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The Case for Digitizing Special District Services Using Laserfiche (Part One)

Local governments are our most significant client vertical, and we understand their needs and the applications of Laserfiche within their tech and service delivery ecosystem. Similarly, special districts are another public service delivery mechanism that can be significantly enhanced using Laserfiche. This is the first in a series of blog posts detailing digital infrastructure, or more explicitly leveraging enterprise content management to support the organization's goals.

Recent polling taken by Government Technology queried Special District CIOs regarding their most pressing challenges. Number one was keeping up with regulatory compliance. Number two was safely reopening offices. And number three was managing legacy technology. Hence, since special districts are operating in a highly regulated environment where compliance and records management is critical, Laserfiche is well suited as a technology for special districts.

Manage, Search and Find Unstructured Information

Before we explore the challenges above, it's instructive to review the primary reasons why an organization needs ECM. In my experience, reason number one is always finding and filing information, Particularly the data "locked" in paper, forms, or electronic documents.

While each type of special district and authority has its own unique needs, all share a common goal: to improve the quality of life for every citizen through efficient delivery of services while being an effective steward. In addition, much like municipalities, special districts serve as a central hub for information about the resources they manage.

While much of the intelligence that drives this management resides in structured databases, we all still rely on masses of crucial information that live on paper and electronic documents, emails, photo images, video, and audio files that all hold the organization's critical content.

Structured content is information stored inside a database, organized in fields, columns, tables, rows, and indexes. Software associated with these databases makes it simple to run queries and retrieve specific information. Unstructured content, which makes up the majority of all enterprise data, is everything else. This content is stored in file cabinets, on laptop local drives, and shared drives. Unfortunately, unstructured content comes without any easy way to search for specific information within a document or across numerous documents. "Finding" is one of many reasons you need enterprise content management.

For special districts, managing unstructured content (for instance, training documentation not found in a business system or CAPAS) poses formidable challenges, especially in an era of tight budgets.

Enterprise content management (ECM) is a strategy for organizing, storing, accessing, sharing, and protecting unstructured information. Without ECM technology, you would need one method for managing paper files, another for documents created in a word processing system, an entirely different approach for managing a library of digital photos, and so on for each form of information vital to your organization.

Now that we've defined ECM stay tuned for our next post, discussing special districts and compliance.



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