MicroPact Blog

What Do Regulators and Their Constituents Want? We Asked Them

Aligning Product Development With Agency Issues

Jim MacLaggan's avatar

By: Jim MacLaggan

March 7, 2017 | Regulatory

Nobody has deployed more state-based COTS regulatory solutions than MicroPact — from single-board agencies to multi-board departments that manage dozens of programs and hundreds of license types across industries, businesses, and professions. In fact, almost all of the large, transformational licensing implementations in the U.S. over the past decade have been MicroPact projects.  Given our experience, you might think we’ve seen it all. On the contrary. Decades of deployments have taught us that new challenges always lay ahead. And that there is only one way to find out what they are.

Listening for System Requirements

The regulatory market is changing, and the tools and technology that support the industry are evolving. Recently I led a series of customer advisory sessions with several large state agencies that use MicroPact’s enterprise regulatory and licensing case management system. My solution strategist and director of product development also participated and lent their own perspectives. The goal of each session was to understand the trends, challenges, and market disruptions affecting each agency in order to understand their issues. We took technology off the table and focused on their business problems and constituents. Once we framed the business challenges, it was easier to align our product roadmap and uncover new ways to support them. 

Customer priorities fell into three buckets:

  1. Improving the citizen experience — Customers are looking to access and use information. Agencies must make it easy for them to find the right point of access and navigate to the services they need. Today that means providing mobile notifications and full-featured services online. Regulatory agencies in particular are increasingly expected to process applications, renewals, and CE registrations online, including payments, as well as manage online complaints. Moving processes online isn’t enough, though. Agencies must also revisit outdated policies and procedures to see where they can reduce application processing times and streamline other transactions.
  2. Leveraging analytics to make data-driven decisions — Agencies have plenty of data, but they’re hungry for easy-to-use analytics so they can understand their own performance, better allocate resources, and provide greater transparency to their legislatures and the public about the professions and industries they oversee — online. Thanks to ubiquitous reviews of restaurants, lodging, movies, and every other consumer product and service, citizens also expect online access to licensee inspection reports and complaints.
  3. Application consolidation and IT rationalization — State CIOs have ranked this exercise as a top priority for the last 10 years. It involves assessing existing portfolios and determining how to best meet future demand for evolving capabilities. Like other agencies, regulators need to address workforce and constituent demands for greater mobility. Because licensing, examination, and enforcement regulations are constantly in flux, they also need continuously configurable applications. Finally, they need easier integration via discoverable APIs so authorized organizations can access accurate information without redundant data entry. 

No Substitute for Dialog

My team could try to stay on top of these and other market trends from the comfort of our office. But it’s not the same as sitting down with our customers to hear why tech-savvy Realtors want a mobile-friendly renewal process triggered by text or email, or what three mobile features would make life easier for medical facility inspectors. If we want to be sure the products we build solve real problems, we have get out there and listen.

About the Author

Jim leads the MicroPact Regulatory Enforcement & Licensing portfolio. He drives strategic direction and fosters business development opportunities, leveraging over 15 years leadership experience working with public sector agencies to identify the right COTS case management solutions for them.