Cities and counties should install technology systems that can be flexibly deployed and continually improved as their needs and the market evolve, according to Raffaelle Breaks, Chief Product Officer at software company Unite Us. By choosing modular, cloud-based solutions, local governments can reduce fragmentation, improve data collection, upgrade policymaking, and increase overall program impact. Breaks also emphasizes the importance of choosing technology vendors with experience in the public sector and a dedicated team to support government workflows. Additionally, Breaks provides best practices for government administrators when acquiring technology, such as clearly articulating project goals and selecting technology solutions that contain essential tools and yardsticks.
Local governments should maintain flexibility when acquiring new technology systems, says Raffaelle Breaks, Chief Product Officer at Unite Us, a software company that offers an integrated suite of social care solutions to governments and other organizations. The firm brings together government agencies, health care providers, health plans, and nonprofits to improve community health and well-being.
She adds that integrating these kinds of systems into an existing technology environment can yield several benefits:
- These solutions can reduce fragmentation.
- These solutions can improve data collection across local governments.
- These solutions can upgrade and enhance policymaking across the total entity.
- These solutions can increase overall program impact.
“Due to the unique nature of government operations, it is imperative that any technology vendor under consideration for a government contract have the experience and understanding to support and scale government workflows and programs,” Breaks says.
No question, administrators for these kinds of transformative technology projects need to keep tabs on project goals, Breaks tells Co-op Solutions. “Ultimately, government solutions must support overall compliance and performance by tracking the key outcomes and process measures critical to effectively serving constituents.”
Here are some best practices that the Unite Us executive endorses:
- Clearly articulate not only the specific capabilities required, but the overall goals of the project. According to Breaks, “This allows experienced vendors to offer insightful solutions.”
- Verify the security and data privacy of the technology.
- Focus on outcomes. Breaks elaborates: “Determine how you want the technology to improve outcomes or experiences for constituents.”
- Ensure that the technology solutions ultimately selected contain essential tools and yardsticks. Breaks explains: “These tools can facilitate and measure the cross-sector collaboration required to meet your agency’s needs.”
- Launch a pilot program or small-scale deployment to assess the technology’s effectiveness. According to Breaks, this pilot deployment will enable the agency to gather user feedback before full implementation.
Time- and cost-savings are both achievable through cooperative procurement agreements, Breaks says. She adds that cooperative contracts can aid in streamlining procurement processes.