Click here to close now.


@CloudExpo Authors: Steve Watts, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, John Basso, Liz McMillan

News Feed Item

Microsoft and APHSA Survey Reveals Status of Health and Human Services IT Modernization Efforts and a Promising Future for Transformation

States in need of best practices and flexible IT solutions that improve access, quality and efficiency in the financing and delivery of health and human services programs.

REDMOND, Wash., and WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), in coordination with Microsoft Corp., today released the results of a new survey of health and human services departments and agencies nationwide. The report, "A Promising Future for HHS Transformation — The Real Impact of IT System Modernization," includes survey findings that identify the expectations, strategies and practices that health and human services (HHS) agencies use for the planning, acquisition and implementation of their information technology (IT) systems.


APHSA and Microsoft surveyed 67 agency program leaders from 35 states at various stages of modernizing their HHS IT systems, from those who have implemented solutions for eligibility determination and benefit issuance, case management, and online self-service to those who had not yet modernized. The survey focuses on capturing the agencies' experience with organizational transformation planning efforts, the agencies' system life-cycle challenges, and the impact and benefits the agencies experienced from IT modernization. The results revealed that with dynamic executive leadership, due diligence and solid program management practices, departments are seeing incremental benefits expected of IT modernization, but a number of challenges remain. With those challenges, a bright path exists to achieve the desired business benefits for transformation through the promise of today's technology.

The key takeaways from the survey are as follows:


  • Forty-three percent of agencies have implemented a new HHS IT system within the past 10 years.
  • Fifty-seven percent have not modernized, yet most (55 percent) plan to do so over the next three to five years.
  • Nineteen percent of respondents had no plans to modernize, mainly due to lack of funding.
  • Of the states planning to modernize, approximately 22 percent are very likely to consider the cloud for future system deployment.


  • Forty percent of agencies surveyed experienced an implementation timeframe of more than three years when implementing a new system. Long timeframes generally correlate to agencies with a larger number of business rules and practices to re-engineer complex IT environments with multiple legacy systems, requiring extensive training and support. States with larger constituent populations also report longer implementation timeframes, but the programs themselves (e.g., Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Child Welfare, etc.) did not have a direct correlation.

Benefits and Expectations

  • State agencies planning to modernize (55 percent) expect a new system to meet about 63 percent of their needs in the areas of customer-centricity, improved self-service and improved decision-making.

A full report and APHSA webinar on the survey findings can be found at

Of the states that modernized, 100 percent cited the need to extend system functionality with nondevelopers, and 80 percent felt the amount of required customization and interoperability across programs and systems was not in line with expectations. These deficiencies were perceived as factors that lead to project delays and contract and scope modifications.

"State human service agencies average spending $40 million over a three-year implementation timeframe, but the time has never been more opportune to benefit from IT advances to achieve the mission of HHS agencies," said Tracy Wareing, APHSA executive director. "As an organization, we are committed to sharing best practices with one another to ensure that human service agencies are achieving the outcomes we seek."

Modernization Best Practices

The agencies surveyed also outlined the reasons for their successes, as well as key learnings on the planning and implementation of HHS IT systems:

  • Leadership and effective cross-boundary communication is a bedrock requirement to effectively leverage technology. Today's technology can help facilitate effective communication throughout and across organizations. However, it can only do so when organizations define clear goals for communication and work together to support implementation of the technical tools.
  • Technology must be nimble and responsive to change. HHS environments are dynamic and changing rapidly. IT solutions must be able to adapt effectively to this constant change.
  • Gaining cost efficiencies requires the use of benchmarks and measurement. IT deployments are long-term projects, typically taking years to complete. To ensure that projects stay on track and focused on the original, key deliverables, it is critical to define benchmarks and track against them.

"Many states are taking a forward-thinking and visionary approach to transforming their programs and modernizing IT systems," said Laura Caliguiri, managing director, U.S. Public Sector Health and Human Services, Microsoft. "Human services agencies are leveraging technology advancements and best practices, enabling an incremental strategy to ensure immediate benefits from the new systems and are able to accommodate policy and program changes."

States Achieving Intended Benefits of IT Modernization Efforts

IT can play a pivotal role in government redesign, delivering on strategies to connect systems and streamline data to eliminate redundancies, reduce costs and increase efficiencies of HHS, and several states are already seeing improved outcomes due to these advancements.

Florida's Office of Early Learning and the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) are using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, a customer relationship management solution that can improve access, quality and efficiency in the financing and delivery of HHS programs. By building a foundation that can be configured to work the way an agency needs it to, whether it is on-premises or in the cloud, to help streamline processes, reduce costs, and improve staff productivity and citizen service, agencies and case workers have access to enhanced visibility, streamlined processes, and improved coordination and outcomes.

Florida's Office of Early Learning is working with HP to deliver the Early Learning Information System (ELIS), built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, for the enhancement of the state's early learning programs. ELIS is a consolidated information system that manages the early learning programs used by 300,000 Florida families whose children attend the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education and School Readiness programs. The benefits of ELIS will include streamlined administrative processes, reduced potential for fraud and overpayments, data-sharing capabilities across multiple stakeholders, and easy access to child care resource and referral information.

The Tennessee DIDD selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Mid-America Consulting Group to help the organization operate more effectively with greater transparency, greater accountability and reduced costs — ultimately delivering greater value for the taxpayer. Most important, the Tennessee DIDD hopes to provide greater protection and significantly improve the lives of the people and families who depend on its services.

More information on states achieving the intended benefits of IT modernization can be found here.


APHSA is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization representing appointed state and local health and human service agency commissioners. APHSA is the only association of the nation's top government human service executives, including states, the District of Columbia, and the territories, their key state program managers, and hundreds of county-level human service directors nationwide.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@CloudExpo Stories
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem"...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound...
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving t...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...