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US department of homeland security: Agile solutions or aging infrastructure

Growing older is a constant we cannot escape—especially in technology.


Legacy systems are expensive and time-consuming to maintain and often hard to modify as new technology is introduced and business functions change. Aging and irrelevant technology affects everyone and can result in substantial obstacles for organizations—nowhere is this more evident than at the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where accessing accurate data instantly is critical to protecting the nation.

DHS's is at a tipping point. It can choose to haphazardly address issues arising from antiquated systems, or it can renew legacy IT infrastructure—tackling problems before they become worse.

Learn how the Accenture Public Service Platform (APSP) can help facilitate many of DHS’s technology, governance and resource management goals, while addressing aging IT systems.


DHS has two options when addressing aging IT systems: legacy migration or legacy renewal.

In legacy migration, “green screens” are replaced with modern, Web-based user interfaces built on top of existing architecture. Legacy renewal, on the other hand, leverages new application architectures and addresses fundamental concerns of poor maintainability, scalability and a lack of flexibility.


Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is the optimal solution in providing enterprise-wide infrastructure capable of supporting multiple systems and lines of business.

Using SOA for legacy renewal allows for:

  • Controlled migration from the “as-is” to the “to-be” platform.

  • The ability to share components, resulting in reduced costs, easier deployment of new applications, smoother maintenance and increased selection of third-party applications.

  • DHS to more easily extend, automate and create new business processes by uncoupling existing processes from technology.

Although the rationale behind SOA is simple, implementation is not necessarily so. The Accenture Public Service Platform can help.


DHS is faced with the challenge of selecting an appropriate approach for a more flexible, agile and responsive platform. SOA is the architecture commonly chosen, but selecting the right partner and tools for this journey is critical.

Accenture’s experience, proven approach and preconfigured technology solution can greatly improve the probability of a successful outcome and speed of renewal. The Accenture Public Service Platform (APSP) is built on SOA principles and guided by open standards, connecting DHS’ SOA products while minimizing risk.

APSP’s turnkey SOA framework can help DHS:

  • Adopt an enterprise-wide SOA, enabling the agency to easily deploy information systems that directly serve its mission.

  • Improve citizen services despite decreasing budgets and growing demands.

  • Position the DHS enterprise to meet its High-Priority Initiatives (HPI) while protecting the investment it has made in legacy applications.

  • Empower DHS internal customers to quickly adapt to policy changes.