Government as a platform

The Government as a Platform (GaaP) concept is focused on a digital basis for government sharing data, software and services, and has been proposed as an accessible, effective and innovative government model. Imagine the government functioning as an intermediary: promoting cooperation, linking citizens and providers and organising ground-breaking future models of public service delivery. Government as a Platform is the cornerstone that enables public services of the next generation to be delivered by government and non-governmental organisations.

Digital is also fundamentally changing the way organisations provide public services, particularly as the boundaries between government, business and civil society are blurred. Globally, public service executives are betting on new technologies as they form services—70 per cent plan to invest in artificial intelligence in the coming year, and 67 per cent plan to invest in IoT. Many firms looked at the variables that play a key role in the adoption of the Government Platform. They found that even for countries with the highest level of preparation (Singapore, UK and the United States), there is still space for progress in all dimensions of government as a platform: building a base, promoting an environment of change and innovation, supporting economic development and innovating in public service delivery.

Most public service executives (82 percent) globally believe, according to the Accenture Technology Vision 2018 report, that organisations are integrating themselves into the fabric of how people live today through technology, and platforms are a powerful thread. The most successful platforms are built around unique priorities, situational requirements and existing capacities, and there are choices for agencies.

Whole of Government Platform

The public sector is the primary driver of a culture that facilitates cooperation among the stakeholders. The Whole-of-Government platform is ideally suited to countries that have developed a strong, unified obligation at the federal level for the transformation of digital and public services. The central point of access to cross-government information and resources is provided by this type of portal. Such one-door facilities are required by residents. In fact, 6 out of 10 US people favour a centralised online platform for their online public services. For example, the Government Digital Service in the United Kingdom and the Australian Taxation Office have proven successful in this approach. Norway is investigating ways to use the Altinn network to improve cooperation with enterprises and civil society (e.g., crowdsourcing activities). Altinn also offers the tools and technology framework from which government agencies and companies can develop innovative programmes, expanding beyond an online portal to streamline business reporting. In order to drive innovation, third parties should connect with the platform and create value-added services, sharing some common data with platform partners. Stakeholders are discussing the further creation of Altinn as the trusted source of data for the Norwegian digital economy. Think safe citizen data gatekeeper.

Peer Platform

A service-centric and vertically integrated network set up by two or more government agencies is a peer platform. To encourage more extensive data exchange, these networks minimise the amount of information and the number of service providers. Data exchange is increasingly necessary, with 85 percent of public service executives globally agreeing that their organisations use data for essential and automated decision-making on an unparalleled scale. Peer networks also allow bolder projects that concentrate on a specific field of public service.

This approach to the platform is best for countries that lack a common public digital services platform and are searching for better implementation in many policy areas (e.g. funding for small businesses, licencing) involving many public departments, frequently at both federal and state/local levels.

By embracing a peer forum, government regulatory and licencing agencies will benefit. Although also maintaining public welfare, these organisations must become more constructive partners based on the success of their corporate sector. They’re trying, but a lot of them still look digital, not digital.

Eco System Platform

In an ecosystem platform, government functions as an orchestrator or centre, a transparent and outcome-focused platform in which government works together with non-governmental actors or provides services. This model of co-creation fosters natural collaborations and promotes the cultivation of new value and innovation through unconventional ones. Almost all (91 percent) of public service executives surveyed globally agree that embracing a platform-based business model and collaborating with digital partners in ecosystems is crucial. Public service administrators are now planning for greater cooperation with the ecosystem. Most public service executives (94%) agree that the amount of data shared with partners will increase.6 It could be the best way to tackle complex policy problems that a single service provider will not manage (e.g., youth unemployment and training).

An effective ecosystem network is Pôle Emploi, the French agency for public jobs services. The “L’Emploi Store,” an open portal, was launched where people can download job-related apps created by Pôle Emploi and third parties. The organisation partnered with a provider of online education, giving job seekers access to more than 1,000 online courses. The agency has founded “Le Lab,” an internal innovation centre that supports opportunities to develop new digital services for job seekers, employers, counsellors and start-ups.

