by CIO New Zealand

Ministry for the Environment prepares to become paperless organisation

Aug 19, 2015
Cloud ComputingGovernment ITInnovation

The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) has deployed OpenText enterprise information management system as part of a cloud first mandate across government.

The Enterprise Content Management-as-a-Service (ECMaaS ) system enables the ministry to have in place a next-generation, cloud-based knowledge management system, says Neil Hurley, director, IT and project management office at MfE.

“The project was primarily commissioned because of the need to safe keep our information, but presented an opportunity for us to unlock the value of our information, a key strategic asset,” says Hurley in a statement.

MfE is the government’s principal adviser on policies, laws and issues affecting the environment.

The system was deployed by OpenText Global Services and its partner Techtonics, supported by Datacom from an infrastructural standpoint.

OpenText’s ECMaaS manages the flow of information from capture through to archiving and disposition.

Longer term, MfE is planning to build on the OpenText foundations it has in place. In particular, the Ministry is looking at migrating additional content in to the system to build a single knowledge repository, further enhancing workflow processes, as well as leveraging the solution to collaborate and exchange information securely with key external stakeholders.

Related:The government CIO agenda: Flip from ‘legacy first’ to ‘digital first’: Gartner

Our investment in time to get our employees ready for the new system, has made it easy to motivate usage and get everyone up to speed on how to use the new system. Neil Hurley, Ministry for the Environment

The long-term aim is to digitise as much of its business processes as possible, to become progressively less reliant on paper. In turn, staff can enjoy greater access to information and the ability to retrieve critical information remotely in an accelerated manner, enabling them to tap on knowledge in novel ways, he states.

The ministry evaluated three vendors on the New Zealand government’s cloud-based enterprise content management-as-a-service panel, to assess if they met the ministry’s stringent requirements. The all-of-government ECMaaS panel is managed by the Department of Internal affairs on behalf of all government agencies.

Transition strategy

In order to ensure that the project delivered the knowledge management improvements the ministry required, change management was key. As part of the deployment process, an internal naming campaign was organised to get staff involved in the project and instil business ownership in the product.

The project saw a large number of employees participating in naming the new system, which was eventually coined ‘Te Puna’ – or ’the source’ in Maori. Fundamentally, it was vital to ensure that staff was engaged in the project so the transition went as smooth as possible.

“The initial implementation process spanned four months and was definitely smooth from a technical implementation perspective. In fact, user adoption rates are very high in the early stages,” says Hurley.

“Our investment in time to get our employees ready for the new system, has made it easy to motivate usage and get everyone up to speed on how to use the new system.”

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