We use over 10 separate online systems to take care of daily administrative tasks, and I believe that we should combine them all into one website, similar to how Google lets you switch between e-mail, calendar, documents, photos, etc. with a simple mouse click.
Combining all these systems into one system and hosting it on a centralized server would take advantage of economies of scale, greatly reducing the electricity, network resources, and manpower needed to maintain such systems.
Furthermore, it would result in an increase to employee efficiency. Precious time is wasted every time we need to log off one system and log into another, every time we forget a password and have to have it reset, and every time we need to manually copy information from one system to another.
For an example, I'll outline the process that a person in my office might follow to take a day off with annual leave. It involves 3 systems, "OOO" (an Out Of Office system), "ATAAPS" (a time-sheet system), and "myPay" (a paystub/tax form system).
- Employee submits request in OOO.
- Supervisor approves request in OOO.
- Admin/Secretary manually copies leave request from OOO to ATAAPS.
- Employee concurs with time-sheet in ATAAPS.
- Supervisor certifies time-sheet in ATAAPS.
- Employee views pay stub in myBiz to verify correct wages and leave charges.
If is pretty easy to see how inefficient this process is, and it extends into other administrative areas as well, such as managing your benefits and taking training courses. These systems are very poorly linked together, resulting in redundancy and inefficiency. Furthermore, I'd bet that each government agency uses its own set of systems and its own set of rules, which makes inter-agency cooperation more difficult.
We've done a great job making these systems paperless, but we've got a lot of work left!