The U.S. General Accounting Office found that states are facing multiple challenges in modernizing their systems, while at the same time recognizing states’ significant dependency on and the criticality of UI applications. With so much riding on these systems, it is crucial that states demand applications that meet modern standards for Enterprise systems as well as providing long term value for customers and stakeholders.
The following list contains the top 10 requirements you need to consider when developing a modernized system.
Here are the Top 10 considerations to assure your modernization is truly modern:
1. Microservice Architecture. Component based microservice development promotes a sustainable and stable technical architecture while reducing risk. Microservice components are independent modular units, each encapsulating a fundamental business function (claimants, claims, overpayments, etc.). This approach supports iterative, agile development and deployment, as components can be added or integrated throughout the development process (i.e. functionality goes into production faster) as well as to support future system demands. The components are hosted in an ever-expanding library to create different applications, e.g. claimant portal, employer portal, appeals, access control, etc. This approach eliminates the tangled mess of application code that inevitably develops within the tightly coupled, traditional monolithic systems currently being deployed or transferred between states.
2. A Viable, Sustainable Fiscal Model. The perpetual license model has historically been plagued by scenarios where customers installed or imported a single version of a product and continued to use it for a very long time, commonly years past the end of support and usefulness. With a Software as a Service (SaaS) subscription model, the customer can rely upon always having a current, maintained application and service. This vastly decreases support costs for the state while increasing operational cost certainty, as well as transferring the risk of successful deployment to the vendor. The need for large-scale future upgrades is also eliminated as upgrades and support are included in the base subscription. The subscription approach provides the customer (or consortium) with the opportunity to avoid a prohibitive capital expenditure by amortizing the cost of the application over time.
3. Configuration, Not Code. Rather than employing the “one size fits all” approach, advanced configurability options manage the user interface and system operations. Microservices and components are designed from the ground up with scalability and reusability in mind. Business processes, interfaces, and application features are driven through a robust configuration interface, empowering customers to make substantive changes without the need for costly and time consuming programming and change orders.
4. Rules-Driven Business Processes. An intuitive, visual, object-based editor enables authorized agency users to modify and create complex business processes and rules. Once the modifications are tested and approved, the newly modified processes, rules, and templates can be deployed to production without compromising the integrity of the software. Case management services are designed to support the workflow and subsequent modifications caused by changes to regulations, internal processing policies, and improvements. This has the added benefit of decreasing the reliance on and burden to IT resources.
5. Extensibility. Enterprise applications must be designed not only to serve the present but also the future. Extensibility is an inherent design principle that allows the operator to change the system’s behavior without disrupting the entire system. Critical to enabling future growth while cutting risk, abstraction is built into the microservices, domain object models, and user interfaces so they can be extended without affecting the rest of the system.
6. Reporting. Robust reporting is critical when providing accurate, auditable data and information. Empowering users with real-time data and intelligence at their fingertips provides access and transparency to make critical business decisions. Having a system that includes flexible user-driven interfaces to create custom reports and analytics on demand is vital to any modern system.
7. Enterprise Service Bus. UI application deployments are notoriously monolithic, unmanageable, tightly coupled continuous blocks of brittle code. Unlike most “Poured Concrete” UI systems, an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) is a modern application design implementation of a communication layer between loosely coupled code elements. This ESB, incorporated by design, allows for standardization of code across the application domain; loose coupling of system functions, scalability and reliability; as well as advanced mapping and data interchanges to support external applications and data sources.
8. Integrated Change & Version Control. To reduce risk, any modern enterprise application should require that all changes to code go through a fully automated build, test, and provision cycle before being deployed. This process control removes any risk of manual deployment errors and is the only way to achieve the repeatable high-quality output that is critical to the ongoing success of an application. When a major functional change or update is needed, a new release is initiated. This approach supports continuous evolution of the product.
9. Data Migration. Data migration is a critical part of any large-scale modernization project. This is especially true when handling complex historical and highly confidential personal data as is inherent in UI data. Interpreting legacy data and designing the right data architecture takes a deep knowledge of the subject matter and business environment. No system integrator without substantive industry experience can hope to smoothly handle this transition between systems.
10. Legacy Integration. The usefulness of a new application is likely dependent on how well it can integrate with existing data sources and external services and exchanges. This integration is especially critical to the accurate functioning of a UI system and its dependency on third party governmental and private exchanges. Whether legacy systems are discontinued altogether, or an implementation of the new system requires phasing out the legacy systems step-by-step, the methods and approaches to integration reflect the knowledge and experience of the vendor’s teams. It is mandatory that these teams have an in-depth knowledge not only of the application’s operations, but also an unrivaled understanding of UI business operations.
On Point Technology understands that both UI and technology are constantly evolving. By listening to our customers, being responsive to federal and state regulatory changes, and staying abreast of technological advances, we are committed to remaining the leading UI solution provider. Through On Point Technology’s combination of business expertise, software solutions, service delivery, and industry knowledge acquired over decades of service to UI providers, we empower UI programs to operate at their maximum level of efficiency. The OPTimum solution is the latest entry in On Point Technology’s long and successful lineage of UI solutions, supporting the full range of UI operations on an architected, microservice, continuous delivery, best-of-breed software platform.