State and local governments (SLGs) are taking a page from Federal Cloud First and Cloud Smart modernization initiatives to sunset legacy systems and migrate to the cloud. Modernization efforts have been a top priority for over a decade, with cloud first appearing on NASCIO’s State CIO Top Ten priorities list in 2010 and making the list ever since.

While the pandemic affected agency modernization roadmaps differently, with some accelerating their migration efforts and others putting a pause on modernization initiatives, a new survey from MeriTalk and TeamDynamix of state and local government IT decision makers found that 92 percent of respondents have new cloud investments planned for 2022. Cybersecurity and an improved citizen experience are top of mind for leaders across state and local governments, pushing technology teams to modernize quickly.

The push to modernize has never been more important. That same “Modernizing State and Local Legacy Applications With Cloud” survey found that 96 percent of decision-makers believe critical infrastructures are at risk due to legacy applications, and 47 percent have had a digital or citizen service modernization project fail, get delayed, or get downgraded because an associated legacy system or application couldn’t support it.

The Path to Modernization

The path to the cloud can be daunting for agency technology teams. Modernization complexities exist around everything from migrating siloed, disconnected data to managing legacy tools that were built using point-to-point integrations.

Technology teams may also struggle with limited budgets and resources to modernize effectively and efficiently. In fact, attendees at the 2021 Digital Communities Large City/County CIP Summit said the top impediment to modernization is staff capacity. Because of this, many agencies may delay modernization projects in favor of the legacy systems because staff are comfortable with the legacy tools.

SLG technology leaders can overcome some of these barriers by leveraging a core integration and automation platform, which helps agencies overcome data, process, and workflow challenges that arise when migrating to the cloud.

Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) – a Foundation for Digital Transformation

One of the biggest challenges for agencies migrating to the cloud is how to manage the data and all of the integration points. There typically aren’t enough resources to rebuild each integration point or automation using APIs and scripts. For this reason, many are adopting Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) to automate the mundane and save time.

With iPaaS, applications across an entire ecosystem – regardless of if they are on-premises or in the cloud – can be easily connected to help synchronize data and create workflows to prevent manual processing and redundant data entry. Agencies can deploy and maintain integrations using a single hub.  From there, they can build automations on the hub to connect various systems – for instance, connect Tyler to DocuSign to an old legacy ERP. Low code platforms like TeamDynamix iPaaS are emerging as easy to use, low cost solutions to manage integrations and automate work in one place without the need for highly technical developers.

With iPaaS, agencies can leverage a modern integration & automation platform:

  • Migrate, transform, and harmonize data when implementing new solutions
  • Integrate disparate systems with a single hub
  • Build workflows between legacy environments and new cloud solutions
  • Solve integration debt without burning through development resource time
  • Combat Resource, Budget Limitations with a Low Code iPaaS Platform

How iPaaS Can Accelerate Modernization

According to the MeriTalk and TeamDynamix study, 30 percent of state and local government IT decision makers are looking to accelerate cloud adoption via iPaaS in 2022. In so doing, they will reap benefits above and beyond software-as-a-service implementation.

For example, the integration platform can connect disparate tech stacks across multiple divisions. This connectivity provides the backbone for modernization efforts.

In addition, iPaaS reduces integration building time by up to 90 percent with a library of pre-built connectors. This saves time and money, enabling agencies to reallocate those resources to activities that directly support agency priorities such as improved customer service.

Once systems are connected, automations are created using a codeless drag-and-drop interface, giving technology teams the ability to connect new applications without requiring extensive development. Once again, this saves time and money over the traditional process of using point-to-point integrations, application programming interfaces, PowerShell scripts, and ETL utilities to move data and create automation. This traditional process creates an enormous drain on IT because it requires deep technical expertise. With iPaaS, even non-technical personnel can create workflows.

iPaaS in Action

With iPaaS, agencies can easily integrate data between various systems and build workflows from one application to another. This could happen from within a IT service management platform (ITSM), or it could be something run completely outside of ITSM. For example, agencies can build a workflow that would initiate from a service ticket requesting to onboard a new employee. The ticket would indicate the role and hiring manager. From there, the workflow can automatically generate a record in the Active Directory, new user accounts can be set up in various systems such as MUNIS, Workday, Office365 and more, and relevant notifications can be sent, such as a request to create an access badge.

Government agencies are taking many paths to modernization, but the one thing they all have in common is that they are all looking for ways to be more efficient and effective. To read more about how state and local governments are addressing modernization needs with iPaaS and other as-a-service solutions, check out:

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