IBM Municipal Shared Services Cloud offers government agencies the opportunity to lower IT costs while improving performance, security and services.
In lean times, government agencies at every level are striving to balance the need to provide better services, work more efficiently and reduce costs. But outdated technology and poorly integrated IT systems represent a major stumbling block to accomplishing those goals. To help overcome those issues, IBM Research Services—a partnership between IBM Research and Global Technology Services (GTS)—is working with state and local agencies to migrate IT operations to a cloud environment, offering a wide range of fully integrated and secure IT services for all levels of government.
The IBM Municipal Shared Services Cloud provides a platform for sharing information and event distribution. Using the IBM Municipal Shared Services Cloud allows agencies to pay only for the IT applications they use, freeing them from the capital investment and ongoing financial obligations associated with maintaining and upgrading in-house IT operations. And because the IBM Municipal Shared Services Cloud provides a flexible mix of seamlessly integrated service options, agencies can quickly and easily respond to changing constituent needs and legal requirements. In addition, the IBM Municipal Shared Services Cloud provides agencies with the means to analyze their data in sophisticated and transparent ways.
Configuring the cloud environment
The IBM Municipal Shared Services Cloud is built on IBM Research’s Pangoo platform, an IT architecture designed to run multiple simultaneous applications in a secure environment. Applications are configured around an information hub, allowing data- and event-sharing among all applications. When a new application is deployed, it uses the application programming interfaces (APIs) and guidelines stored in the hub to interact and coordinate with the other applications as needed. At the same time, each application maintains a private database that enables it to run as an independent service when desired.
Data sharing and collaboration
Currently, government agency data is usually managed and owned by individual departments, which can stymie cooperation between units and slow response to citizen needs. Leveraging the cloud environment to improve application integration can give government managers an overall view of agency operations, issues and services. For instance, when a tax assessment is recalculated, that information automatically populates multiple locations, such as the tax collection database, municipal services budget database, and human resources database. By automating this process rather than relying on manual updates, governments can realize significant savings. In one example, a local municipality is saving about $31,900 a year.
Improving security and transparency
In recent years, security and transparency have become paramount issues for both business and government. The IBM Municipal Shared Services Cloud provides a robust layer of systems management software and tools to help restrict data misuse and centralize identity and access control policies. In addition to autonomous security policies and procedures, the cloud environment provides virtualized storage for better inventory, control and tracking of master data, eliminating information fragmentation and redundancy.
Enhancing community services
In a First-of-a-Kind project, IBM is working with two local government organizations—the New York State Conference of Mayors and the Michigan Municipal League—to help boost their operational IT effectiveness, improve accountability and transparency, and deliver integrated services to citizens. Citizens accessing the offerings provided through the IBM Municipal Shared Services Cloud can log on and select services from an online menu, including finding information on tax assessments, building permits and other land parcel-related topics. Migrating to the cloud ecosystem is helping provide the groups with the flexibility to quickly respond to citizens’ needs with Web-based services, as well as the ability to integrate data from multiple sources and the tools to analyze it.
Providing smarter healthcare
In San Diego County, California, IBM Research Services is working with the Sharp Community Medical Group to implement IBM Research’s cloud-based Collaborative Care Solution as part of a health information exchange designed to connect the medical group’s physicians throughout the county and help provide deep insight into improving patient care. The system provides advanced health analytics technology to cull through vast amounts of patient data and identify trends and patterns that can help in the management of chronic diseases such as hypertension or diabetes.
Meeting competitive challenges with municipal cloud services
The IBM Municipal Shared Services Cloud is providing an innovative way to help municipal governments lower their costs while improving IT performance, security and collaboration and expanding Web-based services for citizens and officials. As a leader in the forefront of cloud technology, IBM is working with government organizations around the globe in using the cloud ecosystem to help improve their IT operations and achieve their economic and societal goals.
For more information contact IBM Research Services today.