|Standards and Policies|
|The City lacks consistency in virtually every area of technology development: application development, hardware platforms, software, networking, and procurement. By developing appropriate standards for technology and procurement, not only could data sharing and interoperability issues be minimized, but IT-related costs could be better managed.
A particular bias towards developing custom software rather than using commercially available packages was observed in the studied departments. Not only is custom software more expensive to develop, but it often impedes process improvements because the software is designed to reflect the processes in place at the time of development (reinforcing inefficient processes) and is often not flexible enough to change easily. Requests for custom application development must be thoroughly scrutinized and only approved if it can be demonstrated that there exist no viable commercially available alternatives.