Senior Information Technology Director
Reporting to the CEO, the Senior IT Director is responsible for the development and implementation of short-term and long-term Integrated Data System (IDS) strategy for the Ready for School, Ready for Life organization. This position is responsible for establishing, implementing, monitoring, and enforcing the IDS implementation, governance, standards, and policies across the organization. The Senior IT Director creates and maintains close partnerships with leadership and external stakeholders to develop technology strategies and provide technological solutions for the IDS, ongoing business initiatives, and process improvements. Please see descriptions of Initiative and IDS strategy at the end of this job description.
Must perform all duties and responsibilities in accordance with Ready for School, Ready for Life (Ready Ready) policies, procedures, and Values and Principles.
- Leads and advises executive leadership on the IDS vision that is aligned to organizational priorities and enables and facilitates the business objective.
- Develops, implements, and monitors a strategic, comprehensive IT program to ensure appropriate levels of confidentiality, integrity, transparency, and operational support are controlled or/and processed by the organization.
- Collaborates with staff and external stakeholders to ensure the IDS fulfills the business objectives for Navigation.
- Partners with Community Alignment Team to ensure the Agency Finder electronic directory is updated consistently and effective for Navigators to use with families.
- Develops applications to facilitate Navigation goals.
- Proposes annual IT budget, including IDS, and manages expenditures.
- Provides regular reporting on financials, operations, and progress towards goals for the IDS to executive leadership.
- Develops a metrics and reporting framework to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of the IDS and facilitate appropriate resource allocation.
- Establishes project priority and timing, articulates a vision for organizational changes.
- Authorizes the use of organizational time, talent, and financial resources to support projects and improvement initiatives. Manages change through effective communication and coaching throughout the organization.
- Partners with other Senior leaders within the organization and external key stakeholders on Navigation priorities related to the IDS.
- Identifies resource gaps, secures resources with the right skills to deliver required results.
- Manages staff in the IT area.
- Supports the Ready Ready Equity Statement and commits to implementation of the Equity Strategy Plan (to be completed spring 2022).
- Develops and implements IT strategy for Ready Ready.
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Masters preferred in a work-related field/discipline from an accredited college or university.
Experience: 10+ years of experience working in IT operations, supervising technology teams, and overseeing large information technology projects. Experience leading technology for a network of institutions preferred (e.g., nonprofit social service agencies, a hospital system, etc.)
License/ Certification: None required.
Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to effectively communicate with teams across the entire organization.
- Excellent understanding of computer systems, security, network and systems administration, databases and data storage systems, data governance, and application development.
- Identify vulnerabilities, the need for upgrades, and opportunities for improvement.
- Define mitigation and prioritization strategies for support issues as they appear to ensure reported issues are resolved in a timely manner
- Oversee all IDS operations, including staff, resource development, and infrastructure. Guide the development, training, and retention strategies for the IT team.
- Knowledge of Salesforce and common Salesforce 3rd party extensions such as form tools, document management tools, and reporting/analytics tools.
- Knowledge of cloud-based IT infrastructure including, but not limited to: Integration Platform as a Service tools (e.g., Tibco Scribe, Mulesoft, Jitterbit, etc.), API Gateway tools (e.g., Mashery, Mulesoft Anypoint, Postman, etc.), NoSQL cloud database web-app development tools (e.g., Google Firestore and Firebase), cloud-based Enterprise Data Warehouse Tools (e.g., BigQuery, Snowflake, etc.), and Communications Platform as a Service tools (e.g., Twilio).
- Knowledge of information requirements and standards common in a healthcare context (e.g., HIPAA compliance, HL7 and FHIR data standards, etc.)
- Vendor management experience in negotiating large software licensing and services contracts.
- Ability to manage complex projects and resources (people, costs, and time) across multiple departments.
- Ability to supervise, coach, mentor, train, and evaluate work results.
- Knowledge and understanding of goals and the interdependencies of functional departments and groups and the ability to lead large-scale complex IT projects in addressing overall business needs.
- Knowledge and ability to direct a staff in integrating information technology services with the work requirements and deliverables of units and departments.
- Knowledge and depth and/or breadth of expertise in informational technology disciplines, e.g., network operations, databases, software applications and interfaces, computer operations, production control, quality assurance, and systems management.
