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Strategic Information Technology Plan
Oesterlen Services for Youth is an organization that helps troubled youth in Ohio. It consists of a counseling center and a foster care placement program, as well as residential services for both male and female youth for intensive care cases. In order for Oesterlen to continue to help as many youth as possible, it has to be up-to-date on its technology. To that end, it has set some goals for its computers from both a software and hardware standpoint. The current M.T.I. goals for the organization are to consolidate the servers and applications as much as possible. By partnering with others, Oesterlen will be better able to fulfill its mission of helping youth. The alliance between Qbase, ADP online, and the merger of a sizeable competitor will enable Oesterlen the ability to serve the clients better while maintaining the delicate balance between the mission goals and the operation of a successful business. The products and services that Qbase will be providing include datacenter space, a wireless connection from the datacenter to the main campus, a virtual environment which will house the new servers, and applications which will be a consolidation of the current configuration. Oesterlen must consider the social, political, financial, legal, and other aspects of the changes it wishes to make, in order to ensure it is making the right decisions for its long-term future.
Strategic Information Technology Plan
Oesterlen Services for Youth is an organization that helps troubled youth in Ohio. It consists of a counseling center and a foster care placement program, as well as residential services for both male and female youth for intensive care cases (Oesterlen, 2012). Oesterlen's mission statement is "on behalf of the church, in witness to Christ, this agency's mission is to serve troubled or potentially troubled children and youth from infancy through transition into adulthood, with those significant to them, working toward their mental, social, physical and spiritual well-being" (Oesterlen.org, 2012). In order for Oesterlen to continue to help as many youth as possible, it has to be up-to-date on its technology. To that end, it has set some goals for its computers from both a software and hardware standpoint. The current M.T.I. goals for the organization are to consolidate the servers and applications as much as possible. Applications have been added to the systems over time, and they require a re-evaluation of services and infrastructure in order to plan for future implementation of other applications and services (Oesterlen, 2012).
In the near future, Oesterlen desires to evaluate the current implementation of the servers and the applications and services operating on each of those servers. Currently three servers are in place for file sharing and email, and there is another server for applications such as WSUS, ADP, and TrendMicro. A major component to this project is that Oesterlen wishes to consolidate the current servers from the data room and also move them to a virtual environment located in a datacenter. By virtualizing the systems into one consolidated piece of hardware, the infrastructure will be much cleaner and not as subject to adverse conditions as it is now. The servers are currently located in the basement of the administration building, which has a number of environmental issues such as temperature fluctuation during weather events, as well as damp and often dirty air. The cost of upgrading the room is more than the organization desires to spend, whereas consolidating the systems into a datacenter is much more cost effective. By consolidating the servers and moving them to a datacenter, the cost of operating the systems will be drastically reduced. Generally, consolidation of technology is a good move for leadership and for protection of said technology, provided the consolidation is handled correctly (Haviland, 2004; White & Bruton, 2011).
Maintenance costs will reduce as well as the cost of cooling and maintaining the data room onsite. In completing this project, more funds will be freed to concentrate on the actual mission of the organization which is the treatment of troubled youth. The M.T.I. goals fit into the financial responsibility of Oesterlen because it enables the organization the ability to efficiently use the funds for what is necessary and required by the state to track behavioral health records. Donors appreciate this level of stewardship because it shows that the money they contribute is being utilized for the purposes for which they originally donated it.
The Company's Development
Oesterlen utilizes word of mouth and direct agency relationships to advertise and gain new clients. They are also the only agency in the region that offers the type of services that are available at Oesterlen. The direct competitors are located at least 100 or more miles away which allows the organization a guaranteed section of the market share. Technological developments are understood by the Director of Operations by the contracted Computer Consultant firm explaining the various aspects of needs plus the equipment and strategies or M.T.I. Of the plan for future projects. As the technological needs grow, the Director of Operations tasks the consulting firm with developing solutions for the desired outcome such as consolidating the servers into a datacenter and moving certain applications into the cloud.
Contributing to the entrepreneurship of Oesterlen are the Directors. Specifically related to technology would be the Director of Operations who oversees the computer network and technologies instrumented at the organization. Using his leadership he is tasked with being the entrepreneur of the organization and solving the big picture issues of how to maintain the computer network and where technology can be utilized to fix an issue such as installing cameras in strategic areas for court cases. One of the major projects he managed was deciding on and planning for the replacement of the phone system with a voice over IP system. Together with the consulting firm he plans for the technological future of Oesterlen by presenting to them the problem or desired outcome and then through planning and the M.T.I. process they provide a solution to what is presented. Having one person to plan and oversee technology is generally more beneficial than having more than one person, because disagreements can often arise (Kelly, 2010; Kleiman, 2010).
The Stakeholders of the Company
In this instance the stakeholders are the Ohio counties that send youth to be evaluated and treated by the organization. The stakeholders are not so much interested in the monetary stake as they are in the mental health dividends that are received by their investment. Each county that contracts with Oesterlen sends them to be evaluated by therapists and then if necessary admitted into the residential program for intensive care treatment billed to the county or to Medicaid. In other cases, Oesterlen employs social workers who manage family situations and evaluate whether the state should remove the child from an abusive and unstable home to be relocated in foster care. "Many families in Clark County experience chronic social, medical, and/or emotional difficulties which, if not successfully addressed, could lead to serious family breakdown. Support Service staff operates as part of the Wraparound Team, coordinating support services with other treatment providers to help families become more self-sufficient" (Oesterlen, 2012).
Responsible Actions and the Bottom Line
Oesterlen is socially responsible for its clients because the treatment they provide will aid in the community from which the client originated. The community defined is the family unit, the school the troubled youth attends, or other community organization that brought the youth to this point needing mental health treatment. How this affects the bottom line is that when treatment fails or when incidents occur within the institution, court cases may ensue causing lawsuits to which Oesterlen may be found liable. This affects the bottom line when the lawsuits result in monetary loss.
Innovation and Reputation
In order to improve its reputation, Oesterlen has implemented a camera recording system that captures all incidents that occur within the institution where clients are located. In the event of an incident where a youth 'acts out' or is injured or a staff member's actions are called into question, the camera system will reveal exactly what happened at the time of the incident. That information can be burned to a DVD for evidence in a court case. Another implementation that Oesterlen has employed for keeping their reputation positive is by documenting all incidents, and all levels of care in written text which is stored on the server in a word document. Documentation is a vital part of healthcare and is needed in order to prove that a certain level of care was indeed performed and the regimen followed by staff at any facility providing care (White & Bruton, 2011).
Training is a further way that Oesterlen has utilized to be reputable. All training sessions are recorded and then uploaded to a media server for distribution to staff who were not able attend the live training; they are then given an online quiz to test their comprehension of the training video. The ability to use online training…[continue]
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