By Mark Anderson
What do transit operators need to know about the cloud that they don’t already know? While many people use the cloud, not everyone understands its tremendous benefit to company operations. It takes some demystifying and a few illuminating Ah-ha moments to realize the cloud is a much better solution, and using it is easier than many operators think.
Perhaps more importantly, the cloud platform is a true cost solution to facilitate all software management systems such as Trackit Manager. As yet, many companies still think the approach is to buy the servers and hire people to bring IT functions in-house.
Comparatively speaking, a totally in-house system is nearly cost prohibitive and actually counterproductive to the expected security and control of information, as well as workflow. As Trackit Manager exists in the cloud, an agency needs nothing more than computers, laptops and tablets with internet access. Trackit provides the servers, hosting and technical support.
Managing a singular in-house platform requires a very high level of technical expertise that most agencies understandably lack, particularly smaller operations. Trackit is in the IT business to alleviate transit agencies of the major responsibility of owning and managing the software. This all allows agencies to work harder and smarter.
“Many companies still think the approach is to buy the servers and hire people to bring IT functions
For example, recently a small transit agency in the Los Angeles area encountered a virus that invaded its server and eradicated up to 10 years of spreadsheets and accidents reports. It crippled the organization for weeks. The IT staff thought all this information had been backed up. Unfortunately, they had inadvertently backed up the virus on to the other system as well. This turned out to be their Ah-hh that took the agency into the cloud via Trackit.
At the leadership level, with regard to the expense and liability of using and maintaining the technology, those who understand budgets, and the capability of software to manage, access, and store all company records, know an in-house solution doesn’t make sense.
Another Ah-ha moment is certainly the ease and efficiencies of the mobile applications using handheld tablets that replace the redundancy and compartmentalized pitfalls of disseminating spreadsheets.
Trackit Manager mechanizes every step in the process to create a work flow. The fact that this involves the same people completing the same managerial tasks with greater speed and efficiency, and not taking anyone’s job away, is one more Ah-hah moment.
Employees fill out their forms, validate the information and hit the submit button, sending their reports and comments to the cloud and emails for everyone’s access and use as-needed. What they were unable to do in the past, they can now accomplish with Trackit. This cloud-based document management and workflow system makes all forms completely searchable, which is not possible with paper reports that get stacked or filed, and allows everyone to work together in lockstep—instantly, if they so choose.
Mark Anderson is president of Trackit LLC, San Diego, CA. Trackit Manager provides paperless digital tools to systematically collect – track – analyze —and allows managers to act on the personnel data generated by transit agencies.