By Cory TerEick, MSSBTA Consulting Manager, September 2020
Without question, the world-wide pandemic has accelerated the need for the Public Sector to more immediately deal with challenges that have been mounting for many years. These challenges include how to engage citizens digitally, how to collaborate across organizations, how to maximize internal productivity, how to secure data, and how to control costs.
While there are countless vendors touting shiny new software applications that will undoubtedly help you meet these challenges and simultaneously revolutionize how your organization performs its work, we’d like to encourage you to explore something much more pragmatic – namely, Application Optimization.
Making the Most of Application Optimization
What is Application Optimization? In the simplest terms, Application Optimization is understanding what you have and making the most of it. More specifically, it is about taking a hard look at your requirements, mapping them against the capabilities of your existing technology stack, understanding any gaps in these capabilities (or lack of user adoption), and taking concrete steps to close these gaps. It is about looking at all three legs of the People, Process, and Technology triangle and ensuring you are fully capitalizing on your current investment.
Often, we find that Public Sector organizations do not have a clear understanding of their requirements or what their current systems can and cannot do. Even when they do have this understanding, they are unable to effectively articulate what gaps exist and where their current tools are falling short. Sometimes, we find these organizations have a robust tool set at their disposal, but employees lack knowledge of existing capabilities. Occasionally, we even find these capabilities are not leveraged simply because leaders lack sufficient bandwidth to provide expectations on system use or to dedicate resources for training initiatives.
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Benefitting from Application Optimization
The benefits of Application Optimization are plentiful. It is almost always significantly less expensive to leverage existing technology than to purchase and implement new applications. By identifying and articulating requirements (and any capability gaps that might exist), Public Sector organizations can more effectively negotiate with current vendors; and new requirements might be incorporated into future versions or product roadmaps.
Application Optimization can also be performed on an accelerated timeline. Additionally, support requirements are usually much more predictable and the impact on end-users is typically much smaller than implementing an entirely new system.
Although performing Application Optimization sounds like common sense, many Public Sector organizations just do not do it. Why? Sometimes, it is a lack of internal capacity as key employees are already stretched thin performing their daily jobs. Sometimes, it is a lack of technical “know-how”. Most often, it is a lack of leadership bandwidth to organize and drive the effort or a perception that the effort might conflict with other organizational priorities.
As a leader, if you are receiving signals from your team that you need to replace a current application or augment your existing technology stack with a new application, you are probably already thinking about Application Optimization.
But where do you start? At MSS Business Transformation Advisory (MSSBTA), we suggest you start with an Application Optimization Assessment. This Assessment will look at the goals and objectives of your organization and formally articulate your requirements existing gaps in your current technology stack. During the the Assessment, you will develop a plan to guide you through the optimization process.
Need an extra set of hands? Our Application Optimization Assessment is both thorough and cost-effective. Let MSSBTA help you maximize the value of your existing business applications. Email Advisory@mssbta.com or call us at 602-387-2100.