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IBM Global Business Services

IBM Institute for Business Value quick read

Social Services and

Social Security

From possibility to actuality

Why social services and social security organizations are turning to SOA

only understand what SOA is, but how

Social services and social security organizations face numerous
to apply it strategically in their organiza-
challenges, including the increasing cost and complexity of their IT tion to business problems specific to
systems. A service-oriented architecture (SOA) can help overcome their industry.

these IT challenges by enabling organizations to optimize their existing

We use three scenarios in the social
IT investments and realize higher levels of efficiency and flexibility. services and social security domain
to show how to apply SOA to problems
Public social services and social security with a different configuration of services that are common to most social pro-
organizations face a host of challenges – to help a person with mental illness gram areas.
compelling them to move faster and more live more independently. There are, of
• Using a retirement pension scenario,
flexibly, target services more effectively, course, legal, funding and, in some
we show how SOA can enable sig-
concentrate resources on increasing cases, technology-related constraints
nificant new functionality to IT systems
program efficiency and effecting positive that may make it difficult to share
and permit better outcomes, without
client outcomes. Add to these factors services – whether social services or SOA
replacing existing computer systems.
the need to adapt quickly to legislative services. SOA provides an approach
changes and the growing demands for for organizations to deal with these • For managing disability determinations,
services and benefits – all in the face “technology-related constraints” that can an SOA approach illustrates that
of shrinking resources – and it’s easy to fundamentally change the way social existing single purpose systems could
see why administrators and executives services and social security systems be integrated and used in new ways to
are looking for new and better ways of interact, providing an unprecedented help improve service delivery. Benefits
doing business. But the IT systems that level of flexibility for the way social and services may be improved and
enable these programs and services services are delivered and managed. costs held in check by using existing
add challenges of their own: increasing systems more efficiently.
complexity and the costs associated Can SOA really influence the structure • An unemployment scenario
with change. of entire social systems? Can it really demonstrates how SOA provides
change the way that organizations pro- access to individual functions within
In the field of social services and social vide benefits and services? And, can applications – making the operating
security, services may be incorporated it help ensure that clients get the benefits environment more flexible and
into various service plans. For example, and services that they need, and to providing greater opportunity for
the same substance abuse service that which they are entitled? To answer these business process change.
is grouped with other services to help questions, business leaders must not
prevent child abuse may be re-used
For each scenario, we describe the These examples represent just three © Copyright IBM Corporation 2009
business problem and how it works areas in which SOA can help social IBM Global Services
today. We then discuss how the problem services and security organizations meet Route 100
Somers, NY 10589
could be addressed with an SOA-based the needs of the public – faster, more U.S.A.
approach to technology integration, flexibly and more efficiently. Starting Produced in the United States of America
including how the systems interact small may be the surest path to success. February 2009
All Rights Reserved
using SOA, with terms and diagrams for Once you have established an SOA
IBM, the IBM logo and ibm.com are trademarks
business executives. We conclude each infrastructure and reusable services in or registered trademarks of International
scenario by discussing the business one part of your organization, successive Business Machines Corporation in the United
States, other countries, or both. If these and
value of the solution and, in some cases, projects can build upon that foundation. other IBM trademarked terms are marked
value brought directly from the use of Although it can’t do it alone, SOA can on their first occurrence in this information
with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these
SOA techniques. enable social services and social security symbols indicate U.S. registered or common
organizations to fundamentally alter how law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this
information was published. Such trademarks
they collaborate, deliver services and may also be registered or common law
trademarks in other countries. A current list
provide benefits. of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at
“Copyright and trademark information” at

How can IBM help? Other company, product and service names
may be trademarks or service marks of others.
IBM Solutions: Each scenario in this paper relates to one or more different solutions.
References in this publication to IBM products
1. Scenario 1: Improving access to retirement pension information and services do not imply that IBM intends to
make them available in all countries in which
• Single View of the Citizen IBM operates.
2. Scenario 2: Proactively managing disability eligibility and benefits
• Integrated Case Management To request a full version of this paper,
• Electronic Case Folder Capabilities from IBM FileNet e-mail us at iibv@us.ibm.com
3. Scenario 3: Managing unemployment services at the point of contact
• Integrated Case Management Enterprise Business Architecture.
• Electronic Case Folder Capabilities from IBM FileNet
The IBM Global Social Segment Practice has a number of case management alternatives.
A course of action is ideally chosen using the initial offering, Integrated Case Management:
Enterprise Business Architecture.
Government industry-specific offerings
• Why Social Segment Organizations are turning to SOA. A workshop built around the
content of this white paper.
• Lessons in Integrated Case Management
• Social Services BPM for SOA Implementation Planning
Application Services Offerings:
• Application Development • Enterprise Architecture & Technology
• Business Application Modernization • SOA Strategy & Transformation
• Complex Systems Integration • SOA Design, Development and Integration
• Portals & Content Management Services

Key contacts:
IBM Institute for Business Value: Richard Disney, disneyr@us.ibm.com
Application Innovation Services:
Global Geoffrey Vickrey, GEOFF@jp.ibm.com
Americas Roger Letalien, rletalie@us.ibm.com
Europe Jane Slinn, jane.slinn@uk.ibm.com and
Virginia Toural Mendez, virginia.toural@es.ibm.com
Asia Pacific Steve Bingham, steve.bingham@au1.ibm.com GBE03178-USEN-01