In day-to-day operations, technology can help administrative staff plan and allocate resources to services by using geographic mapping to identify service gaps. Technology can also help frontline workers organize field visits, track caseloads, locate and reunite families and, by connecting with other data warehouses systems such as TANF and Medicaid, determine children, youth and families’ eligibility for services.
Maximizing the performance of technology may require technology staff and program staff spending time learning what each does on the job. Help desks can be set up to facilitate using technology effectively. Formal collaborative sessions that provide opportunities to discuss design and testing, needs, priorities, cost and timeframes will create a team approach and feeling that “we are all in this together.” In supporting day-to-day operations, technology staff should:
Back Up the System
All agency data should be backed up on a regular basis and the ability to recover data tested regularly. Nightly backups should be stored off site and the life cycle of that data should be established with the legal department. Proper documentation should be developed to facilitate any team member’s ability to manage, access and restore the data that is being backed up.
Provide a Service Manual
A service manual that defines and describes the services provided by the technology department should be developed and provided to all end users. It should cover basic services such as email, domain and security authentication, data storage, server platforms, file and print, telephony and the agency’s network. In addition, the manual should identify how to access the services of the technology staff.
Define Equipment Capacity
The operating capacity of standard desktop and mobile devices should be defined and service catalogues for all equipment provided to end users. Protocols for use and security of all equipment should be clear and in writing.
Build and Support Remote Access
Remote access is necessary in today’s world and should be available so workers have a secure method for accessing internal resources, contacting supervisors and communicating with law enforcement for safety when necessary. Mobile access to e-mail and other technology resources should be clearly defined so that standards for security and control can be established.
Secure a Controlled Environment
A secure, controlled environment for the agency’s technology systems and equipment (i.e. a data center) is a must.