The majority of child support systems currently in use are outdated and in need of modernization to keep up with the changing needs of families in the 21st century. These systems, which are over 25 years old, impact more than 20% of families and children who rely on them.
Modern families are looking for convenient and interactive services that can be accessed through user-friendly technologies. The existing child support systems were not originally designed to cater to these demands, but many states are now in the process of planning their modernization.
For effective modernization, child support systems need to empower families to access help easily, provide quick and transparent services, streamline processes, automate routine tasks, and equip caseworkers with online tools for collaboration. Despite the challenges, IBM Consulting has developed an Accelerated Incremental Mainframe Modernization (AIMM) approach that allows for technical application migrations without disrupting business functions.
State-level Challenges and Requirements
In addition to the demand for modernization, states are looking to shift to a more family-focused model of service delivery that is personalized and collaborative. They want to free caseworkers from inefficient systems, utilize modern technology, and leverage widely available and affordable skills. Each state’s child support system has unique requirements, but they share common core system needs mandated by the Office of Child Support Services (OCSS).
IBM’s AIMM Approach
IBM’s AIMM approach offers an automated solution for modernizing existing applications, particularly those on mainframe systems. It focuses on incremental application transformation rather than code translation, maintaining business functions while enabling ongoing optimization and development. Through the AIMM approach, existing systems and new digital core systems can coexist until the final cutover is made, minimizing disruptions to users.
Hybrid Cloud Architectures for Balanced Transformation
A hybrid cloud architecture, combining on-premises and cloud capabilities, allows child support agencies to modernize while still benefitting from their mainframe investments. This approach prioritizes the transformation of problematic applications while retaining parts of the existing child support systems that meet constituent needs.
Technical Patterns for Cloud Migration
IBM recommends several technical patterns for cloud migration, including migration with middleware emulators, migration with code refactoring, modernization with microservices, and cloud data migration for analytics and insights.
Maintaining Business Functions Across Technical Migrations
Regardless of the technical pattern used, it is crucial to maintain business functions while modernizing the underlying technology. IBM’s approach achieves this by ensuring business functionality remains unchanged while the technology is updated.
IBM Consulting has developed accelerators to assist with cloud migration and continues to collaborate with major cloud service providers. The goal is to achieve automation, reduce the risk of application changes, and facilitate state application migrations.
By prioritizing family-focused models, embracing modern technology, and utilizing hybrid cloud architectures, modernized child support systems can better support caseworkers, children, and families in need.
IBM is proud to partner with states in modernizing child support systems and promoting the welfare of families across the nation.
Why do child support systems need to be modernized?
Child support systems need to be modernized to meet the evolving needs of families in the 21st century. The majority of these systems are over 25 years old and lack the capabilities to provide a family-centric approach to service delivery.
What are the challenges in modernizing child support systems?
Some challenges in modernizing child support systems include the need to empower families to easily access help, provide quick and transparent services, streamline processes, automate routine tasks, and equip caseworkers with online tools for collaboration.
What is IBM’s approach to child support system modernization?
IBM offers an Accelerated Incremental Mainframe Modernization (AIMM) approach, which allows for incremental application transformation rather than code translation. This approach ensures business functions can be maintained while the technology is updated.
What are the benefits of a hybrid cloud architecture for child support agencies?
A hybrid cloud architecture allows child support agencies to utilize the advantages of cloud technologies while still benefiting from their existing mainframe investments. This approach prioritizes the transformation of problematic applications while retaining parts of the existing system that meet constituent needs.
What are some technical patterns for cloud migration in child support systems?
Some technical patterns for cloud migration in child support systems include migration with middleware emulators, migration with code refactoring, modernization with microservices, and cloud data migration for analytics and insights.