Governments are overwhelmed balancing consumer expectations, aging workforce, regulations, rapid technology change and fiscal deficits. This blog gathers a community of SMEs who discuss trends and outline how public sector organizations can leverage relevant best practices to drive their software-led transformation and build the future of technology – today!

November 15, 2018

The 'modular' future for HHS and the industry

The annual ISM conference held in Seattle this year was well attended, as usual. What was not usual was the tone of the sessions. This year the discussions shifted away from how vendors have new technology and solutions for the future to how States can improve operational efficiencies.  For example, using 'Pilot' counties, training, communication and site readiness for a modular roll out. The focus was on how to build in small (modular) increments, and more importantly, on how to roll out in small increments.

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October 15, 2018

6 factors that can make or break a mainframe re-hosting initiative

Mainframes are fast, reliable and tightly integrated machines where applications, databases and other components work seamlessly to support critical business processes.

However, despite being powerful performers, many organizations are looking to move away from these systems because of cost pressures, a shortage of the right skill-sets, the difficulty in addressing the digital imperative and other challenges.

Re-hosting is a popular approach that organizations adopt to modernize their mainframe. This approach allows organizations to emulate core functionality on an on-premise or a cloud-based system built on Unix/Linux or Windows platform.

Ideally, re-hosting shouldn't change the code or the functionality and should offer better performance levels at a lower cost. However, there have been many instances where re-hosting projects have failed completely or did not deliver the desired value.

Having analyzed multiple re-hosting programs - both successful and unsuccessful - I found the following six key factors which can make or break a re-hosting initiative.

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October 11, 2018

Key takeaways from ISM 2018: Post-technology technology in the age of Digital

The annual American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) IT Solutions Management (ISM) conference was recently held in Seattle, Washington. ISM brings together leaders from Federal, State, Local government and the Industry to exchange ideas on emerging trends and imperatives impacting HHS agencies. The past few years have seen discussions around modularity, agile implementation and best-practices related to health and social program management. This year things were different. The focus had shifted.

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September 12, 2018

Successfully navigating Child Welfare Information System modernization

The Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System (CCWIS) rules (81 FR 35449) went into effect on August 1, 2016. States had until July 31, 2018 to declare the intent to create a CCWIS. As of August 1, 2018, 46 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have declared to become a CCWIS.

As stated in the regulations, it is not required to move to a CCWIS, but the overwhelming majority of States are doing so. I believe successful navigation to the CCWIS requires consideration of Policy, Process, and Technology. Let me elaborate.

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May 26, 2018

Modernizing Legacy IT into IT of the Future: Part 4 - Managing modern systems

In part 1 of this series, I discussed the key characteristics of modern IT systems and the various approaches for building such systems - Re-host, Re-write/Reengineer, Replace, Retain.

In part 2, I outlined how to understand the legacy system better and how to select the right modernization approach.

In part 3, I listed the various factors that should be considered by an agency as it chooses a modernization approach and how should such a complex program be executed and tested.

In this last part, I'll discuss how to deploy modern systems, the importance of having a comprehensive change management plan for successful adoption, and how should agencies manage these modern systems.

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May 25, 2018

Modernizing Legacy IT into IT of the Future: Part 3 - Planning, executing & testing a modernization program

In part 1 of this series, I discussed the key characteristics of modern IT systems and the various approaches for building such systems - Re-host, Re-write/Reengineer, Replace, Retain.

In part 2, I outlined how to understand the legacy system better and how to select the right modernization approach. 

In this blog, I'll discuss the various factors that should be considered by an agency as it chooses a modernization approach, and how should such a program be executed and tested.

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May 24, 2018

Modernizing Legacy IT into IT of the Future: Part 2 - Understanding legacy systems

In part 1 of this series, I discussed the key characteristics of modern IT systems and the various approaches for building such systems - Re-host, Re-write/Reengineer, Replace, Retain. 

In this blog, I'll discuss how can an agency understand its legacy system better and how should it choose the right 'R' to modernize it.

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May 23, 2018

Modernizing Legacy IT into IT of the Future: Part 1- Key characteristics of IT systems of the future

Over the last few months, I have had multiple discussions with many of our public sector clients about legacy modernization. Almost everyone is aware of the different approaches that can be used to build modern systems. However, everyone had different thoughts on when to choose a particular approach and how to execute it.

I thought of summarizing all our views and creating a reference document that agencies can use when they plan their modernization journey.

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March 1, 2018

How technology can help solve the Opioid crisis

Recent developments have finally provided funding to address the Opioid crisis. It is important to recognize that the crisis is a policy problem that will be solved with programs and people. But, technology can be an enabler to identify those at risk, define and execute the right interventions, and measure effectiveness of those interventions.

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February 19, 2018

Why AI in Social Programs is Inevitable (and a Good Thing)

There has been some press about predictive analytics in social programs, child welfare in particular. Predictive analytics can be defined as a simple application of artificial intelligence (AI): the system is given enough data and enough rules to figure out (in the case of child welfare) what children are at risk and when an intervention should be made.

The results have been incremental but this is also a technology in its infancy. As you move from analytic to true AI and a larger data set, you can predict more accurately.  

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