As Optimum PPS have continued to expand the amount of projects we undertake in the charity sector, we are aware that charities have to decide what to do going forward with the Carista information management system. With support for the system likely to end by the end of 2020, there is an urgent need for charities using the system to get a plan in place.
In this article we will look at what it means with support ending as well as what charity organisations should be doing to prepare for that.
What is Carista Information Management System?
Carista is an information management system that is regularly used within the care sector and the charity sector. The system has functionality including things such as outcome management, budget planning, rotas, and time sheets as well as managing KPIs from a centralised location. The ability to integrate with payroll, HR, and other business systems helped organisations stay on top of the day to day running of their organisation.
What is Happening to Carista Information Management System?
By Christmas 2020 support provided by the software provider for the platform will likely be ending. This means that software support and updates will no longer be released, leaving the system potentially vulnerable. It also means that no further changes and improvements to the system will be made. Given the rate of change in organisations these days, being locked in to an inflexible system that you have to work round rather than it supporting your business can be very detrimental and lead to inefficient working practices.
What Should I Do?
The first step for any charity organisation who are on the platform is to consider how much you rely on the system. For many it will be the backbone of your organisation, meaning you can’t risk using unsupported software for an extended period.
So unless you can work out alternative support arrangements, it is likely that you are going to need to look for an alternative system solution.
The next step should be to seriously consider whether you want to in effect do a like-for-like swap to an alternative system or undertake a more thorough exercise that looks at your organisations ways of working and surfaces improvement opportunities across People, Process and Systems. We would argue that using this as a trigger for real business change is very valuable as you have the chance to seize real business benefits and improvements – rather than viewing it as just replacing a toolset. Improved efficiency, better ways of working, happier team members, and a cut down of repetitive tasks are all things we have seen in projects that we helped deliver, as you can see in our Penumbra video below.
Once you know what the right approach is for your charity organisation then it is time to consider what you need from the new system. Start by looking at what Carista does for you currently, understanding the key processes it supports and how staff actually use the system. Or, just as importantly, don’t use the system! All too often offline workarounds and myriads of spreadsheets make up for gaps in system functionality and poorly defined processes. So then you need to map out your ‘to be’ processes and ways of working. And this should then lead you on to understanding the system requirements for any new solution. We recommend doing this exercise thoroughly before you start looking at software solutions – then you can start speaking to software vendors from a much more informed starting position. Which will make the selection process much easier for yourselves and the vendors – leading to better, faster results.
Support for Carista Information Management System is likely to be pulled by end of 2020 and for many users of the system it is a worrying time. The likelihood is that most users will want to migrate off of the platform, if not before the deadline then as soon as possible afterwards.
If you would like to see how Optimum PPS can support you through this transition, then please get in touch with us.