What is a standardized system?
There are common functions in business and government such as accounting, personnel, procurement and so on, that may be serviced by common systems that can be replicated across the country. This has been in practice for a long time, the concept is know as Application Systems Provider (ASP). However, today, the scale is much greater while the cost is much lower and the implementation is much easier. For administrative functions, ASP examples include PeopleSoft and SAP which are very deep standardized systems including accounting, human resources and payroll functions. For this discussion, let's take a Law Enforcement example in the new Electronic- Government. (The approach described here is potentially worth many millions to anyone interested in doing the development.)
Let's think in terms of a data model and transactions that stream across all of the law enforcement functions. (See Standardized System Graphic) The Law enforcement transaction and data-model entry begins with the 911 call and the initial dispatch of police or sheriff. This is incident data coming out of the Computer aided Dispatch system (CAD). The next step in the stream of data is the Jail Management System which adds to the data model with information about bookings, charges, individual records and so on. Next several other agencies begin to add transactions and elements to the data model. These include the District attorney's Case Management System, the Public defender's Case Management System and the Court Case Management System. At the far end of the data stream are the fine collections agency and the Probation Department.
All of these systems are designed and developed in the Internet architecture with a skillfully defined Data Model. Common data elements are entered only once. For example, when a booking is made and chargers are entered, these data are automatically available to the Case Management Systems of the DA , the Courts and so on. Users can only see or modify data within their rights and authorizations. District Attorneys can work on cases from anywhere, Judges can review court calendars from anywhere, briefs may be filed from anywhere, etc.
The greatest significance; however, is the fact that this system can be used all over the country. Separate Data Models and servers are established for each customer. Beyond that, all the customer needs is a fast connection to the Internet and a few local technical support staff and they are on the system. This is a completely new model which is possible because of the Internet Architecture and provides the customer with a virtual I.T. organization, virtual computer room, etc, and greatly reduced costs. For many customers, this will be the only possible way to move into the Information Age.