February 26, 2009Doug Hadden
This is section 1.1 of a series of blog entries creating a Government IFMIS Technology Evaluation Guide. This includes information to assist in evaluating IFMIS options and the technology requirements for FreeBalance IFMIS implementations. These series will be combined with feedback to produce a comprehensive Technology Evaluation Guide to be published on our web site.
The Need for an IFMIS Technology Evaluation Guide
There is very little technical guidance provided by vendors of government Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (IFMIS). Government organizations looking to acquire a Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) IFMIS software to satisfy Public Financial Management (PFM) needs are faced with numerous challenges including:
- Determining the proper technical infrastructure of computer, network and middleware to satisfy the computing requirements of the software.
- Identifying the proper software functional components to satisfy the PFM objectives of the government.
- Optimizing long-term costs so that the system is sustainable by the government – often referred to as the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
- Creating a system roadmap for IFMIS modernization that meets changing government needs.
Large projects, such as an IFMIS implementation, can be risky. The rewards of a properly implemented IFMIS are significant. However, there is a significant amount of available studies showing mixed results in government IFMIS and general enterprise software implementations.
This series of blog entries from FreeBalance staff will address the technology implications for Public Financial Management. The purpose of the series is to assist government organizations in the planning and acquisition of an IFMIS.
Introduction to the Series
The series is comprehensive. We expect that feedback will help us to adjust the series. The blog entries will not necessarily be produced in the order of the outline.
- Government Technology Implications
- The Second Phase of Public Financial Management
- Technology Trends
- Trends in Public Financial Management
- Non-Functional Technical Considerations
- FreeBalance Functional Overview
- FreeBalance Technology Overview
- Public Financial Management Design
- Core Government Financial Management Requirements
- FreeBalance Non Functional Requirements
- FreeBalance Technical Approach
- FreeBalance Accountability Platform Component Structure
- Technology Conclusions
- System Requirements
IFMIS in Context
Government is modernizing and reforming. Countries from post-conflict to G7 are modernizing to improve results.
Technology is not PFM. Technology is not modernization. Technology assists government objectives. In IFMIS, form must follow function. IFMIS software design must meet the changing needs of government. PFM reform comes first.
FreeBalance provides software exclusively for government financial management. We have implementations in Canada, the United States and every World Bank region. Our experience ranges from post-conflict to G7. This series will focus on the technology implications of PFM.
Technology trends and buzz words can be confusing. SOA, AJAX, Grid Computing, SaaS and Web Services among a portfolio of important technology trends that affect the successful implementation and sustainability of an IFMIS. These concepts can add unneeded noise unless they are presented in context to the government functional need. This series will make the connection between technology and PFM.
Summary of Technology Trends in Public Financial Management
FreeBalance prepared a discussion of trends in PFM in 2007. This series will update this presentation and dig into details.