Information Technology Advisory Committee - May 18th, 2017

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The town would like to revisit the IT strategic plan, and perhaps adjust the priorities of certain projects. There's a desire to focus on the town's enterprise-wide applications.

ITAC members are asked "What drives process change in your organization"? The responses fell into three categories: (1) top down, where the change is driven by upper-level management; (2) external requirements or regulations; and (3) bottom-up, where a process change is adopted by a small group, produces positive results, then spreads to the rest of the organization.

We discuss a proposal for a three-tier approach to prioritizing IT projects. Tier 1 would consist of backbone and infrastructure IT. Tier 2 would consist of town-wide and customer-facing initiatives, perhaps implemented in phases. Tier 3 would involve individual departments, and initiatives specific to those departments.

These seem like good categories, but may not be a complete list. Some department-specific initiatives might require higher prioritization; CPA taxes, for example.

Could the town's IT strategic plan borrow ideas from Capital Planning? The Capital Plan consists of next year's planned expenditures, along with a working document that tries to capture five years of planning. There's a short-term and a long-term component, and that could be useful for the IT strategic plan.

We talk about standardization. Should the town standardize on certain application and vendors, or give departments the freedom to choose their own? Standardization seems desirable, unless there's a compelling reason not do. There's not a one-size fits all answer to this question. It would be better to base decisions on cost/benefit analyses for the specific projects in question.

What are some of the bigger planned projects? It would be good to look at leveraging resources across the school and town IT departments. There are plans to upgrade the town's email system. There's also an inspection system request from the Health Department.

The Health Department would like a software package to assist them with managing inspections. Inspections aren't unique to the health department though: lots of departments perform inspections of one form or another. Strategically, it would make sense to find a package that served the needs of multiple departments. We don't have to roll it out across several departments at once, but we should be mindful that several departments might end up adopting it.

Strategic planning isn't a "go out and do it" exercise. It's an iterative process, and it takes a while to get your head around long-term planning.