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By Paul Head II
Software Article Use Policy
No matter the ADM technology a manager focuses on, the team making a final decision needs to consider certain elements that are common to the applications. Carefully analyzing these elements can ensure the ADM technology the team selects meets the department's and the organization's needs as much as possible:
Technology platform. Some vendors offer limited web capability, besides traditional client-server functionality. This approach is IT-resource intensive, but the product might provide a more robust user experience. Other vendors have developed technology platforms completely on the web, which results in easier administration but limits the user experience.
A third set of vendors uses technologies that provide traditional client-server technology over the web in a virtual environment. The web and cloud services are the future for new technologies. Cloud services provide processing technology and data via the web and require only a web browser to access the system and the information.
Mobility. Most vendors offer mobile support, including tablets, hand-held devices, and smart phones. Some vendors might not support this functionality directly, but third-party vendors can provide mobile platforms.
Reporting. All vendors provide reporting through internal tools or third-party applications, but some choose to bundle and provide report templates out of the box.
Integration protocols. Most applications support data sharing with other open systems. Some technologies offer a direct interface for real-time data exchange, while others support this functionality through batch processing.
Database platform. The database is separate from the interface. Managers need to verify the IT department can support the vendor's database.
Document control. Vendors provide storage and links for unstructured documents, such as CAD files, scanned images, and PDF documents.
Paul Head II is director of integrated engineering solutions for MBA CSi, which provides information technology, workforce, and integrated engineering services to federal agencies, contractors, and commercial customers.
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Product Focus: Software