We write a lot of research at Gartner about business process management, paperless office, workflow, organizational efficiency, outsourcing, etc etc etc. All fertile ground for automation.
So when mundane daily small town experiences intrude – they may have a message. The message I got this week is how much opportunity there is out there eligible for proven IT technology – ie., we have only scratched the surface.
Like the debate between two local politicos over the appropriateness of airing ones views via an online blog.
Or the experience of getting a local building permit – 12 pages of paper form, where I entered my name in 10 times, my address 5 times, and my signature 3 times – all on the same form! Then I had to walk (!) the paper to two different departments to check whether I had paid my taxes and water bill (which, incidentally, they checked on a computer). To the form’s credit – I only had to describe my proposed home repair twice. They were amazed that I would sit down in their office to fill it out! I was amazed that the submission/review/approval process took longer than the actual work to be done! (5 days vs. 4 days)
Now – grant it, these were processes designed when there were five or so different filing cabinets in five different departments, copying machines didn’t exist, and tax status wasn’t accessible online…but these business processes still exist (Is it really 2012?). This could be its own economic stimulus act – imagine the resource (people) savings without these processes? The savings in tax dollars? The increase in unemployment?
In fairness, many of these processes/forms are now available online as PDFs or web pages to be printed out and handed in. I suppose that is one way to say you are computerized….
This too shall pass.
Which is why I love IT. There is so much opportunity out there to effectively deliver new IT and business solutions…the future is so bright I gotta wear shades…