Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Thinking about a new computer system

The ACS land management system we now employ works pretty well even though it's been in place for more than 10 years which seems a lifetime in the computer business. But what we do isn't all that complicated computer-wise and there's always the old "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" admonition. Still, it's probably time to start considering what would go into a new registry computer system. The risk is that when the time comes, we simply look for an upgraded version of what we're already using. Instead, it would be preferable to analyze both the real estate business and the recording of real estate documents, and try to predict where they are both heading. There are a couple of features that come to mind right away. Documents and plans should be integrated and not in separate databases. For instance, when you're reading a deed on the computer, you should be able to click on a link to the plan that is referenced in the property description and have that plan appear, preferably in a separate window so you can toggle between the two. With electronic recording, something to consider is a video chat capability so that as we're processing and electronically submitted document, we have the ability to communicate in real time with the submitter, just as we would if the person had walked up to the counter. Finally, there should be across agency integration so that our records are linked to the local assessors records and perhaps even to Mass GIS and its overhead imagery. Those are just three things that might be desirable in a new system. There are many others. The time to consider them is before you start shopping for a new system, not when you are drafting the RFP.

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