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No Time Like the Present

United States – September 24, 2021, 21:05 PM

Five tips to pulling off a major pandemic Cloud migration

Citrus County, Florida managed a complex, multi-department cloud migration in exactly these conditions—and kept delivering high-level constituent services at the same time. At the Infor Gov2021 virtual summit, Shannon Budd, Business Technology Analyst for the Board of County Commissioners, talked about the benefits Citrus County is already seeing from the shift to Infor IPS 11 and shared five tips for keeping on track when external chaos threatens your projected go-live date.

Manual to mobile: New capabilities across three departments

Citrus County had been holding steady with Hansen 7 since 1999, but over the years, changes in staff and citizen needs had led to numerous in-house programs and modifications. Those custom-but-cumbersome additions simply could not keep up with the increasing complexity of digital constituent services. In January 2020, Citrus County began phase one of its migration, involving public works, water resources, and grounds maintenance.

“We were able to realize benefits right away,” Budd said. One example: “The operations division of the water resources department was able to move from a paper-based, manual work order system to a mobile app where they were better able to locate assets through GIS.”

IPS also allowed the diverse departments to follow labor, vehicle, and equipment usage right away.

Updated, real-time information for the workforce and the public

IPS tools like integrated reporting and data dashboards now supply all departments with functional insights that Budd says the organization “simply did not have before.”

And the benefits ripple outward to the public’s benefit. The IPS migration enables the water resource programming staff to continuously update location information for underground assets across the region. Now, when a contractor or homeowner contacts the Sunshine 811 call center to be sure it’s safe to excavate, the information in the database is accurate in real-time.

Keeping calm and migrating on

Astonishingly, Citrus County’s transition to IPS from Hansen was completed on target despite the swift shift to remote work before the pandemic’s first peak.

“Our go-live date was our go-live date,” Budd reported. Here are five strategies and mindsets the organization found useful.

  1. Take the time you need to question, examine, and refine. The “we’ve always done it this way” mentality just doesn’t deliver the kind of transformation needed in a period of intensified change. Question everything, Budd advised.
  1. Remain nimble about how, how much, and when to meet. In the past, Citrus County and its partner in the migration, Truepoint Solutions, held onsite business analysis planning sessions, running at least a week at an early stage in the process. Lockdown measures foreclosed that possibility—but all-day Zoom meetings weren’t a logical alternative, either. In the end, a series of limited meetings proved even more productive. “It gave the staff a chance to think things through and test between sessions,” Budd said. It also allowed team members to maintain their regular responsibilities without having to block off huge swaths of time for project tasks.
  1. Build your teams with an eye on the future. Public works, water resources, and grounds maintenance each had a project manager on the team, empowered to make decisions about configuration based on the needs of their specific divisions. Diversifying in this way creates a bank of subject matter experts who can guide future expansions.
  1. Plan for one to two weeks between your last training and your go-live date. Discoveries happen. Questions arise. Issues need to be resolved. If you can leave space in the schedule to handle the inevitable last-minute developments, your go-live may go a bit more smoothly.
  1. Hold onto those virtual analysis and training sessions. Citrus County’s collection of recorded business analysis and virtual training sessions has become an invaluable resource to the organization, used for training purposes many times since the initial go-live date.

Citrus County was able to have a safe, on-site training prior to its October implementation. Phase Two of the migration—bringing the benefits of IPS to the County’s other departments—is underway now.

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