Data transfer in the cloud

INDUSTRY INSIGHT

Struggling with IT modernization? Get to know iPaaS

According to an April 2021 Government Accountability Office report, federal agencies plan to spend over $100 billion this fiscal year on IT -- most of which will be used to operate and maintain existing and legacy systems.

The reasons that a large portion of technology budgets are still spent on legacy IT are complex. Issues like integration, compatibility and overwhelming up-front costs act as barriers. In many cases, though, we have tools to overcome these challenges.  

The integration platform-as-a-service model has created a cost-effective way to simplify IT management. iPaaS offers a cloud service for application, data, process and service-oriented architecture integration that supports cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-on-premises and on-premises-to-on-premises scenarios. It allows for real-time integration and scales to meet the high-volume demands of mobile, extract and other technical environments.

As government IT leaders develop modernization plans, leveraging integration platforms and adopting the iPaaS model will create a more connected government experience in spite of cloud complexity -- and will allow non-technical workers to support integrations and improve citizen engagement.

Managing a complex cloud world

As agencies continue to embrace cloud solutions, there’s an increasingly critical need to look at integration in a new way. Each cloud application an agency uses likely has an important function -- from supporting new employees to providing data to citizens. But often these functions and the data they house overlap, and the various applications can’t connect. For example, an agency may use different software in each of its departments, but whether the software is an HR tool, customer relationship management platform or a financial program, there are functions that should connect.

IT leaders must manage how information moves among software systems, so bringing together data with integration platforms can help them optimize, rationalize and connect application portfolios. iPaaS ensures a reliable, real-time data exchange between applications and databases with secure and reliable integrations that streamline processes and minimize complexity so federal agencies can meet their IT and administrative goals.

Leveraging fewer technical workers in IT roles

One of the other challenges government faces when it comes to modernization is the demand for technical talent. iPaaS can provide a low-code interaction that empowers non-technical workers to accomplish many of the tasks normally reserved for their more-technical peers.

Low code means integration and application development can be done without manual coding, offering a visual and user-friendly environment where users can configure applications. Agencies and systems integrators can connect systems quickly, flexibly and at lower cost using a low-code/no-code approach.

By empowering non-technical team members to support integrations and accelerate digital transformation, agencies can deliver on mission priorities faster. As the integration process becomes simpler through the use of iPaaS, agencies can reduce the number of technical employees needed to integrate systems manually, dedicating more staff to focusing on complex IT needs.

Simplifying the citizen experience

Many applications reach citizens directly and can be the first line of communication an individual has with an agency. Having to navigate disparate systems that don’t seem to communicate, receiving different results for the same request and needing to input the same personal details multiple times creates a frustrating citizen experience.

iPaaS simplifies citizen engagement, connecting applications and data sources to improve systems that may need to communicate with other agency departments as well as state and local entities, hospitals and insurance providers, ensuring information is made available seamlessly regardless of the original source.

Government organizations must be able to confidently access information to make strategic decisions and operate efficiently, while providing a better, more seamless and connected user experience.

As government IT leaders look to improve interactions with both employees and citizens, iPaaS and integration platforms offer the necessary operational efficiency and ease of use to support innovative applications and modernization initiatives.

About the Author

Joseph Flynn is public sector CTO at Boomi.

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