The environmental scan reviews the external elements that impact the agency’s use of technology. It takes into account the agency’s commitment and ability to use technology across functions and systems. It assesses the ability of other branches of State government and external agencies to share information and evaluates how well those systems can be integrated. Issues regarding ownership of data, how to maintain security and the responsibility to preserve children, youth and families’ confidentiality should be considered.
Environmental scans should look for opportunities to collaborate. It is more cost-effective to share electronic systems that enable data sharing and build cultures that support interagency work than to create parallel systems that duplicate information systems. The critical questions are: