I'm in Atlanta for Governing's 2009 Managing Performance conference. It's always great to come to these things and meet individuals who are truly committed to improving the way government works for citizens.
I got to sit in on one of the pre-conference workshops this afternoon, and I wanted to share one great tidbit I heard from one of the speakers, Bill Bott, the former deputy CIO of Missouri and now a private sector management consultant.
Bill was underscoring a point I've heard before at this conference (and at Governing's Managing Technology conferences): Technology alone isn't going to fix your problems.
But Bill laid it out in the clearest way I've heard yet: "Eliminate, consolidate and then automate." You've got to streamline your processes and consolidate extraneous parts of your system before you ever think about turning to IT. Otherwise, you're simply automating a faulty system. It's bad IT.
"Technology isn't the answer, because technology typically isn't the problem," Bott said. "It can be part of the solution, but it's not going to be the solution itself."
Much more to come, but I thought that was a great thought worth sharing: Eliminate, consolidate, THEN automate.