Government IT departments (federal, state and local) have the opportunity of a lifetime to revolutionize the delivery of online services for citizens. Digital innovation in the private sector has caused citizens to now anticipate the same quality of excellence from government agencies.
As Gov Tech News recently reported, public sector IT leaders have stated that modernization has been difficult due to tight budgets, but the push for cost-efficient cloud technology is still on the rise.
A prime example of a government providing the next era of digital service for its citizens is the State of Colorado (USA). In this blog we will tell the story of how Colorado transformed its healthcare application services for its citizens via Salesforce and MuleSoft.
We will also briefly share about how file exchange technology is going through a maturing phase and how this affects governments pursuing digital transformation.
Colorado Embraces Cloud and API-Led Connectivity for Online Services
According to this case study by MuleSoft, when the federal government passed the Affordable Care Act, the State of Colorado voted to build its own healthcare marketplace instead of adopting the federal system. Additionally, the state’s Medicaid coverage greatly increased. To make sure all citizens had access to the expanded coverage by October 1st, 2013, Colorado needed to have a new online marketplace up and running within 6 months – a task easier said than done.
Colorado’s previous system for processing Medicaid applications would take days for citizens to find out eligibility; this was because employees had to manually re-enter application info in a separate database to determine eligibility. The state needed to improve this disconnected service in order to keep up with a 200% increase in applications without hiring additional employees.
The solution was to move its existing system, PEAK, to Salesforce’s Force.com platform where citizens could have a single citizen platform for engagement and easily find the services they need. To reduce the manual re-entering of information and provide results in real-time, the state needed a way to quickly integrate its PEAK system running on Salesforce with data in other internal and external systems. The government chose MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform as its “backbone to enable communication with other critical systems.”
MuleSoft allows Colorado to speed up integration by utilizing API-led connectivity – “a methodical way to connect data to applications through reusable and purposeful APIs.” With MuleSoft and Salesforce, Colorado was able to build and deliver the connected platform for its citizens on schedule to enable easy access to the expanded healthcare services.
Pearlman, Shana. (2018) What is API-led Connectivity?
The state now processes double the monthly Medicaid applications per month (from 30,000 to 60,000) without any additional employees. The state has received multiple awards for their work on this project and has become a thought leader in the public sector for digital transformation.
“We are a cloud first, mobile first and API first state. We are constantly looking for opportunities where we can use technology to provide enterprise level services to our citizens. MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform and Salesforce enables us to make that vision a reality,” stated Michael Brown, Deputy CTO for the State of Colorado.
File Exchange: The Next Phase in Government Digital Transformation
A key part of online government communications that is going through a major maturing phase is file exchange processes with stakeholders and citizens. Many governments are still using outdated file transfer servers (FTP, legacy MFT) that are burdening IT and users with the following issues:
- Expensive on-premises servers that are cumbersome and difficult to manage
- Poor security due to weak encryption and no ongoing malware scanning
- Lack of audit trail for viewing flow of file activity across all systems
- Inflexible connectivity with integration platforms
- Tangled processes for onboarding and managing file exchange connections with stakeholders
As governments continue to modernize services with cloud and integration solutions, it is vital to make sure that file exchange solutions (ad hoc and system-to-system) are secure, traceable, and provide flexible integration via APIs across all critical systems (integration platforms like MuleSoft, CRMs, ERPs, government FTP servers).
To find out how your government organization can provide a “next-generation” file exchange platform for citizens and stakeholders, download Thru’s latest white paper → Managed File Transfer for the Extended Enterprise.
This digital era taking place right now is the most exciting time for government IT departments to bring about valuable change. Sophisticated governments like the State of Colorado are setting a strong example of what it means to use technology to improve engagement with citizens and stakeholders. Furthermore, this time of digital change is an important time for governments to reexamine their file exchange processes to improve agility, efficiency and security for online services.