Why is there a lack of investment in Social Care technology?

Social care IT comes under significant criticism, with lack of usability and social workers becoming slaves to the machine, being used as reasons for lack of progress. 

What is needed to change this in the future? Could LA procurement methods accidently be putting up barriers to the innovation needed in Social Care?

In an interview with Matt Prosser, policy spokesperson for digital leadership at SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives), UKAuthority discussed the reluctance of some local authorities to break away from Legacy IT systems

Within the interview, Mr. Posser, focused on local authorities not wanting to accept the risk involved with upgrading;

“The challenge with legacy systems is that they are just that; they’re large and have served their purpose but we need something much more agile.”

Learning from other industries

The future of Social Care depends upon increasing efficiencies. Budget cuts are here to stay and those that adapt and find efficiencies will be the ones that navigate the tough waters.

“Sometimes local government has said we are special and have to have our own things, but we can learn from others and take some of the systems from them.”

Mr. Posser acknowledged and encouraged the fact that we can learn from other industries

By sharing knowledge and experience, you ensure that best practice approaches to systems are followed, the greater good is seen as the goal.

For example both Cisco and CAP Gemini have predicted that Cloud-Native software will dominate. By 2020 the usage of Cloud Solutions will double.

Legacy solutions are not the future

The years of austerity can be seen as eroding the confidence of local authorities. By all accounts these solutions are not fit for purpose, but remain in use. Contract lengths can be blamed for authorities holding on but considering the fact that Cloud solutions have been around for a considerable amount of time it can only be used as an excuse for not upgrading for so long.

Unfortunately, the lack of funding in social care, has led to a lack of investment by social care IT businesses. Flexible cloud native systems are the future; unfortunately, the majority of the sector’s technology are rigid and based on yesterday’s 10-15 year old technology.

In social care there is a fear of the new; which breeds this lack of investment. Requirements for three to five live reference sites on the exact technology acts a barrier to entry for improved solutions. Unfortunately, the social care sector has a mountain to climb and needs to improve ease of use, make significant efficiency savings and reduce costs – only modern cloud native solutions can do this!

Due to these barriers of entry legacy systems are still being selected. There is clear evidence of these legacy social care systems can take up to up to three / four years’ timeframes for systems to be installed. Over this period LA’s often have to pay dual maintenance payments costing millions extra in unbudgeted costs. Social Care departments need to plan ahead and procure systems that are future proof and flexible so that they are suitable for the next 5 to 10 years.

Legacy systems are slow to change as they don’t use continuous development.

Mr Posser continued:

“It can take three or four years to install a system, and by the time you’ve done so it’s out of date for what the customer needs. We need to adapt to much more flexible systems.”

Eclipse Case Management: Technology for the 21st century

Our Eclipse software has been purpose built to take full advantage of the technology that is currently available on the market. It is mobile responsive, can be used anywhere, any place and on any device. It is built on Cloud Native technology to take advantage of continuous development via continuous deployment. It is fully secure and offers a comprehensive security suite behind the scenes, securing client records based on role and location.

Eclipse is the only Social Care solution currently on the market that has been built on Cloud Native technology to be future proof. Eclipse has been built with the next ten years in mind. Eclipse is the personification of what Mr. Poser pitched in is interview. It is a cloud based system that will, ‘meet the needs, especially those that are configurable to manage business processes without the need of heavy duty customisation’. Eclipse ‘…gives authorities a lot more agility in making changes every few months if necessary, rather than at the beginning and end of contracts, and without heavy costs.’

Enabling innovation

There are other ways to reduce the in which risk can be mitigated in taking new solutions is by working with an experienced supplier. As an organisation, we have more than 26 years’ experience working with Social Care IT. We work directly with clients to share our knowledge and hold those who need care in the forefront of our minds.

The sharing of knowledge and reducing the barriers on innovation is key to the future of Social Care.

The future of Social Care IT

Change is the only constant in Social Care. IT systems must be flexible enough to support this change. Systems must also be agile enough to support new efficient ways of working.

Other industries are showing us the way with the growth of Cloud Native technology. Without procurement reducing the barriers on innovation, the whole Social Care sector is unlikely to benefit.

Are you still working off legacy solutions that are no longer fit for purpose? Not sure why? Contact us today and we will demonstrate what the future looks like and why you can’t afford to miss out.

Source: http://www.ukauthority.com/UKA-Local-Digital/entry/8001/councils-can-sha...