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Authored by Katie Feldt, Marketing Communications, ImageSoft

With May in full bloom and the official start to summer just about a month out, flower parents everywhere are breaking out their floppy sun hats, priming their soil and hitting start-of-season sales at their local nurseries. I’ve always admired the Mother Natures of the world – a few hours outside and they turn dirt into daffodils as if by magic.

MY fake plants died because i did not pretend to water them - First World  Problems - quickmeme

My thumb, however, never received its gardening badge. If you walk into my house, there’s plants and greenery in almost every room – I love the vibrancy, life and simple joy they radiate. My plants, though, are bought from Michaels and vased in pebbles or fake dirt because I know that’s the only way they’ll survive under my provision. My husband is very different though – country-raised and a bit of farmer by nature. And, because having our first baby in less than a month is apparently not busy enough, he has decided to line our quarter-acre corner lot with various types of fruit trees. Yes, I’m thrilled for fresh, homegrown pies come August, but it’s probably better for everyone involved – especially the plants – that I leave the tree tending to Farmer Tom.

We have an agreement: I’ll grow the kids, he grows the plants. Perfect!

Reap What You Sow: RegTech Efforts Save Your Green from Expensive Audits

Whether you’re a front-page gardening guru or fumbling through your first season, you know that half the battle of producing healthy plants is preparation. What kind of climate do you live in? Which flowers are appealing to you and appropriate for your region? Do you need certain soils, or maybe a pollinator? Setting yourself up for success is the first step.

The same goes when planning for utmost security protocols and passing your regulatory audits. If you don’t budget for regulatory technology and skate by with emailed sharing, weak or no security checkpoints, and hoping no wandering eyes stumble across sensitive information while your staff work remotely, you shouldn’t be surprised to receive an non-compliance audit that’ll make anyone wet their p(l)ants!

Unlike me and my plastic greenery, you can’t fake compliance with placebo efforts. While you may appear spotless from the outside in, coveting envy from other governments and harvesting plentiful 5-star reviews, all your glory wilts when a compliance official leans in for a closer look. Like caterpillar-ed leaves, the gaping security holes in your processes will shrivel your reputations and turn all your monetary green into heavy, rotten fines.

Uproot the Old and Break Fresh Ground

In preparation for our new fruit trees, my husband has been pruning our yard. We have some large, cattail pieces that are loosened by visiting ducks and often get strewn across the lot. The previous owners left some unraked leaves to cover and clog our mulch, which could use a touch-up itself. He’s even mapped out our property and plotted out which trees will go where to ensure everyone has enough space and the presentation is even.

Before new life can be planted, the old must be pruned away – if not, it takes up space for what could be and can even be poisonous to your new growth.

ImageSoft recommends all its government customers make an inventory checklist of all its existing processes and systems before jumping into a state agency system. Get honest about which processes are dead and need to be hauled out – spreadsheets and emailed file sharing, for example. Doing so will set a framework for what features you’re looking for, and which areas need the most TLC.

We also recommend you make the change official by breaking new ground with an internal announcement – after all, these processes are rooted in your staff and grow only if they continuously nourish them. Explain the upcoming changes, reassure job security, prep the team for training days, and set an expectation that everyone will be getting their hands dirty in learning this new way of doing things from the ground up.

Unearth What’s New

With your decision to proceed and a framework established, you can now explore the tools and technologies available to you. Here are some seeds of compliance you might want to plant when starting conversations with trusted vendors and potential tech partners:

Multi-factor authentication: Nowadays, there are levels to properly protecting information – passwords are only a fraction of it. Explore document encryption and redaction, access codes, time-stamped access and more.

Complete Audit Trails: Everyone knows the best part of setting new growth in motion is watching it transpire and transform your space. Visibility is low-hanging fruit born out of complete audit trails, which trace every document’s chain of custody – who interacted with it, when and what was done (i.e., applied an eSignature, simple review, redact, edit details, etc.).

360-Degree Dashboards: From Sunbrites to nectarines, there are a variety of peaches (and every fruit)to choose from depending on your goal: are you canning? Baking? Eating fresh off the tree? Similarly, there are varying degrees of visibility. In addition to audit trails, comprehensive dashboards provide an expanded view into potential bottlenecks headed your way or gauging overall performance metrics.

Your No-Fail, No-Fuss Container

We have family friends in Indiana who own 10, beautiful acres. While most of the land is simply preserved, a small section is reserved for their garden. When visiting last Fall, I was admiring their planters and wishing I was talented enough to even get started. My friend was all-too-happy to reassure me that those planters I envied were no-fail, starter flower beds – anyone can buy them already prepared and just follow the directions to maintain and nurture the plants throughout the season.

Genuinely – to whomever thought of this: thank you for thinking of us with the recessive, non-green thumb gene. You gave this non-gardener hope!

If, like me, you find yourself struggling to get started with planting your state agency system – we understand, and we’re here for you. Stop by our state agency webpage, budding with ideas for you to explore and flowered with efforts we’re able to support. Like my friend’s no-fail planters, this webpage is also for every government agency. If you’d like to go over your own process inventory, pain points or goals, simply fill out the brief eForm at the bottom of the page, and we’ll be in touch.

If you’d like to recap any part of my state agency “Spring cleaning” blog series, you can visit each by following the links below. And, in the spirit of Spring, I’ll leave you with this light-hearted smile:

Q: What kind of vegetable do you get when an elephant walks through your garden?

A: Squash

Spring Cleaning Recap:

Part One: Consolidation

Part Two: Mobility