Platforms to support better services

12 December 2018

Recently we released the government’s Digital Transformation Strategy. It lays out the vision for what government digital services will look like in 2025.  Today we’ve published our Digital Service Platforms Strategy, which supports this vision, and guides agencies as they transform and deliver government digital services. 

Digital building blocks

Digital platforms provide reusable building blocks to deliver common services.

There are many common services which are replicated across government — things like making payments, updating contact details, proving identity and receiving notifications from a government agency.

We are taking a whole-of-government approach to digital platforms so the common services which are delivered to people are consistent and easy to use.

These platforms bring consistency to the delivery of government services and this strategy brings consistency to the way government will deliver and manage platforms.

Improving user experience and reducing duplication

The approach we are taking will improve the experience of users interacting with government services and reduce duplication — stopping the same type of platform being built by more than one agency.

At the moment the DTA is building proof-of-concept prototypes for a number of key platforms. These are in different stages of development as we research, test and iterate to deliver the best solutions possible that will have the greatest impact.

These platforms will be able to be used across government. It means agencies can simply ‘plug’ their own system into the whole-of-government platform.

For example, one of the platforms the DTA is building is called Tell Us Once. It will allow you to update your contact details online, in one place and then, with consent, the updated details can be provided to multiple government agencies.

The platforms are also designed to work together. For example, once you have updated your contact details with Tell Us Once, the Notifications platform will send you a message to tell you that the change has been made.

Guidance for government

There isn’t one way to design and deliver this kind of strategy. We looked at international examples and consulted across government before we landed on the best approach for Australia.

The strategy is a practical guide for government agencies. It will make it faster and easier for agencies to implement new services because they won’t need to design, build, test and operate their own platforms.

Soon we’ll be publishing play books for agencies that will give in-depth guidance on how to build and adopt platforms.

Platforms offer savings for government, encourage collaboration and innovation, efficiency and responsiveness. But what they are really about is delivering a better experience for the people who use government services — an experience which is consistent, simple and makes it easy to get things done.

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