Oxymoron: a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect. Today’s favorite: ‘absolutely unsure’. There was a time when humorous oxymorons could elicit a snort of laughter. I remember when ‘military intelligence’ was once considered a snicker inducing phrase.
I gently offer an oxymoron we would all like to see go away ‘government best practices.’ Should this phrase really be an incongruous contradiction? I was exchanging messages with the CIO of a county in South Carolina last week. I’ve known him for 15 years and I met him when he created a best practice. He implemented systems that enabled access to geospatial documents through his ESRI maps. It was innovative, it was very well done, and it has become a best practice. It also has made the CIO a bit of a celebrity in government IT circles. He has won numerous awards and his solution has been imitated many times.
You might think that this is a rare event, but I have seen this happen many times over my years in both government service and government sales. Innovative government (another oxymoron) creating improvement that is imitated and becomes a force multiplier as other jurisdictions adopt the innovation. Often the innovator goes on to higher and better things. I recall a CIO for a MVA who adopted a unique way to evaluate new technology based upon reducing the agencies cost for delivering a service. In a fee-based industry the CIO changed a cost center to a profit center by using technology to reduce the cost to below the fee. The CIO for a state agency went on to become CIO for the Obama Administration and who knows where from there.
The point is, innovation in government is a powerful thing. I’ve run into many examples of counties or states being hesitant to adopt a new process solely because they had no other data to support them. There are countless digital solutions available that are expediting processes in the counties who were brave enough to take the leap. Most notably, solutions such as eSignatures, cloud hosted services, and enterprise content management platforms have proven to be well worth the “risk” of early adoption. Counties with these in place are getting exponentially more accomplished than their neighbors who wanted to wait and see what happens. At the end of the day, someone has to be first. It’s the thought leaders of the world who go down in history for their contributions. Not only will future government personnel thank you, but the community will as well. Do not be afraid to think outside the box and try a “wild and crazy idea.” You never know what might stick!
To all those IT professionals reading this, who wants to innovate? Who wants to deliver better constituent/customer service? Who wants to jump start their career? Most importantly, who wants to make these oxymorons obsolete:
- government aid
- government assistance
- government efficiency
- government initiative
- government organization
- government worker
If you team up with ImageSoft, and deploy our solutions, I’m certain you can do this!
Spring Cleaning for State Agencies: Deep Rooting Compliance and Harvesting More
Whether you’re a front-page gardening guru or fumbling through your first season, you know that half the battle of producing healthy plants is preparation. What kind of climate do you live in? Which flowers are appealing to you and appropriate for your region? Do you need certain soils, or maybe a pollinator? Setting yourself up for success is the first step.
The same goes when planning for utmost security protocols and passing your regulatory audits.
When Your Whizz-Bang Amazing Document Management System Hasn’t Aged Well
In part two of our series on replacing state legacy systems, Paul Gorman, a former CIO for two state agencies, is joined once again with Terri Jones who has previously directed IT efforts for a large housing finance and community development agency and currently serves as an Enterprise Advisor at Hyland Software. Together, Paul and Terri continue the conversation of replacing legacy systems with a focus on legacy document management systems (DMS).
Prior to 2020, the government was able to stick to more traditional, in-person processes and methods. Services were still a bit held up now and then, but we made things work. Once the world shifted to remote work, video conferences, and working without an office, the government had some challenges to overcome. The pandemic has demonstrated that we have quite a ways to go before we meet the tech expectations from our communities.
Luckily, with a few strategic business moves, your department can be ready for anything and stay one step ahead of public demands.