Why content services is IT modernization

content services

Information technology modernization is a constant problem for the public sector. It is making headlines at the federal level with numerous General Accounting Office (GAO) reports, quantifying the huge budget drag that legacy systems cause. The GAO says 75 percent of federal IT expenditures are used to keep aged systems limping along. Legacy systems are feature-poor, have inadequate security and they force less-efficient government processes.

There is no doubt that legacy systems need to be modernized; however, as they argued at a recent IT Modernization Summit in Washington, it isn’t just IT. We need to change our mindset around government IT investment and procurement even as we improve the actual technology we deploy.

Several speakers at the summit outlined what they believe is the way forward for federal IT efforts, some of their observations include:

  • We need transparency and accountability

Delivering programs and services, but not understanding the health of processes is a problem. It’s hard to improve when you can’t even understand the process. Paper-based systems with photocopiers, file cabinets and printers are not transparent.

  • We must improve the citizen experience

There are expectations that government will be online, digital and automated, and those capabilities will improve the experience that constituents have with their government, this is digital transformation at its core.

  • We can’t forget the staff user experience

There is definitely an awareness that the quality of solutions impacts staff efficiency. This recognizes that moving between different data systems, searching for paper documents and working with electronic content is lost time simply from the effort of moving between the information silos we have created. And perhaps more important for the future, the ability to recruit new staff to government is hampered by the perception that government is saddled with technology inferior to the smartphones we all carry.

  • We have to be agile

It isn’t just the sheer number of systems to modernize, it’s the lack of agility in procurement, project design and execution that will make modernization take even longer.

Government IT and content servicescontent services

These are important observations and for once, the latest thought on government IT needs is aligned with a key IT trend, content services. Content services represents a range of complementary technologies that can be combined to coordinate the use of enterprise information, by various people and systems, across multiple repositories.

Here are some key aspects of content services:

  • It delivers enterprise content and information from across multiple applications to the user, on demand, when and where they need it
  • It is meant to complement and enhance other core systems, applications and processes
  • It empowers the use of content in context via tailored role-based applications

Content services supports the modernization discussion happening at all levels of government by:

  • Creating transparent processes and supporting reporting

At the heart of content services is the connection of information, processes and cases, bringing together information and processes. With a content services platform, this unification also means better process reporting and transparency, supporting an understanding of process health and bottlenecks that can be attacked.

  • Supporting digital transformation and improving citizen experience

Content services brings the information needed by staff and constituents to them, in a way that is understandable for the tasks or transactions they need to complete. And, with workflow automation, it is the perfect combination of information and process improvement that abandons costly and slow paper-based processes. This is digital transformation and it is essential to improving citizen interaction with government.

  • Putting the staff user experience where it belongs

Content services is all about taking what’s critical for a staff person’s job and bringing it together, regardless of where the content lives.

  • Creating an agile mindset supported by an agile platform

The collection that is content services, with its emphasis on configurability and integration is at its core, agile. It offers interlocking parts, made to connect and able to be altered and enhanced quickly. As many speakers at the summit noted, moving to a different way of creating the tools staff and citizens need can also change the timeframe to deliver modern and responsive solutions. Content services aligns with that mindset.

Government IT modernization is critical and it requires both new solutions and a new mindset. Content services and its ability to support digital transformation is the right investment philosophy for the deep hole of legacy systems that we find ourselves confronting. This deep hole looks much better knowing that content services can deliver modernization and position government for a good foundation as we drive investment towards areas that make government responsive, efficient and impactful for staff and citizens.

Terri Jones is an enterprise advisor with Hyland’s Global Services team. Before coming to Hyland, 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. As an enterprise advisor, she uses her background in IT deployment, change management and strategic planning to lead workshops that help Hyland customers get the most from their solution investments.
Terri Jones

Terri Jones

Terri Jones is an enterprise advisor with Hyland’s Global Services team. Before coming to Hyland, in her 10-plus years in both state and local government, she’s managed IT departments, implemented... read more about: Terri Jones