Crowdsourcing Platform

A collaborative and innovation-focused approach is the crowdsourcing platform, through which governments freely cooperate with residents, corporations, other government organisations or NGOs. Government acts as an orchestrator or platform for cooperation with the environment in this approach, but with largely undefined roles for participants. This forum is ideally suited to countries where new policy challenges require innovative civil society problem solving.

Examples include crowdsourcing projects that invite suggestions and expertise on deeply nuanced topics, such as the USAID Grand Challenge to tackle the Ebola outbreak or the “UNHCR Ideas,” open forum of the UNHCR, which calls for ideas to improve refugee lives.

Likewise, the U.S. Under a defined income threshold, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers taxpayers free online tax assistance and e-file options. The IRS has approved existing applications developed by other private entities rather than taking the time and money to create these apps itself, and makes the tools available through IRS.gov. Registered individuals can use free fillable online forms, download tools for commercial tax planning, and communicate from the IRS controlled website with approved e-file tax preparers.

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(Data from crowdsorcingweek.com)

Citizen Centric Government

To ensure greater productivity from the point of view of the citizen Engages in a digital facility back through to the recording systems. This digital transformation also gives further insight into the data being collected. In order to achieve a closer relationship with them in the future, this perspective into what people expect from their services is essential to providing them with access to services which were not feasible under previous siloed data management approaches. The end-to-end digital transformation of systems and processes would be a crucial facilitator of the government’s ability to deliver public services more creatively and more effectively. At the heart of this is the expansion of a popular digital project delivery system. A collection of IT architectures that complement the step towards shared systems, based on open systems, standards and APIs, while maintaining the integrity, stability and reliability of existing high volume transactional systems.

Government as a platform includes the overhaul of government’s IT creating a central, cross-departmental infrastructure and architecture Central-government digital channels. This technique promotes greater interoperability between IT systems and their operating departments. There is, however, a vacuum between central government and local government record IT systems at present. Government as a platform can be used in the future. Used as part of every solution to close the void. This strategy could expand the potential service enhancement and cost reduction benefits of central government to local government as well as to provide additional opportunities to minimise expenditure and increase long-term savings.

The vision for Government as a Platform, and the importance of Digital Sustainability

The use of modern open frameworks and agile delivery methodologies for departments with large transactional systems ensures that programmes can be redesigned rapidly. The application of agile software development principles to system design thinking allows digital operations to be iterated and implemented more rapidly without the need for large-scale, expensive migration projects.

Digital channels provide people with simpler, more convenient services as well as greater ease of analysis of data. Using this idea, data can be collected easily and this information can be presented in new ways. In addition to this shift to shared IT infrastructure and models, there is also more focus within the government on how to expand the use of other shared resources and shared platforms. Initiatives such as ISSC2 have begun successfully, but IT and service delivery are also more likely to be connected to other shared service approaches.

Around the same time, during the process of transition, the complexity of heritage structures allows operating teams to consider a variety of components. The transition to digital services should not be focused on the implementation of new technologies that, in turn, must be withdrawn and replaced. Instead, it is important to consider the viability of the supply of digital services from the beginning.

An architectural solution that can cover all of these bases without needing vast quantities of customization is the prerequisite here. The most productive way is to build and adapt a common framework solution to an established environment so that the company can derive value from its heritage structures and enable the data to be used in a new architecture. Better services and more informed decisions will benefit from the ability to extract valued data from heritage operating frameworks to new open-source platforms.

Digital Sustainability Grid

Government-wide agencies would have to determine how sustainable their policies are in adopting current and new methods. Alongside heritage IT, open systems. A thorough analysis of existing systems alongside modern online operating databases and conventional data warehouses, as well as the types of workloads and applications running on each system, is needed to achieve this.

The correct way, by considering the requirements of the operation, it can provide the elements of pace and personalization expected from mass online services, while still maintaining the single architecture approach. The achievement of “Digital BAU” can be examined through the lenses of people, business processes and the IT architecture that underpin these and the evolutionary change needed towards each as organisation and government departments as they mature along the journey.

