19 Feb 2012

Managed Service, Middleware Bridge Data Sharing Gaps For NHS and Educational Organisations

Public sector and data-heavy institutions such as NHS and educational organisations suffer from limitations in data sharing and tech support that can greatly lower productivity and customer service levels. Fortunately, managed services and middleware solutions are helping to bridge data sharing gaps and make for a more streamlined solution.

During the advent of the digital age in the public sector, it was assumed that robust computer systems and databases alone would solve the buerocratic nightmare of organising and tracking data using traditional paper filing methods. While there is no doubt that the modern database has done wonders for making data more quickly accessible, new demands brought on the ever-changing nature of governmental and organisational models have made even the use of databases and content management systems untenable for institutions associated with education and NHS.

In short, organisations such as these cannot readily share digital information — within their own disparate systems, or with the systems of cooperating institutions.

It is for this reason that the demand for managed services and customized middleware solutions is on the rise in the public sector in the U.K., with more and NHS and education organisations seeking out provate sector specialists who can wrangle disparate data systems and improve sharing and accessibility across a wide range of participating entities.

A Common Language For Disparate Systems

While organisations often seek to implement data systems uniformly, often included in a suite of services, over the years, new systems get added that do not necessaily integrate with older legacy systems. Often times, the less flexible legacy systems are the stewards of copious amounts of data that has to be effectively shuttled into new systems that are unable to parse old systems’ structure and presentation. With public sector institutions such as the NHS or education, an area of particular strain often exists between procurement systems (PECOS) and back-end Finance systems.

As mentioned in the intro of this article, the new Internet-based Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership Systems are an obvious improvement over traditional paper-based processes. But to integrate these new PECOS systems with back-end finance take a Managed Service solution that can bring this technological gap, while ensuring that the new middleware solution conforms with all data integration requirements. Public sector IT departments are often at a loss on how to achieve these objective on their own, which is where private sector middleware experts come in.

By offering hands-on Managed Service for the implementation of middleware, as well as ongoing support and maintenance of these new systems, the benefits of solutions like Internet-based PECOS can be fully realised for public sector organisations.

Cloud-Based Integration for the Public Sector

Cloud storage and computing is clearly the future — and the future has arrived. More and more companies are using the cloud to store vast quantities of data in data centers that make it easily accessible, web-based solutions are benefitting from cloud-based Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), and even consumers are benefitting from Apple’s iCloud for storing their videos, photos, music, and other content. As usual, however, the public sector is tending to lag behind in adopting cloud-based solutions for its own data storage and integration.

Significant opportunities to improve public sector sharing of data have been identified, though. Through centralisation, consolidation, and a move to a Cloud based infrastructure, organisations in the NHS or education can substantially reduce the cost of supporting integration hubs, while at the same time reduce  carbon footprint and provide an all-around better service to its customers sectors, leading to upwards of a 50% reduction in the number of support calls and resolution times.

There’s no doubt that, for a number of tangible and intangible reasons, the public sector often lags behind the private sector in onboarding new technologies. Fortunately, however, the public sector is beginning to reach out to private sector integration specialists in a bid to bring the same level of service and reliability to critical services such as healthcare and education.

Thanks for reading our article! Did you know that Integrella is a leading provider of managed integration and middleware services to the public sector? Be sure to take a look at our website and see what we can offer your organisation.

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