Mike Ellis, Managing Director of Finworks, discusses the value of workflow and data management within digital ecosystems when transforming services
Connecting processes by building and optimising digital ecosystems can drive transformation in organisations, enhance operations and improve outcomes. Ecosystems can come in different forms, but the constant elements are communication and transparency. The need for optimising ecosystems can occur when implementing case or workflow management platforms that replace manual processes. Government departments have sophisticated interdepartmental processes and communicate with third-party suppliers or agencies. The successful implementation of systems that digitise these processes requires embedding the platform in daily work routines as well as connecting with other IT systems. With data management platforms, the current opinion is that success is achieved through centralised management within a largely dispersed data ecosystem. Truly delivering transformation requires data management that optimises reliably and inspires complete confidence, with the peace of mind that you have the audit trail of every change in the data.
Finworks is the Big Data and Workflow division of Fincore Limited. Fincore is a privately owned company in business for 25 years, serving banks, governments, industrials, and health and pharma sectors. Finworks provides two software products on a low code platform that have a low cost of entry and are delivered via a SaaS delivery model. Both the workflow platform and the data management platform can achieve digital transformation.
Creating robust ecosystems in Government
Our long-term partnerships with central government departments have demonstrated the value of a platform that can deal with real-world problems by improving workflows and handling processes. For mission-critical deployments, onboarding requires experience and planning to embed digital communication flows. Over time, platform agility is required to ensure that it can fully and securely connect with new systems as they are introduced. As contracts change, it is essential to have the ability to onboard suppliers quickly, easily and with little training. Mature ecosystems still require adaptability, so platforms can be configured in response to policy changes, regulatory changes and more stringent cyber security needs. Also, as more and more processes are digitised in the ecosystem, scalability and reliability are necessary to deliver maximum up-time.
For the UK Home Office, the government department responsible for immigration, counterterrorism, police, drugs policy, and related science and research, 22,000 documents are created and over 100,000 transactions on the system take place monthly. Besides improving workflow efficiency, the Home Office digital ecosystem improves working relationships with suppliers and partners and reduces operational costs due to automated data processes and department-wide efficiency.
Digitising manual processes
New partnerships have confirmed that products with flexibility and configurability can be an asset in implementing new digital products. Our case management system has replaced work practices that were previously done manually and subject to collaborative working often under periods of intense pressure. To meet legal requirements, role and field-based permissions are needed in a user-defined workflow process that is fully auditable. This promotes accountability and ensures that any changes are known and checked. Trust in the platform is established through a consistent framework that allows users to track changes in data, upload supporting evidence and receive guidance on how to best fill out the information on records. In these newly digitised ecosystems, support and transparency are best achieved through the ability to provide fine-tuned assistance to users when they most need it, allow different communication forms within records, and have adaptable notifications throughout the process. The focus on change management is particularly important in transforming processes into new digitised ecosystems. We have found the following to be key to engaging stakeholders and managing the change to the new platform:
- Using experienced staff in the project planning.
- Ensuring time for user testing and training to secure buy-in.
- Communication of project goals and changes.
- Demonstrating support by adjusting and developing the solution to meet expectations.
Making data a valued asset
Turning to data management in the public sector, Data Fabric is a term used to refer to tools and infrastructure that aid in the interplay of large data ecosystems. In our view, Data Fabric represents the tools needed to turn your data into your organisation’s most valuable asset but to do so reliably, consistently, cost effectively, and with full auditability. Data Fabric has the capability to manage the ingestion, validation, cleansing, and transformation of multiple sources of data to ensure the quality of the data that is being passed on for further processing, insight, and decision-making. The crucial element is to create a central repository of metadata about the data in your ecosystem. Often you may need to perform some collation or transformation of the relevant data to then feed onward systems with data for onward consumption or further analysis. We have customers ingesting up to 1,000 data sources and up to 50 million record updates per day. Data Fabric allows our customers to cleanse, validate and monitor the data coming in and appropriately alert the team to issues before the risk of polluting downstream systems. There is real value to our customers in knowing that the correct data is being ingested in a timely manner.
Making transformation succeed
There are key elements that lead to success in transformation projects which we have found through Finworks project work with mature and newly created digital ecosystems. To be successful, platforms need to be able to be interoperable with new systems or government partners and easily add additional data sources to create greater insight with agility
and cost-effectiveness. By setting achievable goals and including change management principles, many transformation projects can help ensure you don’t lose the confidence of users and stakeholders, which can be very difficult to recover. To meet the needs of distributed teams working remotely, platforms that will be successfully embedded in their ecosystem have instant and reliable connectivity and interoperability with underlying cybersecurity that is robust.
Successful digital products for government organisations are configurable by end-users, remain agile over time, boost communication and monitoring and allow transparent collaboration. Here are the top three ways that digitally integrated ecosystems drive value:
- Ensuring repeatability of key processes through automation.
- Higher-quality output due to digitisation.
- Lower cost due to digital transformation.
Finworks platform allows users to make use of what they discover about their data by increasing their exposure to new and different approaches that might help them to identify efficiencies, improve processes and automate workflows. Our powerful, easy to deploy software enables you to continuously gather, manage, question, and learn from all the data available to you, and make significant ongoing improvements as a result. Finworks is pleased to offer our workflow and data platforms to the public sector via G-cloud and RM6100 (TS3) frameworks.
Please note: This is a commercial profile
© 2019. This work is licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND.
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