Paper, you know, that stuff you write on, send, file, and occasionally lose? That physical, fragile, and fallible material was the backbone of the records requests and case management industry when I started my career. Now, I help transition government agencies from often paper-reliant, antiquated legacy systems to a more reliable, searchable, and legally compliant platform for record request management in the cloud. This process of modernization is so rewarding and, I’ve found, is always a lighter lift for agencies than they anticipate and the savings in time and money also more than they hoped.

Now we’re witnessing a new evolution in records request management. I want to share my top three takeaways from Microsoft’s virtual Build 2021 developer’s conference. On day one of the conference, Microsoft doubled-down on what they’re calling "Arc-enabled" Azure services. 

They launched into a buzzword salad of Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and even BlockChain. But I want to cut to what all that means for government agencies, and for those of us working to drive efficiencies, increase legal compliance (that’s a big one), lower costs, enable disaster recovery, increase uptime, etc, etc. 

Let’s start at a high level and then zoom in. Essentially, Azure’s new offerings allow users to manage, configure or organize almost anything from records requests server configuration to workflow and governance, regardless of where servers are located including in competing cloud solutions like AWS.

3 Top Takeaways: 

  • Applied AI Services: Remember where we started with paper? Now, Azure not just eliminates paper, it also delivers a virtual assistant of sorts that accelerates the speed of processing requests for the end user. It leverages machine learning to recognize and read forms. This cognitive service allows  Public Records Officers and records request managers to ask for information as opposed to trying to *find* information.
  • Confidential Ledger: This is where blockchain enters the equation. Azure’s new services enable a secured trust environment. Sounds vague right? This diversified ledger creates tamper proof documents. That means, more well-rested nights for government records teams, as data from those documents cannot be modified. This technology also powers loss prevention by securing HIPAA data and helps ensure patient privacy.
  • Metric Adviser: We see that we’re buzzword compliant here with an “AI-based” system. What this means is that we can feed the system logs and transcriptions and even video. While creating better searchability, it also allows for better, easier, and faster redacting. The video analyzer opens up the potential to easily redact images like name badges, faces of bystanders, etc. 

Why Does it Matter? We’re only as good as the tools we use. At cloudPWR, we’re picking and choosing the right tools, including Azure, to build custom solutions for our government records request management and patient registry clients. These solutions help speed service, stop losses, and ultimately make the job of serving the people more effective.