Three Innovative Ways City and Local Governments Are Leveraging Middleware Automation (And Why It Matters)

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As city and local governments continue to face pressures to do more with less, they must find new and more innovative ways to serve their communities and citizens more efficiently. One essential strategy that municipal governments are pursuing is turning to middleware automation tools that bridge the gap between operating systems and the data and applications that run on them, streamlining manual processes and reducing the burden on human employees.

Middleware automation solutions leverage a digital workforce to interact and communicate with systems and applications, increasing productivity and automating tasks in a fraction of the time. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, ‘beyond enabling reduction in labor costs, automation can raise throughput, increase reliability, and improve quality, among other performance gains.’ The efficiencies gained with middleware automation empower local governments to deliver services to communities more quickly and modernize how tasks are performed within the municipality.

City governments have recognized the efficiencies of automation gained within the private sector and are starting to adopt these middleware automation solutions in their own municipalities. And the need for adopting middleware has never been greater. The disruption caused by COVID-19 has created major tax shortfalls across local governments, with The Washington Post reporting that more than 2,100 U.S. cities are facing significant budget shortfalls and planning to reduce spending by laying off workers and cutting services. These major challenges call for innovative solutions and present conditions for local and city governments to welcome middleware automation tools that streamline processes and take over costly, labor intensive tasks.
 

Three Examples of Middleware Automation in City Governments

For local municipalities, one of the best ways to begin embracing middleware automation is to determine specific high-volume, repetitive tasks to automate. Throughout the rest of this blog, we will examine three innovative ways that local governments have leveraged Automate by HelpSystems as a middleware solution to drive efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve accuracy.

#1: Middleware Automation for Business Tax Payment Acceptance

When one West coast municipality wanted to streamline the way it accepted payment for business taxes, the city government sought a middleware automation solution that could cut down on the time and resources required to process the more than 8,000 statements. Accuracy and speed were critical to this payment processing, so the middleware tool had to sit between its financials system of record and the applications it used to collect payment information.

The local government was able to leverage our middleware automation solution to automate the process for accepting these tax payments by extracting and manipulating data for the city’s unique accounts receivable workflows, including sending files to its non-API endpoints like that of its financial institution. This increased the accuracy and efficiency of the entire process and saved nearly 35 seconds processing each bill, or around three full days of processing.

#2: Middleware Automation for Arrest Warrant Data Migration

A Midwestern city wanted to modernize the application that housed its warrant data and needed to migrate more than 25,000 arrest warrants from its legacy application. Seeking middleware to automate file movement, the city leveraged Automate to migrate the thousands of warrants in less than two weeks. The speed in transferring these files and moving warrant data between the legacy application to the new, modern application enabled the local government to accurately and quickly complete this large project and reduce reliance on a more costly manual transfer.

#3: Middleware Automation for Data Extraction

When a local public sector agency was devoting significant labor hours to accessing a web portal, downloading forms, and manually transcribing information into an excel template, it needed a middleware tool that would automate its processes and accurately read and extract the data from PDF-formatted applications. Leveraging Automate, the agency was able to reduce data extraction time, making the process more than 20 times faster than the manual method, with more than 99.9 percent accuracy. Handling this high volume of data, our middleware solution was able to bridge the gap between the business applications and simplify the process through automated data extraction.

Why Middleware Automation Matters for Local Governments

As city and local governments find themselves constantly being asked to do more when resources are disappearing, there has never been a more important time to consider middleware automation. Middleware automation tools enable city governments to continue providing essential services by empowering human workers to focus on more value-added, community-enriching activities. And it’s done by streamlining processes, improving accuracy, and fundamentally changing the way local governments tackle repetitive, labor intensive tasks.

Another reason why middleware automation solutions are essential is that they typically pay for themselves within a short timeframe and do not require the local government to raise taxes to pay for the solution. By leveraging Automate as a middleware automation tool, you are able to get up and running quickly and can scale for the needs of your municipal government. Ultimately, local governments must go forward by embracing a more strategic middleware automation approach and adopt new technologies that enable them to do more with less.

How Can Middleware Automation Improve Your Processes?

Let us show you how Automate can streamline processes in your local government with a personalized demonstration.