A new resource by the University at Albany's Center for Technology in Government provides a framework for helping government agency managers reduce the risks and maximize the benefits of information technology investments. Making Smart IT Choices: Understanding Value and Risk in Government IT Investments provides public sector managers with practical methods to gather and assess the information they need to build a sound business case for an IT investment.
"One of the most difficult decisions government managers must make in today's e-government environment is how to invest effectively in technology that will actually help program and policy initiatives succeed," said center Director Sharon Dawes. "By focusing on both value and risks, Making Smart IT Choices can help government agencies make the best use of scarce taxpayer dollars."
Making Smart IT Choices is based on CTG's tested methodology for making well-informed decisions about the use, development and design of effective government information systems. The guidebook provides practical methods for assessing goals, stakeholders, processes, capabilities and costs for government IT initiatives. The first installment, the methodology, can be downloaded from the CTG Web site at www.ctg.albany.edu. The next installment, a collection of analytical tools, will be available on the site by the end of the summer.
"Last year, the Federal Government's director of e-government called on agencies to submit business cases for their IT projects. Smart IT provides a framework that can help such managers develop sound arguments for why their projects deserve financial and political support," Dawes said.
Making Smart IT Choices reflects two critical principles revealed repeatedly through ten years of government partnership projects at CTG. A primary principle is that any IT effort needs to focus on the business or service objective of the organization, rather than on the technology itself. Second, in order to be successful, IT users must identify all of the various stakeholders involved and understand and account for their needs, resources and capabilities.
This publication combines information-gathering strategies with a business case design framework that CTG produced initially for the U.S. Department of Justice. Taken together, the guidebook provides an all around resource for leaders who are embarking on new e-government (IT) projects.
Making Smart IT Choices is part of a series of CTG resources designed to support the use of information and information technology in government. All these resources are available at https://www.ctg.albany.edu/publications/.
The mission of the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany is to foster public sector innovation, enhance capability, generate public value, and support good governance. We carry out this mission through applied research, knowledge sharing, and collaboration at the intersection of policy, management, and technology.
The University at Albany-SUNY has a broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, life-enhancing research and scholarship, and a commitment to public service. A University at Albany education brings the world within reach to students through nine schools and colleges, and an honors college. A student body of more than 17,000 students has a global connection to more than 140,000 alumni. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit www.albany.edu. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.php.