Modernization Case Study: Deloitte

Executive Summary

Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) is an outlet in charge of social services that employs over 5000 people. It administers more than 500 million dollars per year in the child support system (Gherard, 2020). The department integrated the Automated Child Support Enforcement System (ACSES) to aid in the collection and maintenance of child support data. However, over time, the system has become outdated and is time-consuming. This has resulted in inefficiencies and high maintenance costs. As knowledgeable employees retire and leave the department, the operating costs of the ACSES have increased due to the loss of the system’s knowledge and undocumented system updates, and the cost of hiring new personnel. The cost of developing a new reliable system would be expensive and time-consuming for the CDHS. Integration of the ACSES into a multi-experience development system would not only aid in improving the efficiency and upgrading the ACSES but also reduce the maintenance and operating costs for the department. Migration of the system will also be cost-effective and time-friendly for the department. This would improve its general operations due to increased efficiency. The migration into the open system platform will also ensure that data in the legacy system is maintained as it adopts the working logic and functionality of the existing system. Therefore, the functionality of the open system platform would be the same, and it would be easy to update and improve in the future. The open system platform would ensure the compatibility of the ACSES with modern technology, thus aiding the Colorado Department of Human Services not only to integrate modern technologies that fit its business needs but also ensure compliance of the department with state and federal agency regulations. Through automation of most of the department’s operations, the system will improve its overall efficiency, thus ensuring fast, reliable, and considerate service provision to the residents of Colorado. This will aid in reducing the existing waiting lines for child support. Through the use of data channels, the migrated system will improve functional communication within the department.

Introduction/Purpose

Colorado Department of Human Services (CHDS) is an outlet of the Colorado state government acting in charge of social services that employs over 5000 people. The total amount of child support payments administered by the organization surpasses 500 million a year (Gherard, 2020). CDHS has been using the Automated Child Support Enforcement System (ACSES) to collect and manage the child support system. This system is becoming outdated and time-consuming, resulting in many inefficiencies and high maintenance costs. The system has also been incompatible with the advanced technological environment, thus, creating a strong barrier to the adoption of modern technology that fits the current business needs of the state. This has also made it very difficult for the state to ensure its compliance with regulations set by the state and federal agencies. The migration of the ACSES into the open system platform will benefit the department by ensuring increased efficiency, lower operation, and maintenance costs, as well as facilitating compliance with regulations by the state and federal agencies. This will benefit the non-IT departments such the human resources, and general options and ensure functional communication within the CDHS. The migration option is cheaper and achievable within a short period compared to developing a new system which will be time-consuming and very costly to the department. By adopting the working logic and functionality of the existing system, the database of the organization over the years will be maintained. The platform of the legacy system will ensure automation of major activities of the organization, thus, ensuring the delivery of fast, reliable, and timely services to Colorado residents. Thus, migration of the ACSES will not only improve the general operational efficiency and service delivery of the department it will also aid the department in compliance with regulations set by the state and federal agencies.

Baseline Assessment and Key Results

The baseline assessment of the ACSES adopted by CDHS involved looking at its compatibility with the modern technological environment, the maintenance costs of the system incurred by the organization, the time the system delivers the desired output, and its ability to meet the current business needs of the organization. This was obtained by interacting with various users of the ACSES in the department.

The results of the assessment showed that the system adopted by the CDHS to aid in the collection of child support over the years has been faced with many challenges, although it has remained quite reliable. The system has been having higher operating costs due to the exit and retirement of the employees who were knowledgeable on the operation of the system and the hiring of new IT personnel to maintain the system. The mainframe of the system has been outdated, making it time-consuming and inefficient. This has also resulted in its incompatibility with the existing modern technology. Its incompatibility has made not only made it difficult for the state to remain compliant with state regulation but also hindered the incorporation of major technologies and solutions into the system to ensure it fits the business need of the department.

Problem/Case Statement

The integration of ACSES to aid in the management of child support data has been reliable over the years. However, as experienced employees in the legacy system retire and leave the department, there has been a loss of knowledge on the system as well as system updates that had not been fully documented, thus increasing the operating costs of the system due to the sourcing of new personnel to manage the system. Over the years, the system has also become outdated and time-consuming. This has resulted in inefficiencies and high maintenance costs for the CDHS. System updates have been a major challenge as it is difficult to integrate the system into new technologies. The incompatibility of the ACSES system has prevented CDHS from adopting new technology to meet its changing business requirements in addition to ensuring its compliance with regulations set by the state and federal agencies.

