-one solution that is catered specifically for your agency like OnBase, you will be able to see real change – in your employees, information access, and efficiency. Obsolete technology should not be the norm for government agencies. The only way to make sure change happens is to be amidst the decision-makers that respond to changing demands and bring in more efficient results.

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