Fast-tech

Software Moves Fast – and It’s Only Getting Faster

With each passing year, constituent expectations of government online services are held closer to the levels of the commercial applications the public uses every day. Online shopping, travel planning, food delivery, home repair scheduling, health care planning and tracking, and other needs are met via digital services, which are evolving at an astounding rate to ensure service providers provide successful online interactions and keep pace with consumer needs and preferences.

While the public experiences these interactions through consumer-oriented mobile and web applications, it is the myriad of enterprise software solutions behind the scenes that are the real workhorses. From healthcare records management to order processing, and inventory management to community development, it takes powerful, flexible back-office solutions to coordinate workflows among staff within and across departments while allowing for the configuration needed to shape the applications to individual needs.

Keeping Pace with Change Across the Tech Ecosystem

The ongoing evolution of enterprise software brings with it an increase in the level of interdependency between enterprise applications and the underlying technologies used by those applications. From browser dependencies to operating system requirements to JavaScript frameworks and commercial and open-source components, the matrix of third-party compatibility requirements is dizzying.

Further, continued updates across this spectrum to keep pace with performance and stability needs, address security risks, and to retire unsupported technologies means all parties related through the matrix of interdependencies must keep pace with each other, updating their dependent applications frequently to ensure compatibility across the board. This is challenging for software providers and can be even harder for customers of those providers who must upgrade not just their enterprise systems, but all of the additional technologies that connect with those systems. These upgrades are coming faster and faster given the exponential nature of upgrades dictated by the complex interdependencies.

Accela provides guidance to customers each time we release a new version of our software that details the matrix of compatibility across technology partners. We have standardized on major updates twice per year and smaller “service pack” updates monthly to ensure we have release vehicles available to keep up with the demands of this new normal. And, we expect and plan for changes that will occur, ongoing, from major software providers including future updates to Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Esri solutions, Adobe Acrobat, and others that can impact the compatibility of enterprise applications with these solutions.

How SaaS Helps

Accela is tracking and updating applications to accommodate changes. Still, the sheer volume of changes and resulting updates can be challenging for agencies to keep pace with, given their many business and technical priorities as well as the number of other software providers with which they work. Nonetheless, it is critical for agencies to keep to supported versions of their enterprise applications in order to avoid product instability, 3rd party interaction issues, and ever evolving security risks.

Accela’s SaaS solution incorporates many of these 3rd party software dependencies within our managed cloud infrastructure, dramatically reducing the resource impact of dependency upgrades on those customers. In fact, a government agency who recently moved from on-premises self-hosting to Accela’s cloud infrastructure noted the significant reduction in people-hours related to ongoing maintenance of the platform and other dependencies.

“… and maybe the most important reason to move to SaaS is dealing with upgrades and patching. In my opinion, there is no better group to deal with those nuances than the software vendor themselves.” —Ryan Fernandes, Director of Technology Services for the City of Weston Florida

If your agency is feeling the pinch of enterprise software maintenance while also worrying about the adverse impacts of falling behind on releases, Accela is happy to help you evaluate an upgrade to SaaS and to build your path from an on-premises implementation to one hosted by Accela.

Enterprise software moves fast, and that pace continues to increase. Let Accela and their world-class team of cloud-engineering, security, and services professionals shoulder the burden for you.

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