DD Organizations’ Top IT Challenges

Struggling with the same ongoing issues day after day, and year after year? It’s time to take a new approach to solving your challenges — through the lens of IT.

Do you feel like you’re solving the problems your DD county board faces? Or just dealing with them?

There’s a big difference between truly eliminating a core challenge, and just finding a way to live with it. However, if any organization gets complacent, they open themselves up to major risks — extensive system downtime, severe security risks, extra IT expenses, and HIPAA noncompliance fines.

As always, the process of addressing these issues begin with knowledge. Do you know what your own core challenges are?

8 Challenges County Boards Of DD Organizations Face

  • Your Technology is Outdated: Sticking with old technology may save you some money in your IT budget, but the lack of functionality and security can slow down your organization and put you at risk. If your old tech is working so poorly that it stops you and your staff from working, then it’s time to replace it. The downtime caused by old hardware isn’t worth the money you’re saving by hanging on to it. Ponemon Institute estimates that every minute of even partial downtime can cost as much as $5,600.
  • Lack of Funding: DD organizations struggle with many challenges that traditional enterprise-based counterparts do not, and depending on the county, they may operate on the bare minimum of resources and staff. While any organization is thankful for every last person who gives their time and talent to assist in these efforts, they don’t always have all of the skill sets needed to successfully run the operation. This often means that someone may have to pick up the slack —  but everyone has their limitations. This is why technology must be part of any organization’s strategic planning. The better use you make of available resources, the more you can achieve. By taking time with  budgeting, technology assessment, proper planning, implementation, and accountability, an organization can improve its efficiency, save money, and improve morale — all of which allows you to make a larger impact on the community.
  • Lack of Awareness of IT Risks: Without the right cybersecurity processes and solutions in place, you could be vulnerable to modern cybercrime threats. Defensive solutions such as monitoring and management systems will prevent threats from entering your network and computers. They also see to the ongoing necessary updates and patches, keeping your IT environment current and protected.
  • Seeing IT as an Expense, Not an Added Value: Instead of thinking of technology as just an expense, you should consider how it can be a key value driver for organizations as a whole. Investing in the right IT solutions will bring gains in productivity and efficiency. Case in point: Mobile work solutions will increase your employees’ productivity and satisfaction. Mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops enabled with secure IT solutions allow employees to safely access your organization’s resources and stay productive wherever they have an internet connection.
  • Lack of Understanding of HIPAA Compliance: You would be surprised by the varying levels of HIPAA compliance comprehension we encounter with our DD organization clients. More than once, we’ve spoken to a new client who had assumed HIPAA did not apply to them. Don’t make this mistake. The private data you deal with qualifies as electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), which means it’s subject to HIPAA. Putting the time and resources into making sure you’re compliant is necessary to ensure the public’s confidence and trust.
  • Trying to Ignore HIPAA Compliance: On the other hand, some DD organizations understand they are subject to HIPAA, but have failed to take action. We know of one organization that simply answered “yes” to all HIPAA compliance checks on their self assessment. Do you know what they’re risking by doing so? In the event of a breach, organizations like this one could be subject to severe HIPAA-based fines — in one recent case, the noncompliant company had to pay $1,000,000 to settle three breach incidents. Can anyone afford to fake HIPAA compliance?
  • Lack of Focus on IT: Are you having trouble keeping your IT department on track?  It’s not easy to manage either the internal IT department or the MSP that oversees your IT.  Here are a few of the questions we’ve heard before:
    • What questions should I ask?
    • What reports should I request?
    • Why can’t my IT support explain things in simple terms I can understand?
    • What are the benchmarks for effective IT?

The best answer is do some homework, consult external resources, put a plan in place, meet regularly and, most importantly, have high expectations. Remember: if you ask something and don’t understand the answer, don’t accept it; ask again until you understand.

  • Lack of IT Resources: Does your company have the IT personnel it needs to keep everything running optimally? Or do you have a staff that is spread thin across multiple locations with countless users? With most people working remotely at the moment, the skill set and tools and talent needed to support your organization has changed. Without the appropriate resources to address your ongoing IT maintenance tasks, you risk downtime, recurring issues, security vulnerabilities and more. An undersupported IT environment is a major risk to your DD organization’s functionality.

Need Expert Assistance Addressing These Challenges?

Right now you may be thinking, “This is overwhelming, how do I get started?”

First, start by taking some time to review your own IT. Next, admit that, “Hey I don’t feel comfortable where we are and we need to do better.” Congratulations, you are on your way!

Feel free to contact the GO Concepts team for expert help — we are the premier technology solutions provider in Ohio for the Board of Developmental Disabilities and Providers over the last decade. Feel free to contact us at 513-934-8235.