After initial attempts at targeting efficiency with consolidation, governments are exploring shared services, whilst they weed through the promises of trends like SOA. To effect real impact on the timeline of state governments demands solutions which can be implemented quickly and provide immediate evidence of value, taking into consideration the different challenges of technology, budgeting, workflow, and politics. Utilising the exemplory instance of code enforcement at their state level, we illustrate how leaders in people sector can orchestrate meaningful innovation and productivity by leveraging a brand new breed of agile applications which are both effective and economically viable.
Governors, CIOs, and field staff alike share in the escalating need certainly to continually improve public sector efficiency. Policy experts declare that, at least in North America, change, innovation, and leadership is almost certainly to occur first at their state level; this is regardless of unfortunate historical procurement policies that produced unwieldy legacy systems, often disparate and ill-suited to the tasks of the day.
“In analyzing where Shareit for pc services are now actually, our workshop came to many broad conclusions: Major opportunities for efficiency remain to be harvested …practitioners and researchers are convinced that the advantages are real. In the event that you haven’t been buying shared services, you should be.”
Jerry Mechling, lecturer in public areas policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Budgets are tight and low-hanging fruit have now been picked, but trying to the private sector for ideas and innovation, leaders acknowledge that what they find is significantly harder to implement in government, where public opinion and politics carry just as much or maybe more weight than pragmatism or economics. There’s an upside to the however – governmental innovations that achieve real improvements in quality or efficiency usually create more value than similar innovations in the private sector.
Consolidation, and recently, shared services, were the initial manifestations with this reform, and have now been ranked in the most effective 10 priorities for State CIOs in both of the past 2 years. Furthermore, 72% of CIOs are implementing or are intending to implement shared services, aiming to boost quality, elevate operational efficiency, and lower operational costs. In 80% of cases, this is being driven by way of a senior administrator such as the Governor or the CIO directly. Having begun with not at all hard to conceptualize (if not implement) areas such as data centers, call centers, and back office functions, leaders continue to look for areas where improvements can be made. As did their peers in the private sector, agencies at the leading edge with this movement quickly found out the buying price of an overly rational approach that promises an excessive amount of – ignoring the human side of the equation, both at the staff and constituent level, quality suffers and much resistance is met as departments fight to retain control of the world.
Ideally, a shared services approach allows agencies to replace or connect systems across organizational silos, enabling the delivery of services in the most productive and efficient way. Wherever you will see references to shared services today, you will also find its IT buzzword companion, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Touted as an approach to bridging shared services, SOA is an IT architectural approach which “modularizes” individual enterprise application functions into standardized, reusable, and customizable services which aim to get rid of redundancies throughout the organization.
SOA has its merits as an approach to shared services – by any name, it is becoming clear that governments need applications which are affordable, quick to implement, and which provide a framework for evolution as the character of the organization changes. To overcome internal resistance, new technology should be better than the thing that was previously in position, and should be customizable at the floor level to allow for the essential aspects of each department’s individual workflow, as opposed to assuming everyone will change how they work to fit the style of the application. It should be flexible enough to fit within the overall IT architecture, so that supporting it generally does not become onerous.
Technology has evolved to a point where modular approaches are now actually a practical enabler of shared services. Approached carefully and armed with the proper tools, the timing is right for governments to strike the fine balance between business process alignment and IT modernization, all without breaking the financial institution or taking years to implement. Code enforcement, having both similar processes across departments and very specific individual domain application requirements, is a primary candidate for this sort of transformation.