Consider how many systems your government uses for regular operations – then add new systems you’ve implemented to maintain services during the pandemic. Do those solutions work together, or are they a disorganized, disconnected mess? With purpose-built solutions that are cost-effective to implement at the department level, silos have become an increasingly challenging hurdle for governments.
Luckily, innovation is catching up. Vision33’s eGov General Manager, Derek Porter, recently spoke about government IT’s evolution, the growing challenges of technology silos, and how an integration platform maximizes the value of your technology investments. With a long-term integration strategy, you can get the best of both worlds by connecting legacy systems containing valuable information to new tools with advanced capabilities.
This blog discusses emerging trends in government technology and how an integration platform breaks down inefficient silos in your agency. To hear more about connecting your government technology with an integration platform, watch the on-demand recording of Derek Porter’s 30-minute presentation.
The Evolving Role of Government Technology
“When I speak with Vision33's government customers, IT leaders frequently explain how their role has evolved,” says Porter. “It's not just about purchasing, developing, supporting, and maintaining good technology. Rather, government IT is being asked to enable and empower their business partners – the agencies and departments in government. And they do that through technology and information services.”
The role of government IT and technology professionals has shifted from focusing on back-office tech support to active participation in strategic initiatives. It’s nearly impossible to separate the technology used to offer government services from the business areas that deliver those services. IT must work with every agency unit to make informed decisions about technology solutions and their implementation.
“Government IT is working collaboratively with agencies and departments to better serve citizens. It's evolved,” remarks Porter. “IT professionals have a key role in improving transparency and increasing efficiency – universal goals for governments across North America. IT is no longer in the background. Technology and information services are critical factors in reaching consistently high standards for citizen service.”
Balancing Departmental and Government-Wide Needs
From small municipal governments to large multi-department agencies, it’s a balancing act to simultaneously meet individual unit and overall agency IT needs.
“Government organizations sometimes have hundreds of disparate solutions,” observes Porter. “And the need for that technology was valid. However, when technology solutions can’t talk to each other, agencies sometimes revert to manual processes. This negates efficiencies gained by new technology.”
Even before the pandemic, businesses were shifting to cloud-based, purpose-built solutions that are cost-effective, rapidly deployed, and highly tailored for niche functions. The sudden increase in citizens working and accessing public services remotely has accelerated that shift. While such solutions offer advantages for individual departments managing new demands, they also increase challenges regarding technology silos and integration complexities.
“Even with purpose-built solutions being more affordable and easier to implement, you still need to maximize that investment through integrations,” explains Porter. “Technology and information silos have always been a concern of government IT leaders. But adopting cloud-based, purpose-built solutions – while solving real business pain points – requires a strategic integration approach. Otherwise, silo challenges increase dramatically.”
What Is an Integration Platform, and How Does It Help?
“An integration platform as a service (iPaaS) is a cloud platform for building and deploying integrations,” states Porter. “With iPaaS, users can develop integration flows that connect apps residing in the cloud or on-premise and then deploy them without installing or managing any hardware or middleware.”
An integration platform uses connectors to make systems work together. The platform creates links between core business applications so data can travel and synchronize between them. Instead of building, maintaining, and supporting multiple point-to-point integrations, an iPaaS handles integrations for you.
“At Vision33, we've developed connectors between permitting systems and payment processors using our iPaaS, Saltbox,” comments Porter. “Saltbox ensures that citizens who go online to submit permits can also pay online. It seems like an obvious connection, but if you don’t build and maintain that integration, you diminish the value of your permitting system.”
Porter says, “Many governments are facing a budget shortfall and must learn to do more with less. They’re tackling this by implementing iPaaS solutions to address long-term integration needs. Integration platforms connect innovative purpose-built solutions, reduce technical debt, provide new value from legacy systems and their historical data, and give time back to your IT team so they can focus on higher-priority issues.”
Learn More About Maximizing Your Tech Investments With an Integration Platform
Working in the public sector comes with expectations to maximize the value of every investment. And although your constraints vary from those in the private sector, your citizens still want the same level of service they get from private companies. We understand because we’ve been helping government agencies manage these challenges for over 20 years.
At Vision33, we have over 100 technology consultants with firsthand government experience, and we’ve been a partner on over 55 government technology platform implementations. Our experienced eGovernment team thrives on finding the right-fit solution for any public sector challenge. Watch this on-demand presentation recording to hear more from Vision33 eGov General Manager, Derek Porter, about the challenges and benefits of integrating your government technology solutions and using an integration platform to break down the silos that limit your agency’s efficiency.