While technology is always changing, certain core principals drive all of our strategic decision making. Some of these are:
Consolidation, centralization and standardization wherever possible
Towns and Schools have limited resources and it is critical to maximize resource utilization by sharing technology and support resources wherever possible. By standardizing on a modest number of core technologies it lowers acquisition, maintenance and training costs while ensuring maximum interoperability.
Technology today is really about communication and collaboration
The greatest benefit from a comprehensive technology environment is more about improved communication and collaboration and less about improved personal productivity. Our investments in improved networking, unified communication and web platforms are all part of a dingle unified strategy.
Ubiquitous access to technology is necessary but not sufficient to enhance educational productivity
While most educational institutions have tried to introduce technology into classrooms for many years it is not enough to try and do old things with new tools. We need to embrace the new vistas for learning that are created when all the world’s knowledge is at your disposal. New learning models will emphasize more personalized and differentiated instruction; more frequent positive assessment rather than high stakes, punitive testing; more project based learning where students can follow their individual passions in more rigorous ways; curriculum will integrate the best multimedia experiences and teaching practices from a myriad of resources rather than limited to traditional structured textbooks and classrooms will cease to focus on the single “sage on the stage” and become more collaborative environments embracing classmates, shared teaching resources and fellow students from around the globe.
You can’t fix what you don’t measure
Moving from classic experiential style management to data driven management is the most critical step to improve the efficacy and efficiency of government services. Access to large quantities of data presented and synthesized in a compact manner provides not only avenues for improvement to existing practices but windows of innovation for new services and approaches.
Data is more important than systems
Our greatest resource is the data we now generate as part of our accounting, work order, police dispatch, vehicle maintenance and other systems. By centralizing and combining disparate data sources, new patterns and insights emerge to spur creative approaches.
The new reality demands greater emphasis on safety and security
Information Technology is no longer just about processing data. It is about ensuring the security of information and about providing a safer environment for our citizens, students and staff/
Not all new technologies are “game changers”
Moving from older analog technology to a fully digital technology has been a game changer for us. It reduces cost, simplifies maintenance and eliminates complexity dramatically. On the other hand, cloud technology produces fewer benefits for municipalities that are inherently slow growing than it does for more dynamic organizations.
Cost effective is not the same as lowest cost
Current technology is one of the most cost effective ways to improve efficiency and improve the quality of services. But it is not without cost. Roughly eighty percent off our annual expenditures are labor costs. Increasingly those labor costs are spent on knowledge workers and less on physical labor. Enhancing the productivity of knowledge workers and providing improved analytic information is a powerful lever. Appropriate, continuous investment in technology produces the most effective rate of return of any type of infrastructure spending.