5 Building Blocks of Government Agility
September 13, 2021 by
When undertaking large digital modernization projects, governments may feel a variety of budgetary and technological pressures. PBCs, or packaged business capabilities, provide governments with the ability to make improvements to their digital services in a way that is both citizen and budget friendly. These smaller units of functionality, described in detail in Three PBC Approaches, can be used to modernize specific components of larger systems.
To capitalize on PBCs, agencies need a solid foundation built on the right technology and government expertise. Below are five critical actions for successful PBC implementation.
1. Find a software development platform that supports PBCs
The optimal platform should support interoperability and portability. These capabilities provide functions unique to composable applications — namely the ability to combine PBCs into a larger application. A solution should also let your organization model the data, define the workflows, and embed security policies associated with creating and managing PBCs.
Look for role-based security tools so agency officials can assign various levels of authorizations to access data and make changes to the information. For example, an internal auditor may see financial information about a program, but not the personal health records of citizens. Finally, the platform should include tools and an infrastructure framework to deploy and manage PBCs.
2. Take advantage of low-code development tools
These tools let seasoned developers and department staff alike use drag-and-drop menus to create new applications. The tools should have the ability to embed an agency’s established security policies into the software and let staff manage the new applications once they’re released to end users.
Low-code solutions accelerate software development and can help reduce work for the programming staff. Low-code solutions also give government officials flexibility around how they approach software development projects. One option is for the vendor of the development platform to work with agencies to define their project needs and then use its team of programmers to create and implement the application. A second, similar option is to hire a systems integrator or other third party to do the hands-on development work. Finally, agencies with enough internal resources can choose to write their own PBCs.
3. Choose platforms hosted in a leading public cloud
Cloud hosting lets agencies easily scale applications as their programs grow. Public clouds provide resiliency and safeguards against data loss or data corruption. Additionally, self-service capabilities provided through the cloud can enable contractors to help governments manage and optimize their services.
4. Evaluate development platform vendors beyond their core technology offerings
The best vendors have long track records in the public sector and offer consulting and development services tailored for government modernization. Vendors should also understand your organization’s existing business processes to ensure the PBC effectively manages the underlying data.
5. Find an ecosystem
Leading development platforms anchor a marketplace of third-party developers who offer PBCs that government organizations can use to create new apps or acquire existing solutions.
These five considerations comprise the building blocks for government agility. Practically speaking, improving digital services to meet rising citizen expectations and improve internal efficiencies doesn’t mean undertaking large-scale, disruptive modernization projects. Agencies should be leveraging PBCs to make incremental improvements for themselves and their constituents. Flexible PBCs and composable applications let public sector officials modernize at their own pace, as staff and budget resources allow.