Today, with cloud environments replacing the sprawling on-premises data centers, it’s rare that one can justify or afford the “big bang” type of system replacement, so an IT triage plan is more important than ever before.
As a former CIO in a Massachusetts health care agency, I have spent much of my career immersed in technology solutions designed to improve the health and well-being of our citizens. Along the way, I encountered many dedicated public health care professionals, including physicians, nurses, clinicians, and social workers particularly adept at diagnosing health issues and implementing predictive measures aimed at preventing illnesses.
Similarly, whenever I took on a new role, I focused on minimizing risk and complexity by taking an incremental approach to prioritizing which systems were in failing health from an IT perspective.
Today, with cloud environments replacing the sprawling on-premises data centers, it’s rare that one can justify or afford the “big bang” type of system replacement, so an IT triage plan is more important than ever before. Here are my five recommendations:
Once you get the most critical systems under control, it’s time to apply a periodic review process called “application rationalization.” This formal vetting process should include key IT and business/program staff. These teams sort applications into categories to determine which ones can be retired outright, replaced with cloud-native solutions, require a code rewrite, can be consolidated, or simply don’t need any intervention at all.
Perform this review regularly because business requirements change, technology improves, and user demands evolve.
It’s important for government IT leaders to emulate our private sector colleagues, who constantly evolve in order to stay ahead of the IT curve, meet the demand of their customers, and stay ahead of the competition. While government may not necessarily have competitors, leaders are motivated to operate more cost-efficiently and meet the changing customer demands. Your public sector customers will expect the same level of service and innovation.
Bob Nevins is the Director, Health and Human Services Strategy and Business Development at Oracle. He spoke on IT modernization at the Medical Enterprise Systems Conference (MESC) in 2018.
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