Elyon Strategies Case Study

Department of Social Services Rapid Platform Assessment

Department of Social Services
Department of Social Services Rapid Platform Assessment

Project Background

The Department of Social Services (DSS) was looking for an innovative approach to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of health and human services across the seven programs they administered. They articulated a desire to modernize health and human service program delivery systems and to use innovative technologies and approaches. The DSS vision recognized the need to utilize a platform or platforms to create and develop solutions that deliver interoperability among the agencies. The platform(s) would be used to create reusable services across multiple programs using a limited number of technology solutions to improve the speed of deployment to the field, create efficiencies, and reduce the risks and costs associated with supporting multiple technology solutions. DSS desired to modularly implement the platform. The goals of the project included:

  • Limited number of technology solutions
  • Improved speed of deployment to field
  • Programmatic efficiencies
  • Reduced risk associated with supporting multiple technology solutions
  • Reduced costs associated with supporting multiple technology solutions
  • Consistent with federal Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines

The requested assessment included DSS’ existing environment, core applications, architecture, systems, platforms and current software delivery processes for Child Welfare, Benefit Assistance, Licensing, and Child Support Enforcement programs as well as administrative systems, with an intended use for deploying reusable services across multiple federal and state programs.

The recommendations needed to be based on the following criteria:

  • The breadth of business capabilities the solution could enable
  • Support of the “build once, use many times” approach across DSS and the State
  • The total cost of ownership, including licensing, configuration and maintenance
  • The use of statewide contracts for development and maintenance
  • The ability to be configured to meet business objectives without customization
  • The ability for the technology to be deployed in the cloud

Project Approach

Elyon proposed using a model-driven assessment approach to discover department business needs, confirm mission vision, and strategy with business outcomes, identify tactics with objectives as well as targets and KPIs. This would be presented in the perspectives of program performance, business capability and technology.

CADET™, Elyon’s AI-fueled Sidekick

CADET™ logo

Elyon’s delivery team included CADET, a semi-supervised digital assistant, which increased the breadth and depth of the analysis the project team was able to provide. CADET was also used as an enterprise knowledge base to store each of the onboarded documents, the specific metadata that was gleaned from each, and the analyses that came from the project. CADET supported the team’s model-driven approach to map pieces of documents to framework item in the business, information and technology architectures, and tracked changes and maturity progress throughout the project. CADET provided visualizations and reports in the perspectives and formats that supported strategy and validation sessions with DSS executives and management.

At the end of the project, CADET generated a comprehensive documentation mapping, and stands ready to pick up right where it left off in DSS’ next initiative.


Elyon guided the development of a 3-year roadmap for replacing all solutions and landing on a preferred enterprise platform for all solutions. The platform included a hybrid cloud implementation, Pegasystems, Marklogic and Amazon Web Services (AWS) services. 

The analysis prioritized and sequenced the portfolio of projects and offered a clear financial analysis with a return of investment of about 3 years. With no prior knowledge of DSS, Elyon completed the assessment in 6 weeks leveraging the power of CADET. 

Within that timeframe, Elyon was able to deliver initial analysis and designs, which were approved as guiding factors in the social services modernization approach. As a result, DSS and the State IT agency began to make policy and technology decisions to introduce cloud, new platforms and other enabling technology in the State’s services, clarifying roles and scope for the multi-vendor delivery model.  

In addition, Elyon developed performance targets, created system architecture perspectives, developed platform recommendations, and created a score for each layer of the platform as to its value and impact for the overall DSS strategy.

The staff is extremely knowledgeable and the tools (CADET) used to help with the overall assessment are top notch. It has been an extreme pleasure working with such skilled and personable individuals.” - Project Sponsor

Elyon’s Rapid 6-week assessment was:

  • Complete: The recommended solution included development environment, operational environment and advanced technology innovations, such as Cloud, Automation, Security
  • Integrated: Identity, Data, and Workflows were integrated to eliminate program redundancy and information handoffs 
  • Compliant:  Enhanced capabilities to follow and track against Federal mandates such as CMS modularity, MITA Conditions and Standards, certification requirements, and other State and Federal agency guidance
  • Customer-centric:  Common and intuitive access through a personalized online experience
  • DSS User-centric:  DSS professionals access all program functions with a 360o view of customer, provider, and the associated transactions with “Customer Intelligence”
  • Secure:  The entire solution was set in a FEDRAMP ‘Moderate’ Environment with consistent controls across all applications, data, and internal and external users
  • Efficient: Optimized use and opportunity for self-service and automation throughout the agency

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Elyon Enterprise Strategies, Inc.

Elyon Strategies is a management consulting firm specializing in enterprise business design. Our purpose is to see executive burdens lessened, organizational order increased, with leaders and their organizations having more hope, more success, less despair, and human need being met.

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We inspire leaders to transform complexity into enterprise success.

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About Elyon

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Here at Elyon, we’ve developed the ability to transform organizations through powerful processes and innovative technology. Our team helps you manage the complexities of digital transformation and overcome the struggles of long implementation cycles. 

We have the experience to execute detailed transformation projects from the foundation and planning stages through to the implementation and knowledge transfer phases.

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