3 ways a case management system helps federal IT – and CIOs

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The ebb and flow of agency mission change and new program delivery is dictated by the political cycle, national need and new funding for programs. When this happens, particularly with new programs, the information technology (IT) – including data systems, reporting and process automation – is already behind before the ink is dry on the new program rules. These new needs add to the large pile of modernization, security and solutions concerns already on a CIO’s to-do list.

With this in mind, it isn’t surprising that there are always more tasks and program and solution needs for a federal CIO. The sad news is that it comes at a time when federal infrastructure is both behind and facing budget crises provoked by the extreme costs of keeping legacy systems alive. These systems have no replacements in sight, drain resources, are written in antiquated programming languages and cannot, in most cases, be modified to take on new needs.

These are the realities that might encourage a CIO to stay in bed and call in sick.

360-degree views of information

Much has been written about case management solutions, usually countless flavors of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. The benefit of these solutions? They approach the business of government recognizing that program delivery requires content (documents), data and unstructured information. The truly effective programs and staff are those that have all of these in their solutions.

Often left out – but especially important – is the idea of bringing automation and process into the view of data and unstructured information. This provides staff with the support of a 360-degree view of the information to deliver a service. It means that low-value tasks are automated and compliance is enforced by the solution’s workflow management.

If all of this sounds exactly like what you need to deliver good service, take on new work and escape legacy systems, here are three features you should consider:

1. Rapid application development

Case management doesn’t help if you can’t deploy it in a modular and agile way. Seek out a vendor that offers a platform with a track record of fast solution development and that empowers your solutions team to build using the same base of licenses. If you do, you’ll start delivering better solutions faster.

2. Intimate connection to automation and content

Don’t just replicate separate data and content systems (file cabinets and network file shares). Invest in a case management platform that is content and automation enabled so your staff can see data, content and process in one place. This drives efficiency through automation that prompts staff with timers, reminders and notifications to keep processes moving along while staying within compliance requirements. Better program decisions and compliance is another great accomplishment for your solution to deliver!

3. Flexible and scalable

As was said, programs, rules, staff and more change over time. Look for a platform that is flexible and scalable so you can easily and quickly change program solutions, add new ones and modernize as new features are needed.

Faster and future-proofed IT awaits CIOs that can wrap these capabilities into their investments.

Case management as a philosophy makes good sense for any agency interested in improving service and program delivery. Beyond the empowerment of staff, these solutions recognize that more information means that staff do a better job.

If you combine the potential of rapid application development that is flexible and scalable with the automation required to relieve workload and compliance concerns, you get a toolkit that can change with the programmatic and political winds. It can even solve the budget and time puzzle of outdated systems. Pick that platform and your CIO might even show up for work early with a smile on her face.

Terri Jones

Terri Jones

Wondering what goes into a document management or ECM software deployment in government? Terri Jones, Hyland's government marketing portfolio manager, has your answer. In her 10 plus years in both state and local government, she's managed IT departments, implemented ECM strategies and written legislation and program policies. If that isn't enough to prove her IT expertise in government, she has also designed and implemented data systems and websites to manage compliance and funding in excess of $90 million annually. Have a question for her? Contact her at terri.jones@onbase.com.

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