This content is sponsored by Pegasystems, Inc.
Government computer systems have evolved over decades, with agencies purchasing new capabilities as needed. This long-standing accumulation of off-the-shelf commercial software has led to a merger of siled legacy systems that don’t talk to each other. Agencies therefore struggle to access and bring together data from disparate systems, which affects their ability to accurately report on operations and often requires employees to manually collect and enter data. Agencies need a way to address these issues without undoing the significant investments they have made in these legacy systems.
This is where low-code development comes in. Low Code is designed to empower business users to help design software that can integrate with current systems and wrap new functionality around them, especially automation. Automation can help streamline the data collection and entry process, reducing the risk of manual errors and providing a more complete view across disparate systems.
For example, Office of Management and Budget Circular A-123 requires agencies to assess and report on the effectiveness of their internal control and the risks associated with any discrepancies or misstatements. But these audits require manual intervention to compile all the necessary data from various legacy systems, increasing the risk of human error in the process.
With a low-code development solution, such as Pega Government Platform, agencies can create an application designed to automate their entire risk management assessment and reporting process. This allows them to identify and resolve issues faster and provide greater transparency and visibility across the business.
It can also help agencies achieve readiness goals more easily. For example, defense agencies have made extensive customizations to legacy financial and procurement systems in an effort to make them work within the rules that govern how the agency purchases, pays for, and accounts for equipment. These older, highly customized systems are not agile, so making changes to them is expensive and time-consuming. So even when the service needs to change the number of characters in a part number to accommodate new equipment, those changes are not automatically updated in existing systems. Therefore, an invoice can be generated under a system with nine characters, but the payment system can only accept eight characters, creating a processing error. This error requires manual intervention to resolve, diverting resources from more critical functions. It also creates inaccuracies in inventory reporting, which poses a threat to readiness.
“Agencies need better visibility into their operations so they can prioritize which risks to address first based on their impact on preparedness,” said Cynthia Stuebner, senior and principal director of industry for defense at Pegasystems, Inc. “PGP can help streamline the identification and reporting of these risks, enabling agencies to mitigate them earlier to improve efficiency. »
For example, using PGP, defense agencies could use robotic process automation to automate the addition of the ninth digit in the payment system. This would reduce the need for manual intervention to process the invoice, free up those employees to focus on critical tasks, and allow that data to flow more freely between systems. And if the defense agency wants to create a dashboard to display this risk resolution along with other data, Pega can enable that as well.
“The capability of the software platform can help integration without data mining. It allows agencies to build an app to access data and report discrepancies,” Stuebner said. “It can install on multiple systems, access the required data and combine it into a visual dashboard to facilitate risk assessment and resolution prioritization. Because without real-time views, agencies have no situational awareness of their risk position. »
And the beauty of a low-code platform is that it’s designed to allow the business owner to do all of this, rather than requiring traditional development skills. The interface is visual, which means users can trace the process – like adding a ninth digit to an invoice number – and the code is automatically generated in the background.
“You can insert an automation to solve something as simple as fixing an existing error. Or you can insert an automation to generate a full operational dashboard using PGP to access real-time data. Or you can create a full onboarding layer by pointing to existing legacy systems and create new processes to accommodate changes in regulations or requirements,” Stuebner said. “So you’ve automated remediation, you’ve automated a process and then you get a report that shows you exactly what you’re looking at, so there can be multiple layers of automation inserted into an enterprise environment to account for disparate legacy systems that aren’t connecting because they have been built and heavily customized over time.
And this layered approach to automation is what enables agencies to simultaneously build this continuous enterprise risk management process to improve reporting accuracy and efficiency, while reducing the risk of human error in the process and reducing the burden of manual data entry on its employees. And with low code, all of this can be accomplished without extracting and replacing custom legacy systems that agencies have invested a lot of time and money in.