Which software platforms do providers use? You can now find out
When it comes to IT, NDS is frequently asked these two questions:
“Do you have a list of all the software platforms/applications/systems disability providers use?”
“Which one is right for my organisation?”
Up until now, the answers have been “No” and “It depends”, respectively.
To address the second question, exactly which application* is right for an organisation will depend on a range of factors, from organisational size to which types of services you deliver. The general wisdom is that there is no one-size-fits all solution, but that organisations should do their research to determine which system suits them best. For some, this will include consultation (and there are ideas in the pipeline at NDS here!), but what if you just want to know what’s on offer first?
This brings us back to the first question: The real answer is “Not yet”. NDS has recently developed the 'Application Matrix', an online spreadsheet where providers can input the applications they use, list some basic details, and (if they want) leave their contact details for other providers to follow up if they are considering the same application. As providers begin to use this, it should provide you with a useful first step when looking to scope out options regarding applications used in the sector.
There are a couple of caveats. The document is not intended to give advice in itself, and doesn’t include any kind of rating system. The idea is that you can contact another provider who has used an application and they can tell you briefly how useful it was to their needs. At the same time, it’s not intended to be a replacement for business intelligence or consultancy: it is merely the first step in a longer process of picking an application from a seemingly infinite number of options out there.
The idea for the Application Matrix came out of discussions at NDS’ ICT and Systems Community of Practice. You can find out more about this and other NDS Community of Practice meetings, and register to attend, here.
As more providers use and populate the document, it will become a richer and more comprehensive source of information. The Application Matrix is up and running now and ready for you to access here. You will be prompted to request editing access.
*For the purposes of this story, 'application' is used to mean a digital system, platform, app or piece of software which a provider uses in the provision of services.