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Public Sector Cloud Strategies Could Break Down Operational Silos

Joshua Hoffman
July 9, 2015

Cloud application development is giving government organizations new opportunities to leverage advanced technologies and services on an everyday basis. However, simply moving apps into the cloud isn't enough to disrupt processes in a positive way. Business process management solutions are evolving to not only help public sector agencies streamline operationsbut also give them access to application development platforms that help them quickly customize cloud apps to meet their specific demands.

Using the cloud to fuel operational excellence in the public sector

According to a recent GCN report highlighting efforts being made in the USDA, many government agencies have begun to embrace the cloud, but they often end up creating solutions that are incredibly similar to one another and redundant.

Chad Sheridan, CIO of the USDA's Risk Management Agency, told the news source that operations would be much simpler if the agency was gathering a single set of data once and then put it to use.However, different agencies are all gathering similar information using different apps and services when it would be better to collect a common set of information once and share it. However, current app development structures are not allowing such efficiency.

Sheridan suggested a solution. He told GCN that there is only a difference of approximately 3 percent. If the government were to focus on housing apps on a common architecture, they could then access those apps and customize them to get that 3 percent difference. This could save everybody a great deal of development work, make it easier to share data across organizational boundaries and otherwise break down traditional operational silos.

Joe Paiva, CIO at the International Trade Administration, said the ITA is already working on such efforts, and effective development can prove instrumental in driving success.

BPM tools can fuel app customization

The concept of sharing common app architectures and customizing off of that foundation offers considerable potential within organizational cloud ecosystems. BPM solutions can simplify this process. By acting as an application development platform, BPM tools give users the ability to leverage low-code functionality to quickly customize apps and services. BPM solutions will allow you to quickly customize data workflows to match processes, fine-tune GUIs to improve the end-user experience and ensure that the cloud apps users are leveraging meet their operational demands in the most efficient way possible. Low-code development methods could serve as exactly what the public sector needs to adapt to common app architectures that are shared across organizational boundaries.