IBM unveiled a new software platform designed to fundamentally change the way that local, state and national governments manage and deliver services to the public.
The new IBM Government Industry Framework will help agencies of all sizes use new technologies to transform their existing support and delivery processes, allowing them to more efficiently deploy limited resources and respond more quickly to everything from public emergencies to the delivery of social services. The Framework is a base software platform that is enriched by the contributions of independent software developers who use it as a foundation to build unique applications that address particular issues across government.
Globally, challenges such as changing demographics, security concerns and lower tax revenues are placing unprecedented demands on the government infrastructures that deliver vital services such as social services, healthcare, education and public safety. Demographics show that cities and municipalities in particular are experiencing a population explosion of new residents, placing additional strain on governments to meet the needs of its constituencies. At the heart of IBM’s business transformation strategy is the recognition that the increasingly instrumented world and the boundless possibilities offered by technology can help all organizations, including government, reach new levels of efficiency. In all of this, the traditional definition of "workstation" has been expanded to include hand-held devices that enable workers to connect remotely with their colleagues and interact with sensors, video and other information gathering technology embedded in everything from buildings and machines to vehicles, traffic signals and utilities.
Just as businesses have strengthened their focus on customers, governments are now finding success in reorienting their structures, information technology and processes around the citizens they serve. For example, Alameda County Social Services Agency (Alameda SSA) is using the new framework as the basis for a first-of-its-kind system for real-time client overviews and activities. The Alameda Social Services Integrated Reporting System (SSIRS) will also help identify fraud within the system by redirecting funding from individuals taking advantage of the process, to families in need of the government safety net of benefits. Using this system, which combines software, hardware and services, Alameda SSA expects to realize $11 million in benefits by improving eligibility determination, managing non-compliance sanctions, and detecting and deterring fraud.
"For the first time we can see into our client activities to help them meet our (federal, state and county) rules for receiving benefits, or redirect funds to families that need our help much more rapidly," said Don Edwards, Deputy Agency Director of Alameda Social Services Agency. "This milestone demonstrates that states and counties can securely verify that their records reflecting client cases are correct and can be shared. The ability to connect and exchange appropriate common client information will enhance the stability and well-being of our children, adults or elderly, and their families."
Governments can expect similar benefits in other parts of their operations. For example, the framework can be deployed to better manage traffic congestion. By improving the flow of information and the processes that trigger the deployment of resources, vehicles can be re-routed as problems arise. Similarly, the advanced technology contained in the framework can improve communications and resource allocation among first-responders in emergency situations.
Framework Supports Five Key Areas in Government
The strain on government resources is broad and growing; IBM’s new Government Industry Framework offers the technologies to meet these demands centered around five key areas faced by every government:
- Tax and Revenue Management: Using business intelligence to improve insight and elevate performance with visibility and control.
- Safety and Security: Improving border security, public safety, and emergency response through intelligence and collaboration.
- Social Services and Social Security: Optimizing citizen-centered experiences by simplifying access to health and human services programs with a focus on improving outcomes.
- Integrated Urban Infrastructures: Creating smarter cities that are operationally efficient, safer, more comfortable and sustainable with effective management of resources.
- Metropolitan Transportation and Roads: Helping build smarter, multi-modal transportation systems to collectively optimize capacity, reduce congestion, and improve operational efficiency, security and safety.
"IBM has decades of experience working with various government entities worldwide and understands the need for a unified approach that helps maximize limited budgets, while meeting a demand for services that has never been greater," said Gerry Mooney, IBM General Manager for Global Government and Education. "We are bringing that expertise to a single integrated platform that can now connect different agency teams for real-time views that span the entire government structure, allowing for a quicker, more targeted response as situations of all kinds emerge."
The IBM Government Industry Framework is the software technology backbone that makes a wide range of government solutions possible by helping clients to build an integrated platform for all of their operations based on industry standards. This new framework utilizes elements of IBM’s entire software portfolio including WebSphere, Rational, Tivoli, Lotus and Information Management products while leveraging the full range of IBM server and storage products.
Today’s announcement represents another example of IBM’s portfolio of industry solutions and frameworks to its industry leading portfolio. Industry frameworks provide a configurable platform to accelerate deployment of business solutions. They extend IBM’s SOA middleware with industry-specific capabilities and specially designed process templates. IBM industry solutions and industry ISV solutions build on the value provided by these industry frameworks to deliver a unique, end-to-end solution for each client.
The IBM Government Industry Framework helps smarter governments to improve services to their citizens at a lower cost with reduced risk while laying the foundation to build future sustainable dynamic Infrastructure.
This latest offering from IBM is backed by the new Industry Framework Business Partner Validation Program for Government, which will oversee and support partner activity in generating government software solutions. Third-party software application developers will have open access to the base platform contained in the Framework, allowing them to customize their own software to work with this technology. In all, IBM has more than 42,000 registered independent software vendors, many of whom develop applications that fit government needs.
One way in which IBM identifies these companies is through its Venture Capital Group, which works with more than 120 leading venture capital firms to make it easier for startups, which typically have limited resources, to gain marketplace exposure and focus their attention on their core talents. As a result, many of these startups have been able to enter partnerships with IBM business units and industries that they would not have otherwise been capable of achieving.
IBM is already working with a number of key ISVs in the industry for validated solutions for the Government Industry Framework. For example, Curam Software, a leading provider of social enterprise management solutions, providing case management and eligibility to Social Services Agencies, has been one of the first partners to be validated on this framework.
"The Government Industry Framework brings together IBM’s broad software repertoire under one integrated platform," said Ernie Connon, president, Curam Software. "By coupling our citizen-centric solution for social services with IBM’s flexible technology backbone, agencies will finally have access to a solution that is easy to start, easy to manage & secure, and easy to grow so that they can provide positive outcomes for those they serve."