Out of all the potential clients we have and work with at Computhink, some of the most complex negotiations and sales processes involve government offices. This is only logical: there’s crucial public and classified information at stake in these situations, so the stakeholders in the government offices worry about making the right decision for an enterprise content management solution.
What questions and concepts should they be considering, and how can we help? Let’s review briefly.
Security: Security is usually top of mind for most clients these days, although government offices can be a different breed here — and rightfully so. You need to make sure the security system is airtight, including asking any potential vendor questions such as:
- How many times has it been tested/iterated?
- How secure is the environment in which the solution operates?
- How is your security plan/map different from others?
- Is security based on grouping users by permissions, or is there another way?
- What if something bad happens with the solution’s security?
You can look at some of our security solutions towards the bottom of this page, but we do encrypt all files “at rest” and “in transit.” By doing that, files can only be opened by someone moving through your application. It’s an airtight approach against external hacking.
Is data mining possible? Many organizations — and government orgs are no different — want to compete on, or find advantages through, data. But when you have reams of data, you need a way to mine/organize through it to find the patterns that map to your goals. We offer audit trails and workflow reports, which help you manage the who side of your data, but you can also take any search query and export the results as a CSV to peruse. In general, though, these are questions to consider asking any partner/provider:
- Show me some different ways I can connect my data/content.
- What are my options for exporting or downloading what I discover?
- How safe is the process of moving it into / out of the application?
- Do you have examples of companies who have used your product for data mining or analysis?
- Any results from those companies?
Remote: People have to fly to other cities for meetings, or are out of the office, or a host of other things. (In America, we’re about to hit the summer — good luck finding ¼ or more of your office on a given Friday.) Whatever solution you select, then, needs to work remotely as effectively as it does within the main building your employees are based. (City Hall, etc.) The cloud and readily-available WiFi made this all easier, but you still need to look for the right partner in terms of accessibility. Questions include:
- Will this work on all devices roughly the same?
- Can it work off being connected to WiFi or does it require something more?
- Are automated workflows available for when I’m on vacation or out of the office for stretches?
- Can you show me the user experience on different mediums (tablet, laptop, etc.) in different WiFi conditions?
- Is there in-application messaging for when I’m out of pocket but need to explain something to a co-worker?
For us, the automated workflows have been a great feature for clients. They like the ability to “trigger” a series of events from one event, which can be helpful when traveling.
So, yes — government organizations have a tough choice when considering a secure ECM option. But if you follow the questions above and add some specific to your office context, you should find the right partner. If we can help in any way, don’t hesitate to let us know.