To improve the efficiency of the ACSES, CDHS had the option of developing a new system that would meet all its needs and requirements or migrating the existing ACSES into an open system platform. The process of developing a new system would be expensive and time-consuming. The migration of the ACSES into an open system platform would not only be less costly but could be achieved within the provided time limits. By use of the same legacy code, the functionality of the previous system would be maintained. Migration of the legacy system will be done in collaboration with the existing developers who built, maintained, and updated the system over the years. The developers have in-depth organizational knowledge and would be able to maintain as well as update the migrated system following the business needs of CDHS.

Enterprise Modernization Scenario

The migration of the ACSES into the open system platform is the most cost-effective option and will aid in solving the problems facing the current system within a short time. This will involve replicating the legacy codes of the existing system into the open system approach. Replication of the legacy codes would ensure the same working logic, functionality, and data are maintained. After the replication of the natural codes to Java and transfer of existing data to Oracle, the migrated system would be tested. This would ensure the migrated system maintains the same working logic and functionality while mitigating problems arising. The migration process would involve existing developers of the previous system. After testing, the existing developers together with state technology leaders to ensure updates that meet the needs of the organization are incorporated into the system. The process of updating and incorporating new technologies and solutions into the system will continue depending on the needs of the department.

Benefits and Risks

The migrated ACSES will be more efficient and compatible with advanced modern technology. This will aid CDHS in updating it to meet its business needs and its compliance with state and federal regulations. The migration will benefit the CDHS by cutting down the operation costs of the system. This is facilitated by working with existing developers who built the previous system in the migration process into the open system platform. Thus, CDHS would not be forced to high new IT personnel to maintain and update the migrated system. The updates by these developers will be effective in responding to the needs of CDHS as they have in-depth knowledge of the department.

The migrated system will increase the general and operational efficiency of the organization. It will reduce the administrative burden on workers as well as facilitate functional communication through the use of data channels. The ACSES will be user-friendly and less time-consuming, thus ensuring the provision of fast, reliable, and considerable social services to the residents of Colorado. The processing time of child support will be faster, thus reducing the waiting lines in CDHS.

The system will adopt the working logic and functionality of the existing ACSES. The re-platform of this system will thus be less costly than developing a new system as well as achievable within the target time. The legacy code will be self-updating and will automate most of the department’s operations, thus ensuring low maintenance costs of the migrated system.

The migration of the ACSES into an open system platform is risky and complex as it could result in data loss and code freezing. It also requires a lot of accuracy to ensure there is no alteration to the legacy codes of the existing system. This can be mitigated by engaging Deloitte’s Application Modernization service team that ensures 100% accuracy in the replication of natural codes into Java, thus ensuring no loss of data and freezing of codes.

Roles and Responsibilities

The major participants in the migration of the ACSES to the open system platform would be the state technology leaders, existing developers and users at CDHS, and Deloitte’s Application Modernization service team. The state technology leaders would help in understanding the legacy codes, their complexities, and dependencies by carrying out a diagnostic assessment of the system. Deloitte’s Application Modernization service team would ensure replication of 1.4 million natural codes and transfer of 500 GB of Adabas data into Oracle with 100% accuracy. Existing developers and users would help in testing the accuracy, working logic, and functionality of the migrated data in comparison with the existing system. The existing developers would also aid in maintenance and updating the system with modern technologies and solutions into the system as they are more knowledgeable about the department’s needs.

Business Roadmap

Business Roadmap

Stage Description Milestones Timeline
Assessment
  • Critically evaluate the existing performance.
  • Identify recurring patterns.
  • Analyze KPIs.
  • Measure the effectiveness of the current system.
Problem recognition: managers notice decreasing efficiency of the current system independently of other factors. Beginning of 2018
Definition
  • Problem is identified and defined.
  • Estimated impact on the operational capacity and efficiency.
  • Deciding whether the change will have more benefits.
  • Brainstorming of possible solutions.
  • Identifying both advantages and disadvantages of each of the potential solutions.
Detailed issue understanding: viability of the base code identified and confirmed, functions and features require optimization. Beginning of 2018
Selection
  • Selecting and prioritizing requirements for the new platform.
  • Choosing a service provider for two parts of data: legacy code and Adabas.
Modernization Project Confirmed: agreeing on the open-type platforms for the legacy code and choosing these platforms. Mid 2018
Migration
  • Backing up all of the lines of code and data before conducting the transfer.
  • Migrating 1.4 million lines of  code to Java Script transferring over 500GB of Adabas data to Oracle.
Successful transfer of the data packages to their respective platforms; no loss of internal logic or functionality. End of 2018-2020
Operation & Improvement
  • Monitoring of the initial results in operation.
  • Analyzing the collected data.
  • Identifying the shortcomings of the system and proposing possible improvements.
First feedback received and its analysis. 2020
Major Participants
  • State technology leaders.
  • Deloitte’s Application Modernization services teams.
  • Existing developers and users at CDHS.
This personnel will aid in diagnostic testing, replication of natural codes into Java and storage of Adabas data into Oracles, testing, updating, and maintenance of the system.

