Digital transformation in government, part 3: Keeping your IT hero status

Leverage digital transformation to be an agency hero.

Ever had this dream?

There’s a rousing soundtrack, you walk into an agency and people throw confetti. There are grateful handshakes, the sounds of corks popping and a glass of celebratory champagne is pressed into your hand. In your office, a certificate signed by the Governor thanking you for leading your state’s digital transformation sits atop your mail. You take a minute to admire the certificate and then you look at the top of the mail pile and one of your tech magazines has a cover screaming “If you don’t have [fill in the blanks], you’re already behind.”

The good feelings, the congratulations and possibly, the feelings of relief evaporate and you wake up in a cold sweat, with tightness in your chest.

Big but necessary IT projects are like this, except we seldom get a party at the end. And sometimes, the new systems are greeted with more opposition than appreciation. This makes our modernization and solution projects less than fun. And, with the wrong investment, the timeline for these projects creates a situation where the time between completion and the start of the next update/upgrade gets shorter and shorter.

So, what if you want to be a hero? What if you want to be able to sustain the success of a good project?

Leveraging digital transformation

In many ways, the path to digital transformation can lead you to sustainability because the tools that best drive transformation also position you to respond more effectively to new requirements, responsibilities, constituent needs and leverage technology developments better.

Here are some absolute necessities that can help you sustain your progress:

  • Buy the platform that lets you move faster

Rapid application development is essential, enabling you to provide necessary solutions faster.

  • Invest in solutions with persistent and consistent updates and upgrades

Being able to depend on your vendor to watch for trends and continuously add features reduces how often you need to replace large systems due to lack of functionality and support.

  • Take care of the staff training

Even if you outsource services and solution development, having resources to help staff understand the potential of your investments makes it easier to determine when to buy and when to develop within existing systems. When we purchase solutions we have to evaluate training, documentation and online forums as well as customer programs. This helps us see how we can sustain and update our staff understanding of our investments’ capabilities.

Sustaining an IT department, your initiatives and your hero status is dependent on making smart IT investments and strong evaluations of the vendors that develop those solutions. To transform, deliver and sustain a great IT effort takes leadership, a little luck and a lot of good decision-making.

In case you missed them, make sure to check out part 1 and part 2 of this series!

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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