IT Modernization: You Are Never Done


IT modernization supports digital transformation. How’s that for cramming two buzzwords into one sentence? While we’ve discussed digital transformation with Laserfiche at length, what does IT modernization really mean? Indeed, the definition will differ across industries, but ultimately it means using and aligning business technology to meet expanded organizational goals. In addition, we could add that business IT modernization is the process of managing or moving away from aging software and hardware solutions and often involves consolidating systems and workflows in favor of more automated, innovative solutions. For agencies, it means architecting systems that improve service delivery and resident experience. IT isn’t a “product or project” but is a mechanism for digital service delivery.


Simultaneously, agencies are modernizing their approaches. For instance, the IT department has an old server. It’s okay for now, but the business units aren’t usually sweating the risk of having an old server like IT is. There are costs and person-hours (hardware, migrations, conversions, etc.) associated with modernization, but there are benefits (risk mitigation, security, DR) as well. One of which is meeting rising resident expectations.


Cisco surveyed IT modernization in 2020 that surfaced some exciting trends. Today, with the added pressure of the pandemic and regional DR, these trends provide even greater clarity as to citizen expectations:


  • Seventy-two percent of respondents had greater expectations for website portals to access government services.

  • More than half (58 percent) cited more significant demand for a single sign-on solution or other simplified access to government services.

  • Over half of survey respondents prioritized data privacy and security (58 percent) and user interface development (52 percent) as the top areas of innovation needed for the citizen experience.


Recently, we’ve hosted some webinars of citizen services that could be easily categorized as modernization. The last webinar was about public records request fulfillment. The scenario assumes that the agency would host LF Forms Portal and LFWebLink on its website. The resident can access and complete a records request form. LF Workflow drives the forms through the various internal approval processes. During the internal process, it is discovered that the records contain PII that the agency needs to redact. Laserfiche Workflow is used to perform the redaction automatically. The packet is then placed on the web portal, and the resident is emailed that it is available for use. Pre-pandemic, this modern PRR is a nice-to-have. In the throws of the Delta variant, it’s a must-have. This approach mitigates possible transmissions between staff and the public. The counter doesn’t require as much staffing, and the records can be pulled, approved for release, and released more expediently.


When modernizing public service delivery systems, agencies look to replace or improve existing functionality via workflow automation. And, thus, it’s critically important to understand the original design to implement the new one thoroughly. Only then can organizations evaluate project and service needs.

Once these are fully understood, and the roadmap becomes clear, agencies can carve out time and resources to:

  • Whiteboard new processes that fit your agency’s service delivery needs and goals.

  • Consult with partners (like CPS) and thoroughly scope the entire roadmap.

  • Iterate and test to ensure a successful launch.