Government as a Platform – Solving Common Problems Once

Government as a Platform is such a powerful approach because it’s designed systemically, to address a core issue of self-generated duplication.

Like all large enterprise organizations Governments are structured via rigidly delineated departments and agencies, and typically deploy their own dedicated IT that is directly driven by those structures, thus it self-creates it’s own root issue – ‘Silos’.

As this Harvard white paper describes:

“There is a lot of duplication in government. Generally, departments and agencies are vertically integrated, with each running its own version of a system (a public website, a payment gateway, a printing service, an address lookup, etc.) that’s similar but not identical to all the others. Platforms have been cited as a way to remove that duplication and break down organizational silos.

Siloed approaches to transformation don’t work,” Mike Bracken wrote in 2015. “Reinventing the wheel every single time we build a service has led to far too much duplication and waste. That’s not good enough.”

It’s therefore an ideal blueprint to consider when Governments find that the complexity and cost of their business systems is the primary inhibitor of their innovation and efficiency.

Common Platforms: Solving common problems once

The UK is a keynote pioneer of the GaaP approach. Their GDS blog provides a category for GaaP, with recent news being their milestones release, which gives a sense of the maturity depth it has now achieved, with active GaaP services like Pay and Notify, a Cloud PaaS and by cultivating the central standards efforts by publishing API specs and design standards.

As explained in this video the core philosophy every department buys into is an organization wide effort to build common solutions to common, repeated issues.

Gov.uk Pay

Gov.uk Pay is the flagship GaaP service. As described in the milestones release, it processed 7.1m payments in 2020.

They publish the Roadmap for the service, with a supporting spectrum of community adoption and co-development activities, such as case studies like GOV.UK Pay as a viable alternative e-payment provider, and recorded workshops such as GOV.UK Pay for Local Government Show & Tell 3.

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