Using Low-Code to Solve the 3 Biggest Challenges of State and Local Government

Andrew DeSoiza, Director, Public Sector Marketing
November 16, 2021

State and local government agencies in the US are facing heightened demand to address a long-avoided issue: outdated technology. The existing solutions these government organizations rely on are not user friendly, limit collaboration by siloing essential data, and make processes longer and more cumbersome than they need to be. Yet, despite the limitations that result from outdated solutions, it should come as no surprise that only 60% of states have a digital strategy.

Why government organizations aren’t upgrading their tech stacks—and how low-code can help.

Government organizations have delayed implementing new solutions that run critical operations for a multitude of reasons, including cost, time investment, and the capabilities of their workforce. Their outdated solutions pose challenges that have a meaningful impact on the work they do and how efficiently they get that work done. State and local government organizations in particular struggle with outdated technology and lack of funding for modernization.

     

    1. Reliance on legacy technology. 

    State and local governments use disjointed legacy systems that are inflexible, fragile, and unable to scale to meet the demands of new requirements and an increasing number of users. From homegrown systems to heavily customized commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions to patchwork cloud apps, the technologies run the gamut from manual and antiquated to newer yet disconnected. 

Whether legacy, homegrown, or COTS, governments are stuck with inflexible solutions that are costly to amend. Customized processes or pre-built workflows typically make systems invariable and unable to adapt to new requirements as organizational needs change. Gartner predicts that by 2025, over 50% of government agencies will have modernized critical core legacy applications to improve resilience and agility.

How low-code unifies and extends existing legacy technology.

There’s a common misconception that in order to benefit from modern technology, organizations must sunset old solutions and perform a lengthy migration of data to new ones. And this can take time—core solutions can take years to implement, and the benefits aren’t realized until years after that. 

But low-code platforms extend and unify existing legacy solutions, delivering immediate benefits to organizations without a lengthy implementation timeline. And to support these solutions, instead of spending years implementing an all-new ERP system, low-code platforms help rapidly develop applications that are built for unique organizational needs and take just weeks to implement. Unifying and extending existing solutions also helps ease a pain point faced by state and local governments: data silos. 

     

    2. Siloed technology.

    Siloed data is a significant challenge for government departments tasked with improving employee productivity, process efficiency, and information transparency. Data sharing is a basic requirement, not just within a state government department, but across departments, agencies, and public and private partners. According to a survey from Splunk, “53% of public sector IT professionals said they cannot, or were unsure if they could pinpoint problems because their systems were managed in silos.” 

How low-code breaks down silos. 

Low-code platforms build a proverbial bridge between existing solutions that aren’t designed to integrate with each other, making it easier for state and local governments to work more effectively across teams and departments. With a low-code platform, data is accessible in a single-pane-of-glass view, helping to minimize siloed information and improve efficiency.

     

    3. Difficulty migrating data to the cloud.

    Organizations are moving away from investing in the resources required to implement, operate, and manage on-premises systems in favor of cloud-based applications, which enable state and local government organizations to scale as needed. But migrating data to the cloud and implementing new systems can be intimidating. According to the Center for Digital Government’s Digital States Survey, a mere 12% of state respondents and 4% of county respondents said they have moved over half of their systems and applications to the cloud. But fortunately, with low-code technology, progress doesn’t have to be this slow.

How low-code brings cloud technology to government agencies.

Low-code platforms enable government organizations to integrate data from anywhere—no data migration required. Instead, integrated data from existing systems can communicate across the cloud. Low-code allows IT to visualize and illustrate workflows then ramp up design and implementation of those workflows quickly. Once data is in the cloud (whether private, hybrid, or public), it can be containerized for seamless portability throughout the environment.

Low-code for state and local government.

Low-code platforms enable state and local government organizations to improve their bottom line and deliver a positive return on maintenance. They provide technology that saves time, costs less to maintain, and gets more done with fewer resources—all the benefits of modernizing the acquisition experience without having to build from the ground up. By bringing existing solutions together and integrating data, low-code breaks down organizational silos and delivers immediate benefits, maximizing efficiency and ease of use for all government employees. 

To learn more about low-code platforms for state and local government, visit appian.com/government