Digital Inclusion

The alternatives need to be preferable or easier to use when facilities are replaced or moved offline. Owing to cultural and economic influences, as well as a lack of knowledge and skills, about 13% of the adult population in 2016 was not online in UK. This can be resolved by education, by enhancing ease of access, by adding value to the experience of communicating with online government and by providing Gov.UK with public access points in more areas. This use of online services in many places will be enabled by the implementation of Verify for identity assurance which will resolve the potential security issue.

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Open Government

To foster private sector innovation, there is a strong need to provide open APIs. In order to allow people to access and manage the information that the government maintains about them, the government is defining data requirements for the public sector. A shared technology approach would allow cross-departmental teams the opportunity to monitor their knowledge and how it is shared. What should be shared and what shouldn’t be shared, and accessed. It also allows the government the opportunity to explore innovative ways to use information for citizens’ gain, such as an individual might access their personalised Gov.Uk space to handle all communications within their lives around products.

Cost reduction – Managing fraud and errors, increasing savings and efficiencies

Real-time information systems will only have the opportunity to build more flexible services but would also equip the government with greater transaction analytics capabilities. These are essential to solving the problem of government fraud, errors and debt. Compared to manual intervention and follow-up after transactions have been completed, identifying transactions that are anomalous in real time and stopping them from going through provides the opportunity to minimise costs.

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 (Picture from Harvard Business Review)

Data Growth

Technologies that can handle the increase of data produced by a digital government and the flow of connected data (driven by people, processes, devices and things) will involve a popular digital service development framework. As new projects are introduced across the Internet of Things and Smart City implementations, the future growth of data that can be used and integrated within citizen service will be implemented. At the same time, as part of some services where speed of access is needed to make things work, this data would have to be used and searched in real time. This data growth won’t happen for its own sake. It’s got to be related to enhancing the delivery to people of current services, and Ultimately, they deliver new services that support them in new ways.

Availability of services

The need to preserve the integrity of the supporting infrastructure for real-time processing is imperative as we transition from legacy to digital. In a multi-data centre environment, open-source platforms will create resilience into the facilities, having no single point of failure. One solution is to use “masterless” modules that can span many locations and withstand failures.

Privacy and security of data

There is a need for custodians of data to balance open access with confidentiality and security. In the case of the United Kingdom, Gov.UK.Verify is a key component of this, but because data is exchanged between agencies, it is important to specify the data travel rules. It would be critical for people to provide them with simple methods for managing and regulating how their data (data on or about them) is used, such as online portals where all relevant information can be displayed back to them.

Conclusion

It will be instrumental in switching to a Government-as-a-Platform, redefining the relationship of government with people and business. In the transition from legacy systems to digital must also take into account the requirements of the decades ahead, in addition to ensuring continuous service availability. It is feasible, although the role is critical. There are already gradual steps being taken and the results are delivering real value and building blocks for the wholesale transformation of heritage structures and facilities.

In the context of developing countries, policymakers need to build the necessary IT infrastructure so that digital service delivery systems can equitably support the whole population. Digital technology and digital literacy, together with the affordability of IT, must allow the technologically disabled population to access the full spectrum of digital services. With low literacy and citizens’ educational levels, developed countries need to invest heavily in it in order to see its advantage hit the last person on the line.

The process of transition can be facilitated by technical and digital capabilities in the right places of government. Governments are doing two things to achieve this: invest in fresh digital talent and educate the current workforce. Digital changes call for advanced skills that are in high demand and often difficult to come by. It is also difficult for government agencies to recruit the best talent, as the private sector may offer better salaries, a more risk-taking atmosphere, and clearly described career trajectories. For their digital ventures, however, governments have found ways to attract or nurture IT talent. Once you have the expertise, technology, and equipped government teams, it is essential to engage design thinking concepts as they are critical for successful transformation. The emphasis is on being citizen-centered and adding value to the citizen’s desire for participation. This has the power to turn government ties with people from punitive to value driven.