To perform and deliver better on their missions in a digital world, federal agencies need to escalate their speed, agility, cost-effectiveness, and responsiveness to new levels. In short, they need to become “high-velocity federal enterprises,” a vision for the next generation of government that is powered by and connected through digital technologies.
At the core of a high-velocity federal enterprise lies the next evolution in the role played by the existing ERP system—building on the ERP’s proven strengths as the agency’s central engine and information source, and recasting it as the backbone of the digital federal enterprise.
This new incarnation creates a flexible, modular enterprise system that leverages digital capabilities, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), cloud, in-memory computing, and better data integration. The value of this next-generation ERP is in bringing all these elements together to help federal agencies keep pace with technology changes, enable new business capabilities and user experiences, and do more with less in an always-on world.
Government today operates in a digital world—one that moves ever faster and one in which providers, partners, and citizens expect more. These constituents want experiences that are fast, up to date, and consistent with those in the commercial world. Internally, federal agencies are under continual pressure to do more with less and drive value from existing assets.
In light of the changing technology landscape, federal executives are reassessing the role of their ERP systems while at the same time questioning whether ERP has delivered on its promise, whether it is too expensive, inflexible, and complex—and whether what they are getting is all there is.
The answer: there is more.
Federal agencies have only scratched the surface of the possibilities of their ERPs. The evolution of new technologies is touching everything from the customer experience to the back office; from internal business flows to the supply chain; and from IT infrastructure to predictive analytics.
In today’s digital age, federal agencies must navigate continual change and evolve as necessary. By evolving ERPs to the next generation, federal agencies can take advantage of new technologies, harness digital capabilities, and operate with a coordinated network that encompasses internal and external systems, customers, partners, intelligent products, processes, and services—a network that enhances how agencies carry out their missions, deliver services, and interact with providers and citizens.
These technologies are opening the doors to new strategies and opportunities, including opportunities for federal agencies to gain more value from their next generation of ERP. Among these opportunities could be self-service invoicing by vendors, replacement of in-house applications with cloud-enabled SaaS solutions, use of mobile devices to approve transactions, and applying analytics to data for real-time reporting and predictive insights.
Becoming a high-velocity federal enterprise is about providing rich and innovative solutions faster, deployed in months, not in years. It is about architecting solutions for change, so that these solutions enable agencies to be faster and increasingly responsive, connected, agile, proactive, and predictive.
The transformation to high velocity is based on four pillars:
Leverage and extend core ERP systems – Extending the ERP core systems involves combining the best of current investments with new technologies to enable a variety of high-value capabilities. The core ERP is an enterprise asset from which enhanced capabilities are built and rich information is harvested to move the enterprise to a higher level of performance.
Enhance with technology – Many of today’s federal ERPs have proprietary architecture, perform batch processing, and are on premise. The next-generation ERP has open standards and APIs. It takes advantage of newer technologies such as real-time in-memory computing, hybrid cloud, and the Internet of Things.
Interact and integrate with the agency ecosystem – Many of today’s federal ecosystems consist of multiple disconnected sourcing agreements, a long procurement process, and perpetual licensing. A next-generation ecosystem is characterized by managed services, cloud, consortia, risk sharing, and co-innovation. It will entail an agency to think differently of how IT works with business and IT partners, and how to integrate them with an agency’s solution.
Build an architecture for change – Architecture is where technology meets business. A high-velocity federal enterprise leverages an open architecture and agile delivery methods to continually improve capabilities and enhance enterprise performance.
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