case management system for regulatory agencies

What’s the trend in case management adoption among public sector organisations?

Public sector case management systems are designed to help organisations manage and organise their processes. The trend in this field is toward more configurable systems, as they are more flexible and easier to adapt to changing business needs. More specifically, with high-configuration case management systems like Canalix Case Management, organisations can adjust settings and options to fit their requirements without needing custom development. This approach often results in faster deployment and more efficient use of resources. 

Both customisation and configurability have benefits and drawbacks, and the best option depends on the organisation’s specific requirements and resources. It is always better to consult the vendor or a professional before deciding.

How the public sector is purchasing case management systems?

Many government agencies are purchasing case management system off-the-shelf – which means it’s from a trusted vendor – a system that can be customised or configured to meet the agency’s needs.

Such an example is Canalix. Canalix is a case management system designed to respond to the needs of regulators with a focus on inspection processes. Among the reasons our public sector clients choose an off-the-shelf case management software (like Canalix Case Management) is that it delivers the desired functions at a lower cost, has more effective administration of processes, and guarantees that the agency’s technology is always up to date. There are even more benefits to be listed, but these highlight the vendor-based case management adoption approach toward which the public sector is currently transitioning.

What other benefits stay behind the vendor-based case management system adoption?

Government agencies are no strangers to the business needs of the private sector. They all want a comprehensive, end-to-end case management solution that can be many things, including:

  • It can be customised to do anything.
  • It can provide the government agency with smooth workflow processes.
  • It’s easy to use.
  • It can integrate seamlessly with any other system in existence.
  • Can be updated to meet the constantly changing needs of the government agency
  • It’s easy to purchase, easy to adopt, migrate and operate. 

The reality is that there are many case management solutions for the public sector that promise all of these benefits. However, there are hidden traps in purchasing a case management system for governments. The core reason is that selling a CMS involves using many industry-specific terms that may mislead someone exploring the off-the-shelf CMS waters for the first time. 

What are the hidden traps in purchasing an off-the-shelf case management software?

For instance, an off-the-shelf case management system can be customised/configured to a certain degree. Some off-the-shelf systems may have a high degree of configurability, allowing the agency to tailor the system to their specific needs. While other systems may have limited customisation options, making it more difficult for the client to adapt the system to their specific requirements. But how can we tell the difference when all public sector case management services promise high customisation/configuration?

What should a government agency client know about purchasing a case management system from the vendor?

Many vendors promise high configuration possibilities, but what if their product has limitations that would present a problem in the future when the system needs additional functionalities? The promise of an “everything is possible” type of case management service should be a red flag for public sector organisations, because it may be a trap that puts the client into a loop of constantly developing and testing new functionalities that go beyond the core functions and modules of the product. This will eventually make the product more expensive and the government agency a “hostage” to the vendor’s development processes. Even if the vendor presents a solution that doesn’t require long development and testing, it may still cause trouble when in the future, it can’t be integrated with another system or scaled. 

These and many other problems can occur for a public sector organisation, if a single vendor’s core case management offering has system limitations hidden under the disguise of “flexibility through complete customisation.”

High configuration vs complete customisation

How can you recognise a high-configuration case management system that can respond to the business needs of your regulatory agency? For example, you’re a procurement officer in a regulatory agency. Naturally, the core suite of functions you’ll need would include the following: inspection scheduling and calendar management, inspection forms and checklists, data collection and analysis, workflow management, document management, etc. You would need a case management system that supports these core functionalities. Still, you can also be able to update it with additional modules for specialised tasks that are unique for the type of enforcement required by the agency. Both the core suite and modules can be modified to perform additional functions, with no need of development work over the major elements. This is what high configuration is. 

Related: How to write an RFP for an innovative case management system?

Strong vs weak case management systems

No CMS is perfect from the shelf; configuration will always be necessary. But with a strong, intelligently designed core case management system with relevant case-management practices, configuration is just a matter of minor rework over the existing CMS elements.

Unique but weak “customised” case-management systems can “trap” customers into a costly cycle of development, testing and retesting of software features that may be unexpectedly costly in the future. While a strong CMS with intelligently designed core functions and high-configuration possibilities may deliver its configuration promise with a minor rework of the existing elements to make them fit the regulator’s needs.

The difference between customisation and configuration of case management systems

A case management system that can be completely customised will take longer, cost more, and there’s no guarantee the resulting vehicle will even run. When a vendor promises “complete customisation”, you should ask some more questions to make sure whether the customisation is a trap or a real opportunity. If not, you should shift your focus toward a case management system designed to meet your government agency’s needs and can be configured to meet the rest of the wished-for functions. Don’t fall for “complete customisation” promises when the base product’s functions are insufficient for your agency’s needs.

Canalix offers a configurable, low-code case management system that follows the best practices for regulators and is flexible to match the different inspection processes. Our vision is for a connected regulatory ecosystem that can streamline your processes thanks to the most advanced technology. We realise this vision through a strong base product with built-in configurability that will provide your regulatory agency with technology that remains relevant not just now but also in the future. Our flexible purchasing options meet the needs of small regulatory agencies and regulators with a nationwide remit that needs to do more with our product.