10 Years of Digital Transformation
When cloudPWR was founded in 2011, our guiding design principle was the opposite of what we saw in the industry at that time. We focused on simplicity over complexity. We worked to make the user experience simple and easy, while providing everything our customers needed and nothing they didn't.
We started cloudPWR by approaching a sector that was ripe for disruption, but where entrenched technology is far from simple and difficult to displace. Now, having developed cloud solutions to address a variety of challenges in public records and case management across government agencies, we’re looking forward to both scaling those existing government solutions and expanding our offerings to simplify, automate and scale repeatable, everyday processes across public and private sectors and industries.
Every couple of years, we redefine the frontier of digital transformation. From the years leading up to the founding of cloudPWR in 2011 to our newly remote world, we’ve experienced several movements that demanded this continued transformation. Here’s a look into a few of those key moments and how we’re thinking about the future of cloudPWR technology:
The rise of real-time data, web applications, and the digital office
The seed of what ultimately became our opportunity to grow cloudPWR was the release of the iPhone in 2007. Suddenly, technology was about mobility and access to real-time data — essentially, the infrastructure for a “cloud 0.0”.
This infrastructure arose because leading companies like Netflix, Facebook and Twitter couldn’t buy the hardware that they needed, so they built their own. They designed their own computers and data centers in order to fulfill their vision of real-time updates, mass scalability and geographic access across continents.
At the same time, in the business world, the digital office (a concept that had been slowly evolving since the 1960’s) was still a booming concept. Document imaging solutions that eliminated the file cabinet were becoming commonplace. But they still hadn’t removed the root problem: the need to displace paper.
A glimpse of the next wave and the birth of cloudPWR
Solution providers like Box and DocuSign — cloudPWR partners to this day — demonstrated the massive potential of a truly paperless business process solution for records. These tools illustrated thrilling new impact potential, from workflow optimization to lessening the environmental footprint of businesses.
In 2011, cloudPWR was founded with a focus on supporting this next wave of work, moving beyond the industry standard. We went against the grain of other players. We know combining cutting edge technology with the public sector is not a recipe for exponential overnight growth in the way that it is in the commercial sector, but it is a recipe for sustainable change that makes the work of public servants more efficient and effective and builds rewarding, trusting relationships with the public.
During that time, decision makers still wanted their information and data to be stored locally, so we ensured that cloudPWR technology could meet clients where they were in their digital transformation journey. They would tell us they never wanted to move to the cloud out of concerns for safety, security and data ownership. But mobility was increasingly becoming a priority, and state, county and city agencies began to realize that cloud-powered solutions could drive significant outcomes and far greater efficiencies. Gradually, we transitioned early adopters from on-premise, to managed software as a service, to what is today a fully serverless environment, virtualized-in-cloud.
Government opportunities lead to a narrowing of focus
In 2013, Washington State released an RFP for cloud storage. We leveraged the collective strengths of cloudPWR and Box to respond to the bid — and we won the contract over leading competitors like Google, Microsoft and IBM.
Shortly after, cannabis was legalized in Washington State and the government needed a solution for fielding, scoring and approving applications to become a licensed producer, grower or processor, or retailer for cannabis. Initially integrating Docusign, Box, and Google forms, we built a simple solution for evaluating and scoring RFP’s, following this example we worked side-by-side with the state to design and implement a cannabis business licensing solution that is still in use today, almost 8 years later.
Following the success of those projects, we zeroed in on our strengths and decided on the next frontier to pursue: the public disclosure law. We built AIRLIFT, the management application that helps public records officers manage the intake and fulfillment process of public records. And we’ve been building on that momentum ever since, offering a host of solutions that simplify and automate complex case management use cases for public agency customers from city halls, to county government departments, to states across America.
The future is here
Fast forward to 2020, and overnight, the pandemic obliterated operational (antiquated) business norms that cloud experts have been chipping away at for decades.
New momentum has arisen around the need for cloud. Across virtually every industry, from government, to transportation, to education, there are still many mainframes and client-server applications that use a legacy approach to records and case management. And at cloudPWR, our guiding principle in helping to facilitate more transitions from legacy is still simplicity.
We want to empower the business analyst in the department without a budget for a large-scale ERP implementation, the records request officer struggling with outdated workflows, and businesses looking to streamline case management with the platform to create repeatable, streamlined processes — without needing to write code to do it. The future definition of digital transformation is in front of us, and we’re again on the frontier. We’re looking forward to 10 more years helping clients embrace and benefit from the transformation.