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5 Ways to Transform Digital Operations and Serve More People

Hand working with Digital transformation change management and internet of things (IoT) Ui.

This article outlines best practices for government agencies to consider when modernizing their technology systems to support growth and drive greater impact across the communities they serve.

Public-sector and nonprofit organizations delivering much-needed services and funders making monetary contributions to support missions they care most about all play a vital role in driving successful social change and improving the lives of people and families in communities across the country.

With the demand from people seeking social services continuing to exceed the capacity social-good providers have to help, many public-sector agencies and nonprofits are faced with doing more with less. And many are operating with outdated legacy technology in place, which hampers their ability to scale quickly and efficiently.

The good news is that the industry is getting a ton of support to relieve the burden of the pandemic and help agencies and organizations move in the right direction. From the CARES Act introduced in March 2020 to an unprecedented influx of government funding announced in early 2021 through programs like the American Rescue Plan Act, the American Jobs Plan, the American Families Plan and more, there is funding available to help agencies shift from outdated and less-secure systems — sometimes dating back to the 1980s — to modern, cloud-based systems that will not only bolster their security footprint but also allow them to create and demonstrate a greater impact across the communities they serve.

Below are five best practices to help government agencies identify what areas of advancement to consider when modernizing their technology systems to support growth and drive greater impact across the communities they serve.

1. Evaluate security and scalability. 

Often, agencies retain data about the people they serve in dated, legacy systems, which not only have security gaps that make them vulnerable to emerging threat vectors but also lack the necessary scalability to support organizational needs. As security threats become more sophisticated and commonplace, agencies should regularly evaluate all systems across their infrastructure and ensure they are compliant with the latest online security best practices and can seamlessly evolve to support changes in the web landscape.

Consider adopting modern, cloud-based software and systems that allow you to not only stay ahead of security threats but also increase efficiencies and scale to fit your organizational needs. Many effective case management systems are built on web-based cloud systems that stringently follow data security best practices, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure and VMware.

2. Adopt an automated approach.

Agencies are responsible for data collection, workflow and process management, contract management, financial management and billing, and more — all while measuring outcomes. This results in an exorbitant amount of data that must be easily managed, updated, accessed and reported at a moment’s notice. Adopting modern case management software to automate your data systems will increase your agency’s efficiency and not only improve interactions among your constituents but also allow you to deliver necessary services while reducing the number of interactions required to achieve a specific goal. You will significantly cut down on reporting time and gain data-driven insights that will inform programs.

3. Assess data-sharing capabilities. 

Data is most powerful when it not only works for everyone across the organization but also allows the people you serve to benefit. By quickly connecting people with the services they need, interoperability features found in case management software empower you to do more good and increase the likelihood of success for individuals and families. Also, security features available in case management software ensure safe collaboration and sharing of pertinent information among your teams and across other agencies.

Modern case management software allows you to share secure, accurate data to address the whole person you are serving and connect them with the programs they need for holistic, coordinated care. For example, if someone comes to you for SNAP benefits and also needs subsidized housing, your case management software could make a referral and alleviate the need to process the same information multiple times. In the end, the people you serve will get the services they need more quickly and your agency can make a bigger impact in the community.

4. Regularly verify your data.

The funding requirements of agencies is ever changing, making it more important than ever to ensure your data is current and accurate. Be diligent in reviewing your data early and regularly to make sure your agency’s funder and compliance requirements are being met. If your agency works with 30 distinct third-party funding recipients each month and you’re required to analyze and report on data regularly, it will certainly be an arduous task if your case management software is outdated and doesn’t support the necessary customization features required to deliver the reports. A modern solution will make it easy to access the most up-to-date and accurate data pertaining to any situation, so you can feel confident in your ability to deliver reports that prove the effectiveness of your agency.

5. Ensure your software works for you.

When evaluating new software technologies, it’s important that you find solutions that will work for your team — making them more productive by eliminating arduous processes. Identify the key stakeholders that should be part of the decision process early, including those in charge of implementation and management once new technologies are up and running and those that run day-to-day operations across your organization. Once you’ve all weighed in and selected the technology that’s right for your organization, put permissions in place to eliminate information overload and sustain data integrity to stay ahead of legal requirements around data safety. And have training available for the entire staff so everyone can make the software and technology work for them and get the most out of it in their daily work.

Taking these steps will help determine the best course of action to transform your technology. Case management software can reduce manual processes and allow you to securely share data to help your constituents get the much-needed services they seek. At the same time, you can be more effective, serve more people and improve outcomes across your community.

Social Solutions
Social Solutions, a public benefit corporation, is the leading provider of cloud software for nonprofit and public-sector social service organizations. Our Apricot, Penelope and ETO products offer clients the most comprehensive and secure social good platform available, including case management, participant connection, data insights, outcome analytics and funder enablement solutions. Based in Austin, Texas, Social Solutions was founded over 20 years ago by social workers who saw the potential of technology to improve outcomes and help accelerate lasting social change in the communities they serve. To date, more than 90,000 users have adopted the Social Solutions platform to improve their data by measuring and optimizing outcomes. It was recently announced that Social Solutions is combining with EveryAction and CyberGrants to create the second-largest and fastest-growing social-good software company in the world. Social Solutions is backed by APAX and Vista Equity Partners and serves clients in the U.S., U.K., Canada, New Zealand and Australia. For more information, please visit our website,, or follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook.