ImageSoft, IT and the EPA

By Mary McKnight, ImageSoft, Director of Professional Services

In a recent Government CIO Outlook magazine article, “IT Transformation at EPA,” Ann Dunkin, CIO, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, writes about the evolution that the EPA has undergone to find a way to deliver solutions faster and better. She’s right that most government agencies as well as the private sector follow a “classic waterfall” implementation methodology and she’s right about the danger that comes with using outdated methods like over analysis and trying to avoid risk at all costs. This works just fine for construction or manufacturing when the foundation must be poured at the right grade before the studs are erected. Without this level of planning, your house will fall over. Data is not concrete and there is a better approach to developing software solutions.

At ImageSoft, we’ve done the traditional waterfall approach. It can work, but in our 20-year history, we’ve found something that works better. We call it The ImageSoft Way and it embodies many of the key concepts Dunkin highlights in her article. We, too, seek to deliver off-the-shelf solutions (COTS) wherever possible. We work with a highly configurable software and you are relying on us to be the subject matter experts. Providing solutions that work in the wild expedites delivery and lets you earn your ROI much faster.

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A major reason for failure in government IT projects is lack of user input, according to Dunkin. Successful systems are designed around the needs of individuals who use the system every day—not around the needs of stakeholders, she adds.

We, too, start with the business process. We work with you to understand why you do what you do and then provide a document written in your business language describing how the solution will support it. We, too, embrace risk. We demonstrate the solution to your users at regular intervals throughout the entire build phase. By showing you the solution early and often, we prove out the high-risk items like integration and web service development before the budget is spent. When you expose risk, you limit it.

Finally, ImageSoft also embraces collaboration across our company. We tore down our silos and threw them into the waterfall and we have not looked back. We’ve developed some strong change management practices along the way and can help you do the same.

I agree with one more thing Dunkin says, “All of this is certainly a work in progress…when it does work, amazing things happen.” The best part about the ImageSoft Way is that we have amazing success stories out there to back it up. Agile development in government might be a fresh concept but partnering with a company that has the right culture and experience has always been the best way to achieve success.

How does collaboration play into determining your department’s IT solutions?

Starting 2018 with a New Look

By Kevin Ledgister, Marketing Manager, ImageSoft

For many, it feels natural to set goals, initiatives and dare I say it, resolutions, for the new year. I never set resolutions because they are meant to be broken. Some are broken even before the ball drops in Times Square. (So much for jogging five miles a day.) But when you do achieve something great, it’s well worth celebrating. As my early career mentor used to say, “Nothing breeds success like success.” I’m not sure he coined that phrase, but he also used to tell me, “Give credit twice and then it’s yours.” I guess he made it his, and now I make it mine.

Still, nothing catches the attention like a new look whether that means you drop two pant sizes, change your wardrobe or sport a new hairstyle. The same goes for websites. Our team decided last year that it was high time for a complete website makeover. And we couldn’t get away with just a nip and a tuck. A good website is critical for any business or organization in our self-service world. Look at what Harvard Business Review recounted:

“A Corporate Executive Board study of more than 1,400 B2B customers found that those customers completed, on average, nearly 60% of a typical purchasing decision—researching solutions, ranking options, setting requirements, benchmarking pricing, and so on—before even having a conversation with a supplier.”

Wow. This means if you’re waiting for people to pick up the phone or shoot you an email so you can educate them on your products, it isn’t going to happen anymore. Those days are long gone like the mixtape.

This means that our website had to have great content that was customer-centric rather than product-centric so that it was easier to understand and relate to. And writing it in a fun and spunky way means people won’t get bored after the first sentence. But having great, helpful content is useless if people can’t find you so we had to implement a strategy around making our website easier to navigate and also find when performing searches.

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And since we’re no longer in the era of the 12” monochrome monitor, our website had to be responsive—meaning that whatever device, browser, monitor size or resolution you were using, the content had to adjust and work. This is no easy feat and only the most basic sites can do this perfectly. Which means that on occasion, things may not look right. We’re working on those so if you see something, say something.

And finally, we just needed a new look. While parachute pants and leg warmers were de riguer in the 80’s, those clothes are now hidden in the attic. A website that is a few years old can feel like decades in Internet time. So, we upgraded our look with new elements that better reflect who ImageSoft is and why so many of our customers engage with us.

We hope you like the look, feel and content of our new website. Feel free to drop us a line below. And if you look twice, we won’t mind at all.