Physical Demands and Working Environment
- Regularly stand, sit, and walk; use hands; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; talk or hear; and taste or smell.
- Frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.
- Generally works in an office environment but may occasionally be required to perform job duties outside of the typical office setting.
Background on Initiative
Data gathered through interviews, focus groups, and community workgroups show that families, as well as the direct service providers who work with them, experience significant obstacles as they navigate a fragmented and disjointed service landscape that inhibit both economic stability and healthy child development. Those obstacles included challenges around health, education, inequity, and economic mobility that began at birth and continued throughout residents’ lifetimes.
Families report a lack of information, access, coordination, and sufficient service capacity as barriers to many essential services. They report experiencing stigma that diminishes their likelihood of seeking assistance and contributes to the misidentification of their true needs.
Service providers report that a lack of cross-organizational processes, technology, and communication inhibits their ability to proactively coordinate care and effectively support children and their families.
Decision-makers lack data to fully understand families’ needs and the community’s capacity, key data that informs both resource allocation and local policy decisions.
Over the course of several years, Guilford County convened stakeholders to identify and develop strategies to address the root causes of these obstacles. Those stakeholders concluded that solving these complex challenges and producing population-level change would require a systems lens approach that placed families at the center.
Community-based system features, identified by Guilford County stakeholders, include:
- Family control of who has access to data
- Family and community provider access to resource database with closed-loop referral capacity
- Proactive cross-agency planning and care management
- Reduced burden on families to repeat their stories to providers
- Streamlined eligibility and enrollment processes
- Ease of use and integration with existing in-house systems; and
- The ability to use aggregated and de-identified data for decision-making; this data will also support evaluation of both initiatives and serve the effort to build sustainability and investment in successful approaches
Achieving population-level outcomes demands a new approach to cross-program coordination and care management for families. To this end, Ready Ready is focused on improving the way programs and organizations work together to drive improved outcomes for young children and their families. The Initiative represents a multi-generational approach utilizing interconnected strategies.
Strategy 1: Develop a proactive navigation system to connect families with young children to effective programs and services
Ready Ready’s focus is to improve outcomes and reduce disparities at the population level across the early childhood continuum, beginning with planned and well-timed pregnancies, healthy births, on-track development at 12, 24, and 36 months, kindergarten readiness, and success in third grade. Ready Ready has worked with families, providers, local and national partners to design a navigation system that connects families with young children to appropriate and desired programs and services when they need them.
This infrastructure will support improved outcomes and reduce disparities at the population level, spanning preconception to third grade. The first phase of the Get Ready Guilford Initiative (2019-2021) is focused on prenatal to age three and will expand to age 8 in later phases.
Strategy 2: Develop enabling technology for Navigation and Coordination Across Programs
Navigation requires developing an Integrated Data System (IDS) that supports a network of providers participating in shared delivery of Navigation services and that local partners can use to coordinate with each other with the goal of serving families more efficiently and effectively. The IDS is enabled by a technology stack consisting of three layers: a program database layer of individual nonprofit program databases and the Navigation program database supporting the Navigation strategy, a services and security layer that consists of an iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) and API Gateway that manages information transfer between databases, and a Community Portal/Apps Layer that allows parents and caregivers to search the “Agency Finder,” a curated directory of nonprofit programs in the community managed by Ready Ready.
The enabling technology of the IDS is built with an API-first approach to not only allow data sharing across the core agencies involved in Navigation and their partners in the community, but also to enable points of connection with other systems-change initiatives such as Integrated Service Delivery at United Way of Greater Greensboro, the statewide implementation of NCCARE360, and other future research initiatives that might eventually be provided with access to the data for evaluation.
Strategy 3: Develop enabling technology for aggregating de-identified data for analysis
In the future, Ready Ready also intends to include a data warehouse and analytics tools in the Integrated Data System so that it can link de-identified data from multiple sources to support community-level analysis about early childhood services, outcomes, and policies. Data from the Navigation database will be merged with other data sources, as available, to support decision-making with comprehensive data. This strategy will proceed once the component systems have been built and there is a sufficient amount of data to be significant for analysis.