Maryland is all set to move its services to the cloud
Maryland is leading the way in moving its services to the cloud, as it has started building a cloud-based platform to upgrade its customer processes, specifically its human services technology infrastructure.
Maryland is thinking of creating a unique product called Total Human Services Information Network, dubbed as, MD THINK. This is a cloud-based repository that will offer integrated data to all the programs and projects handled by the departments of Human Services, Licensing, Regulation, Juvenile Services, Health and Mental Hygiene.
The obvious advantage with such a system is that users can get the information they want from a single repository. In the past, data was siloed in different departments and this made it difficult for one department to access the information contained in another. As a result, they were not able to make the best decisions because no department ever had the complete picture of an individual. Since everything about an individual was not known, there was no scope for contextual decisions, and this really impeded the success rate of many of its programs, not to mention the hardships it caused to the residents of Maryland.
To overcome this problem, MD THINK came into being. Gov. Larry Hogan and his administration are striving to make this project a reality by investing $14 million from the allocated budget funds for the financial year 2017.
According to experts, MD THINK will use a scalable and cloud-based platform that will streamline all the processes and consolidate it into a single repository for data storage and retrieval. The first phase will focus on children and families, so that social workers can better cater to their needs.
In addition, case workers will be given a tablet device that they can use while on field work, as a part of MD THINK. Such a move will help case workers to record information right away and even lookup for any pertinent information that can help them offer a better service.
There are many advantages that come with such a program. First off, Maryland is likely to save a ton of time and money, as it can streamline its resources and use them in a more productive manner. More importantly, it will be able to gather data analytics that can provide deep insights into the program beneficiaries, how it benefits them and what more can be done to improve the quality of life of Maryland citizens.
According to Gov. Hogan, this project will transform the way the state of Maryland deliver human services to its residents and it’ll also finally bring the process of delivering government services into the 21st century.
This cloud-based project, in many ways, reflects the power of technology and how it can be used to make our society a better place for living. Though the benefits of cloud are well-understood, not all government services are ready to move to it. This can be due to a combination of many factors such as existing legacy systems, the cost of migrating existing data and systems to a new system, budget constraints, mindset of policymakers and more.
Hopefully, this step by Maryland paves the way for other states to also follow suit and embrace cloud in a big way.