ClientFirst Technology Consulting: Bringing Innovation, Optimization, and Measurement to Local Government
David Krout, Managing PartnerIn the technology arena, adaptability is a prerequisite that most companies must meet to remain effective amidst market changes and industry trends. ClientFirst Technology Consulting, a middle-market offshoot of a nationally prominent CPA consulting firm, was founded to cater to the under-served local government market segment. Through IT planning, reviews, and analysis, ClientFirst helps local government agencies optimize their applications, IT infrastructure, and staffing, empowering them to adapt to changes and increase efficiency and transparency.
“How does ClientFirst serve its clients? Optimization. Not only do we research our customers on an individual level, but we are also one of the few consulting firms that steps beyond the advisor role,” explains David Krout, Managing Partner. “We actually manage several municipal IT departments. So, as a firm, we are implementing, utilizing, and managing these technologies every day.” This knowledge and experience is used to create more comprehensive, tactical business strategies that help reduce margins of error, streamline processes, and facilitate optimal decision-making that eventually drives results across the entire organization.
“The keywords are transparency and measurement. Government agencies are striving for greater accountability and responsiveness by providing citizens more information and self-service, thereby garnering the confidence that their government is performing its best,” explains Steve Robichaud, a partner at ClientFirst. As part of their focus on cities, counties, and districts, ClientFirst works to help local governments provide citizens greater access to and visibility of their services. This can range from providing secure access to data, allowing constituents to see how their tax dollars are being used, to broadcasting key performance measures and real-time financial data. Part of their close monitoring of technological trends in local government has led ClientFirst to increase attention to GIS and geo-spatial applications in their service offerings.
Government agencies are striving for greater accountability and responsiveness by providing citizens more information and self-service, thereby garnering the confidence that their government is performing its best
One ClientFirst success story involves a school district with over 40 custodians traveling between buildings on 55 campuses. To address communication issues, the district deployed cell phones with data service costing $100 a month per phone. “ClientFirst designed a new VoIP system utilizing current mobility tools running on a Wi-Fi network at each campus. Custodians were locatable and contactable in real-time, thus eliminating the need for cell phones and significantly reducing the district’s costs,” explained Tom Weiman, Director of Telecommunications Consulting.
ClientFirst has been an early promoter of emerging trends, including cloud computing, GIS, and geo-spatial applications. They also stay abreast of their clients’ own innovations. “We are not the sole arbiters of excellence. Some of our clients do very interesting things. We share these with our client community where appropriate, which helps everyone,” explains Tom Jakobsen, Senior Partner. The firm plans to remain focused on the local government market segment, expanding geographically and extending their specialization into other submarkets like public safety and higher education. As their success suggests, ClientFirst is meeting needs in local government.