Moving beyond legacy systems

To deliver the seamless customer experience people now demand, all levels of governments are prioritising cloud solutions, legacy modernisation, and automation, writes Luke Thomas.

Luke Thomas

According to Gartner’s Accelerate Digital for Future-Ready Government report, consumer expectations for digital services skyrocketed when the world went into lockdown, forcing governments to accelerate their move from disconnected or manual systems to digitisation.

But digital transformation can be challenging for government for a number of reasons.

Legacy Systems

Over recent decades, governments have collected a plethora of disjointed, legacy systems that are inflexible, fragile, and unable to scale to meet the demands of new requirements and an increasing number of users.

Gartner predicts that by 2025, over 50 per cent of government agencies will have modernised critical core legacy applications to improve resilience and agility, and agencies are racing to achieve this modernisation.

Data Silos

Government organisations must collaborate using shared data and processes to operate efficiently. Data sharing is a basic requirement not just within a government department but across departments, agencies, and public and private partners.

But according to a recent survey by data platform Splunk, “53 per cent of public sector IT professionals said they cannot or were unsure if they could pinpoint problems because their systems were managed in silos.”

Siloed data is a complex issue for government departments responsible for improving employee productivity, process efficiency, and information transparency.

Cloud migration

Almost every government organisation has decided to move at least part of its operation to the cloud to reduce the costs associated with implementing, operating, and managing on-premises. Focusing on core competencies and leaving the running of technologies to companies that do it best is key to moving to Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS).

It also enables departments to gain the elasticity of scale based on demand and pay based on their consumption of systems and services. According to Gartner’s Top 10 Government Technology Trends for 2021 XaaS offers an alternative to legacy infrastructure modernisation, provides scalability, and reduces time to deliver digital services.”

Gartner predicts that 95 per cent of new IT investments made by government agencies will be made as a service solution by 2025.

An aging workforce

Government departments are not only facing aging systems and processes but an aging workforce whose retirement will result in a loss of critical institutional knowledge. Many current systems require computer skills that haven’t been taught in years.

Choosing the optimal technology foundation

Choosing and implementing the right technology foundation is critical to successful digital transformation.

Modernising existing infrastructure, building in seamless data sharing and access capabilities, and making these systems easy to use and adaptable to future needs are key criteria that all government decision-makers should consider.

At a minimum, a strong technology foundation should achieve the following improvements:

  • Automate processes that are currently manual and expand existing processes and technology.
  • Implement data and process sharing across organisations.
  • Quickly and flexibly configure solutions to start immediately and scale as projects expand.
  • Transition to the private and/or public cloud of choice with applications that work across their cloud journey.
  • Achieve department objectives for digital transformation, speed, and cost optimisation.

These improvements should be delivered by leveraging a trusted technology that has earned its credibility with multiple successful implementations across departments and agencies.

The benefits of a low-code solution

Adopting a value-driven, low-code, robotics/machine learning approach makes overcoming the challenge created by legacy systems, data silos, complex cloud and as-a-service journeys, and retiring knowledge workers and knowledge retention more achievable.

A flexible, low-code platform in a single, comprehensive foundation allows organisations to build the workflows and processes that best meet their requirements without being tied to out-of-the-box, hard-coded process structures.

Luke Thomas is Regional Vice President APAC at Appian

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