San Luis Obispo County Environmental Health Trades IT Burden for Peace of Mind with Cloud Services
Department increases productivity and no longer competes against agency-wide priorities
Nestled in California’s Central Coast, San Luis Obispo County is known for its unique blend of beaches, mountains and rural, “old-time” California charm. Agriculture, tourism and California Polytechnic State University are the pillars of its economy, and the County is the state’s third largest producer of wine.
One Department of Many
“It was not just lack of staff,” explains Director Curt Batson, when asked why his department transitioned its Accela Environmental Health solution from an agency-hosted environment to an Accela-hosted one. “San Luis Obispo County has centralized County IT and health agency IT, and our Division depends completely on both. But we’re one department of many, and they often have higher priorities.”
Despite five hours per week of part-time IT support, the division was still impacted by the demands of maintaining its system. In addition to time spent on data and configuration, says Curt, “There were also the servers, hardware and software. They’d get old and need to be updated and you’d have this unexpected expense that you had to come up with periodically.” In addition, just because an upgrade was needed didn’t necessarily mean Environmental Health could move forward. If another department was running an older version of software, it would hold everyone back.
Such demands were often overshadowed by more pressing program priorities. “These technology needs were rarely on my radar,” says Curt. “I was trying to deal with environmental health issues. I’m the budget guy, I’m the program guy. I’m just not thinking about anticipating IT needs. And so once you hear that something’s wrong, you make the request to IT, and it has to fit into the priorities of the other divisions agency-wide. It might get done in six months, or it might not.”
The No-hassle Approach to IT Management
“It became clear that hosting was our best option,” says Curt. “With Accela’s cloud hosting, I am a higher priority. The only decisions I have to make is when I want to upgrade software versions, and beyond the monthly fee, I don’t have to budget for anything else.”
The transition happened very quickly. Curt is now free to focus on the work most important to him: environmental health. “It’s almost hard to compare before and after, because everything just happens now, quite seamlessly. Whereas before it was a conscious decision that had to be made, when you had to purchase the software or hardware and then get in line for priority. From my point of view, that’s great. It’s very critical to our operation, but it just doesn’t come up all the time, and I trust the service and that my data is secure.”
Eliminated burden of managing and updating Environmental Health IT infrastructure against agency-wide IT priorities
Empowered department to focus time and effort on environmental health work instead of IT
Made budgeting for IT easier by creating predictable monthly line item
Freed existing, limited IT resources from maintaining hardware