Leadership Questions That IT Should Be Prepared to Answer

At CPS, we are lucky to work with IT and the business units to implement and expand Laserfiche. This means we can leverage both perspectives and provide alternative feedback if both are not involved in the project.

These days IT is considered to be a change agent. Since they are often reporting to the City Manager or the CFO, they must be able to articulate how IT projects further the mission and goals of the organization. It also helps to know your audience. Will something in management’s or city council’s background channel discussion about specific lines of business, such as implementing a digital building and permitting center? Or was there a security breach or a hiccup in the organization’s digital roadmap? Was there a problem with DR? And so on. While leadership is usually not well versed in IT, there could be threats discussed in the news that predicate certain lines of questioning. And it’s essential for IT to be ready lest leadership lose faith in their readiness. So, IT leaders, don’t be surprised if you are asked to respond to these questions:

  • Are we vulnerable to cyber security threats or hacks? IT leaders should be prepared for these questions without straying into doom-and-gloom or overconfidence. Questions should be answered within the risk framework; then, your plan is for mitigating that risk. Also, note how you are continuously improving your strategy.

  • Are you spending enough on cyber security? Be careful, as this could be a gotcha question, as that is generally posed by the person who approves your budget. Time, cost, and quality should remain in balance.

  • Are you investing in the right technology? If you are reading this, you probably have Laserfiche or are deeply interested in Laserfiche. Rest assured, Laserfiche’s approach to records security is well thought out. You can find details here. You may also want to speak to Laserfiche as part of a Trusted System. In 2012, California adopted regulations requiring state agencies to employ a trusted system to maintain all electronic records created or stored as official records. The State of California defines a trusted system as “a combination of techniques, policies, and procedures for which there is no plausible scenario in which a document retrieved from or reproduced by the system could differ substantially from the document that is originally stored.” The topic of trusted systems may drive someone to interject that the actual tech investment question should be: Are you investing in the right technology and implementing it in the most secure manner? Posing the question in this way will result in a more comprehensive response.

  • Are we using automation correctly? Many organizations are running with a lower headcount. Management may offer automation as an alternative to adding staff. CPS encourages using Laserfiche Workflow to fill the gaps in manual processes. It will make the agency more efficient today and more resilient for tomorrow. IT can start making a list of processes.

If for some reason, you are asked a question you aren’t prepared for, respond that the item is on your radar and ask for more time to take a deep dive.