Table 1: The Business Road Map

Technology Selection

The technologies needed to support the modernization of the ACSES should be able to solve the shortcomings of the existing system (Cearley et al., 2019). Thus, the new technology should be efficient by ensuring it’s fast, has low maintenance and operation costs and is compatible with modern technologies, and is compliant with regulations set by the state and federal agencies. It should also be less risky to the department, cost-effective, user-friendly, and can be adopted into the department within the shortest time. The open system platform was the most effective in solving the needs of CDHS. It would adopt the working logic and functionality of the existing system by replicating natural codes into Java and storing Adabas data in Oracle. This would make it user-friendly and easy to adopt. This will also ensure that the system is compatible with the modern technologies and solutions to fit the business needs of the organization. Therefore, the migrated system will improve the department’s efficiency and ensure smooth compliance to set standards and regulations in addition to ensuring fast, quality, and reliable social service delivery.

Cost Assessment

The cost of migrating the ACSES platform will be determined by the scope of work in migrating the legacy code into the open system platform, the testing requirements of the system, and the time taken to start and complete the migration process as well as the allowance for unforeseen events. The migration process involves CDHS IT leaders and developers, state technology leaders, users, and Deloitte’s Application Modernization service team. The major cost driver of the migration process will be the operation costs of testing the system. This will require a lot of personnel and users to ensure the working logic and functionality of the migrated system are similar to the existing system. The operating costs will also be used to mitigate other unforeseen events that may be faced during the migration process.

Next Steps

The inefficiencies and challenges of the ACSES system are quality service delivery and limiting the integration of modern technologies and solutions to match the business needs. The migration of the ACSES to an open system platform is very important to CDHS as it would improve its efficiency and service delivery. Compared to developing a new system, the migration process, although complex is less risky, cheaper, and less time-consuming. The adoption of this open system platform will also aid in the department saving millions in terms of reduced maintenance and operational costs. It will enable the CDHS to integrate modern technologies and solutions into the system, thus automating most of its operations. This will result in fast, quality, and reliable service delivery to the residents of Colorado.

Summary and Recommendation

The Colorado Department of Human Services aims to provide fast, reliable, and quality services to the residents of Colorado. The department has been handling more than 500 million dollars in child support. Although it adopted the Automated Child Support Enforcement System to aid in the delivery of social service, the system is incompatible with the modern technology environment. This has resulted in inefficiency due to high maintenance costs, operational costs as well as being time-consuming. The CDHS has been modernizing the system to improve its efficiency as well as ensure its compliance with federal and state regulations. The modernization has been facilitated by the migration of the system into the open system platform. The migration is not only cost-effective but will deliver timely results. The migrated platform uses the working logic and functionality of the previous system, thus ensuring maintenance of the records in the migrated platform. This platform will be compatible with modern technology, and modern updates could be integrated to ensure the system meets the need of the organization. The improved platform will be easy to maintain with low operation costs, thus ensuring the delivery of fast, reliable, and considerate services to the residents of Colorado. Through the system’s compatibility with modern technology, it would be easier for the CDHS to ensure its compliance with regulations set by the state and federal organizations.

The migrated system should be continually improved to ensure it increases client interactions through the use of the mobile application and its future-ready flexibility. This will ensure that the system is up to date with the technological environment and can quickly and easily adopt newly developed technologies to ensure its delivering quality services to the residents of Colorado.

References

Cearley, D, Jones, N., Smith, D., Burke, B., & Chandrasekaran, A., Lu, C. (2019). Top 10 strategic technology trends for 2020. Gartner. Web.

Gherard, A. (2020). Revitalizing an aging child support system. Deloitte.

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