BLOG

Posted Tuesday, December 7, 2021 by Team Northwoods

Links We Love: Best Practices for Modernizing Human Services Technology [Resource Roundup]

You want to read up on the important topics and trends impacting human services, but that’s much easier said than done when you’ve already got so much else on your plate.

Sound familiar? If so, we’ve got you covered.

Our team is always on the lookout for valuable research, resources, and tools that can help agency leaders leverage industry trends and discover new ways to overcome challenges. We’ve recently come across several articles about how to apply lessons learned throughout the pandemic to improve your IT modernization efforts. Keep reading for an overview of how each resource can help you.

Editor’s note: We’ve previously shared these types of whitepapers, reports, and other content from third-party industry experts in our Research Library. To simplify where you go to find information on our website, we’re merging the Research Library into this blog moving forward. Now, you can find resources written for human services from our own team and other industry experts in one place!

Divider line

The Future of HHS Service Delivery [The Center for Digital Government]

  • What it is: Survey results from state and local health and human services leaders to better understand how agencies are modernizing their technology and processes, their plans for using American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding, and how they intend to improve constituent service delivery going forward.

    quote-1

    These factors indicate HHS organizations can't revert to the status quo and need to seize this moment to advance their modernization journey.

    quote-2

  • Why it’s worth reading: It’s always helpful to benchmark your own experience against other agencies and this survey covers challenges that likely sound familiar—for example, 36% of respondents still cite lack of financial resources as their number one modernization challenge, despite new emergency funding streams. The report also closes with five steps to put the findings into action, such as focusing on resilience and revisiting your early pandemic technology purchases to make sure they still provide value.
  • Notable excerpt: “HHS agencies realize the urgent need to transform their processes and constituent services. Nearly 55 percent of respondents also indicated their organizations plan to work in a hybrid environment going forward. Taken together, these factors indicate HHS organizations can’t revert to the status quo and need to seize this moment to advance their modernization journey.”

Divider line

Building Digital Government Services That Put People First [Government Technology and Qualtrics]

  • What it is: Discusses how agencies can expand their use of technology and the workflows that support it to advance their vision for a more responsive government, enhance residents’ navigation of government services, and be more agile in the future.

    quote-1

    A key differentiator is a solution designed with the end user in mind. The solution should make it easy for people that are not technology literate to provide information and perform tasks.

    quote-2

  • Why it’s worth reading: The section on “getting technology right” is especially helpful if you want an overview of key components that will help you realize both immediate and long-term value, such as automated workflows, real-time visibility, and data privacy and protection.
  • Notable excerpt: “Having out-of-the-box capabilities means that best practices are already built in, which expedites deployment and reduces service costs typically associated with configuring a solution. A key differentiator is a solution designed with the end user in mind. The solution should make it easy for people that are not technology literate to provide information and perform tasks.”

Divider line

How to Drive Problem-Solving That Puts People First [GovLoop]

  • What it is: A 5-minute video overview of how agencies can take a people-focused approach to resolving issues and delivering on their mission.

    quote-1

    This may sound overly simplistic but failing to properly define the problem you're trying to solve is one of the main barriers to managing successful projects.

    quote-2

  • Why it’s worth watching: We’re big believers that all technology should be rooted in solving problems and people should be at the center of every technology or process change initiative. (Our buyer’s guide for human services technology even has full sections dedicated to each topic!) This video does a good job at quickly explaining why.
  • Notable excerpt: “In the race to find a solution to pressing issues, it can be easy to overlook one of the most important steps, which is actually defining the problem you’re trying to solve. This may sound overly simplistic but failing to properly define the problem you’re trying to solve is one of the main barriers to managing successful projects.”

Divider line

Cloud Technology for Human and Social Services: The Guide to Getting It Right [Northwoods]

  • What it is: Our eBook explores how and why to take advantage of cloud-based technology and how to evaluate your options through a human services lens. We focus on topics that we know agencies have questions about, such as security, integrations, and change management.

    quote-1

    By moving to the cloud in a purposeful, thoughtful way, you're more likely to find a solution that provides long-term value and ROI.

    quote-2

  • Why it’s worth reading: This eBook is written specifically for human services, by the experts in human services software (that’s us!). We break down best practices and lessons learned over decades of helping both county and state agencies leverage modern technology. You’ll also get 30+ questions to set yourself up for success when evaluating cloud-based solutions and providers.
  • Notable excerpt: “If you recognize the difference between moving to the cloud simply to check a box and doing it in a purposeful, thoughtful way, you’re more likely to find a solution that provides long-term value and return on investment for both your agency and the community you serve.”

Divider line

Modernizing State and Local Technology with the American Rescue Plan [Amazon Web Services]

  • What it is: Taps the experience of veteran government IT leaders for insights on modernization in the post-pandemic era and explores opportunities, challenges, and tips for moving ahead with modernization while pursuing ARP funding.

    quote-1

    Leaders should work on crafting the right narrative, working together to compete successfully, and applying lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    quote-2

  • Why it’s worth reading: This paper addresses some of the key challenges your agency needs to keep in mind if you plan to seek out ARP funding (think competition, staffing, timing, etc.). It also covers change management, workforce development and other more people-oriented factors of modernization that tend to get overlooked if you focus too closely on the technology itself.
  • Notable excerpt: “Agencies need innovative proposals that improve human outcomes within the context of federal requirements. To make that happen, leaders should work on crafting the right narrative, working together to compete successfully, and applying lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Divider line

4 State and Local Government Tech Trends to Watch in 2022 [StateTech]

  • What it is: A quick look at four key trends to watch in 2022 (followed by links to articles with more in-depth insights on each one), including zero-trust cybersecurity, the expanded use of identity and access management platforms, cloud migration and application modernization.

    quote-1

    Those who were advanced had a very easy pivot to increase digital service. Others were caught with aging infrastructure.

    quote-2

  • Why it's worth reading: The pandemic continues to reshape how agencies use technology and how citizens interact with government. It’s critical for both state and local agencies to understand what topics are likely going to dominate the discourse as service delivery continues to evolve, especially cloud migration and app modernization.
  • Notable excerpt: "There’s been a wake-up call that there are those who were advanced, and they had a very easy pivot to increase digital service. Others were caught with aging infrastructure.”

Divider line

Subscribe to Northwoods' blog for human services

Comments