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Michigan leverages Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to deliver cost savings and automatic functionality updates

State of Michigan has the nation’s longest freshwater coastline and lakes that feel like oceans. The State is a center of manufacturing, services, high-tech and tourism. After nearly a decade of economic turmoil, Michigan is marching towards again becoming a dynamic, innovative and responsive destination.

Department Modernizes with Technology

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is responsible for the State’s regulatory environment and makes the delivery of services more efficient for consumers and business customers. Being a Permits Plus customer with Accela since 1998, they wanted to modernize the technology to be more efficient, while being mindful about the costs associated with IT infrastructure and ongoing maintenance.

They started their software update with one department and expanded to other agencies, with the goal being “to be cost effective and able to operate quickly and efficiently,” according to Tim Gajda, State Division Administrator for Michigan.

Multiple Agencies on One Cloud Platform

When the State approached Accela to discuss their upgrade options, it became clear that moving to a cloud-based offering would best suit their needs. They went live with the first instance for Bureau of Construction Codes in 2015 and gradually started adding other agencies, including Bureau of Fire Services, Bureau of Professional Licensing and Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulations.

Leveraging Accela’s cloud offering, helped LARA reduce their dependency on the centralized IT agency and focus more on innovation and customer engagement. “I no longer have to be concerned with applying updates and patches to the applications and infrastructure,” Gajda says. “Also, there has been a push in the last five or six years, really across the whole state, for agencies like our own to be more self-sufficient when it comes to IT initiatives.”

Running applications in the cloud has also empowered the technical team in LARA to be always on the latest product versions through the automatic updates with SaaS deployment. The State of Michigan saves money not only related to the infrastructure, but also around critical considerations such as maintenance costs, security, performance monitoring, and more.

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