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Big Cloud for Small Government

Oracle has been working with small and medium-sized cities to provide affordable solutions designed to spark the digital transformation of core business processes.

by Peter Pirnejad, Oracle / January 1, 2019

Small-town America. These words can conjure up bucolic images, from a local courthouse nestled in a Vermont autumn scene to a winding highway cutting through, dare we say, those amber waves of grain.

But if you’re a city manager in charge of IT operations, there may be little charm and even less beauty in the current state of your IT operations. In fact, your town or county government is most likely trying to move away from decades-old technology such as on-premises data centers, clunky software, and finance and HR processes that resemble photos from your local county history museum.

Many small and midsized cities running on aging legacy applications have a need to replace their outdated and high-maintenance legacy systems. With the recent rise in cloud adoption and its associated benefits, CFO’s and city managers are actively considering or even planning their migration path to the cloud for core applications supporting finance and HR.

You might think that cloud computing is for big cities or large government agencies with a taxpayer mandate to spend for modernization. But at Oracle, we’ve been working with small and medium-sized cities to provide affordable solutions designed to spark the digital transformation of your core business processes. And our applications are “cloud-native,” built deliberately to reap the cost savings, flexibility and innovation that the cloud offers.

From the statehouse to city hall, the journey to modernize starts with the cloud. Often, it is those back-office functions hosted in the cloud that can set the foundation for a total cloud platform. Agencies can rapidly be poised to reap the benefits of new technology like predictive analytics, chatbots, and mobile apps, all possessing security features made possible through modern advancements in cybersecurity.

Consider these scenarios:

Given the need for budgetary accuracy across your organization, imagine running your accounting, financial planning and analysis (FP&A) and governance in a cloud-based ERP system. Instantly pull narrative and numbers to meet the reporting standards of your Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), while maintaining a live connection with other software packages.

For procurement, your pre-negotiated contractual information can be embedded to help ensure employees are using the right suppliers and contracts. Approvers have all relevant information at their fingertips, and can tap into an embedded social media feed that eliminates the need for multiple phone calls or conversations.

Your employees, many who have grown up digital, are increasingly accustomed to a self-service world with systems that work when they do, anytime and anywhere.With a cloud-based HCM system, employees can update their own records for payroll, timekeeping, and benefits management. Such an integrated system supports your current and future talent base, with a single dashboard interface that enables growth, performance and employee retention.

Like your big-city brethren, take advantage of advances in artificial intelligence (AI) to sift through reams of data and produce actionable insights. These applications can react, learn and adapt in real time based on historical and dynamic data, helping to improve business processes and the user experience. Think about employing machine learning to prevent procurement fraud, identify the best candidates to make a job offer to or uncover patterns to make your processes more efficient. You don’t need a lot of training or the help of a data scientist to see transformative results.

These are the kinds of benefits that will put your town into the fast lane of innovation, whether or not the interstate exit is nearby. 

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