Overview

The Australian Digital Transformation Strategy outlines our vision to be a world leading digital government for the benefit of all Australians.

The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has developed the Whole-of-government Digital Service Platforms Strategy (the Strategy) to help enable the Digital Transformation Strategy. The Strategy is intended to provide guidance for Commonwealth Government departments and agencies involved in digital service platforms. The Strategy applies to whole-of-government digital service platforms developed by the Commonwealth Government, but state, territory and local governments may choose to follow the Strategy if they wish.

Developing the strategy

We explored the current strategic context including examples from other governments around the world, our current Australian government context and constraints, as well as other related strategies. We developed specific vision, goals and principles for digital platforms to ensure these platforms support the broader Digital Transformation Strategy. The Strategy is supported by the  Digital Platforms Operating Model which provides the leading practice for the organisation, capabilities and processes, skills and culture, technology and data applicable to digital platforms. Contact platforms@dta.gov.au for a copy of Digital Platforms Operating Model. In addition, it outlines the governance and performance frameworks, and funding considerations required to enable whole-of-government collaboration and outcomes.

A diagram indicating the relationships between the strategic context, the digital platforms vision and the six keys to success.

Figure 1: the Digital Platforms Strategy Framework. A text description is also available.

Whole-of-government digital platforms

A whole-of-government (WofG) approach to developing government services is needed to ensure that these services are easily accessible, convenient and meet user needs. This approach will enhance the value and experience delivered to people and businesses, while improving the efficiency and effectiveness of government. 

WofG digital platforms increase the  integrity and consistency of government service delivery, and provide a unified and seamless user experience. WofG digital platforms provide capabilities that are shared across policy areas, and deliver greater value through common technical foundations.

WofG digital platforms include a range of technologies that enable departments to develop, exchange and connect services, without needing to design, test and operate the underlying systems themselves.

WofG digital platforms can be adopted with minimal customisation to take full advantage of the efficiencies these platforms offer.

The benefit of digital platforms is the ability to share functionality, consolidate services and develop methods of exchanging data to deliver better value and experiences for users.

The key characteristic of digital platforms is that they are reusable building blocks of simple, common, non-business specific services that are needed across government. They are accessed via simple, common government Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) which in turn provide access to the underlying infrastructure, and can be easily replaced as needed.

    A digital platform is:

    • a collection of reusable business services that can be accessed by consumers (such as departments and agencies) in delivering information, services and experiences to end users (such as people and businesses)
    • able to support government and market-driven innovation by providing open frameworks, standards and tools (where relevant) allowing producers to create new digital services
    • applicable across policy and service delivery areas and deliver value and enhanced integrity to the whole government ecosystem, enabling more efficient and effective delivery of government services
    • aligned with the Digital Transformation Strategy, with central leadership and oversight to ensure consistent user experiences and better policy and service delivery outcomes across government

    Digital Platforms should display the following characteristics:

    • address common needs shared by a range of departments and agencies across government
    • easy and cost efficient to adopt to avoid duplication of effort and implementation of separate solutions to meet the same user need
    • interoperable by design to provide the ability to integrate and exchange information with other platforms and systems with ease through open standards and APIs
    • independent and channel agnostic to provide the ability to run independently, avoid technology ‘lock-in’ and provide the ability to be consumed via different channels 
    • secure and compliant with adequate security measures in place to meet legislative, regulatory and other compliance requirements
    • reliable and highly scalable to give confidence that services will perform as expected, are accessible and can scale to meet user demand
    • continuously improving with the ability to monitor, measure, and analyse performance and generate useful insights to keep the platform relevant
    • meet technical and design standards such as DTA’s Digital Service Standard and API Standards

    Our Platforms landscape

    The Commonwealth already operates many external (for example, myGov) and internal (such as End User Services) WofG platforms. Currently, there are multiple platforms in various stages of development or enhancement, as well as some that have been identified for development in the future. 

    Platforms currently in development

    myGov

    Interact with government, in one place with a single login. This is currently being enhanced to meet Australians’ growing expectations from government digital services.

    Digital identity

    Verification and authentication service to increase security, privacy and enable data exchange.

    Tell Us Once

    Provides a set of services that gives users the ability to maintain common attributes about themselves (initially name, address, email) and have updates distributed to those agencies they give consent for.

    Inbox and notify

    A secure inbox to receive and reply to messages and directly link with actions, and a set of services to give users control over how they are notified of any government interactions. 

    Digital humans

    Personal avatar assistant’s that can talk in a user’s preferred language, understand their needs and provide a familiar face when dealing with the government.

    Capabilities to be developed into platforms in the future

    myGov Dashboard

    A personalised dashboard to access and keep track of government services

    Payments In

    A set of services allowing users to pay a government invoice with their preferred payment type, and for agencies to receive payment and reconciliation reports without having to manage payment types.

    End user services

    Improved service delivery, decision making through smarter use of data and back office support functions.

    Business Registers

    Provides a set of business registry services to establish a reliable, accessible and trusted source of business and company information in Australia.

    Current platforms landscape
    Experience Consistent UX / UI - users move across government seamlessly and tasks across departments fit together neatly. Life event journeys - end-to-end journeys for common events are clearly mapped out for people, eg, becoming a citizen Consent driven - transparency about why, what an dhow data is being shared. Users have control and final say about how the complete tasks Authorisation - permission for families, partners, dependents and businesses to complete selected transactions on behalf of others
    Multiple entry points - users interact with government when and where it suits them, online and offline Proactive notifications - proactive and predictive transactions driven by data, event-driven architecture and AI  AI and data - tailoring services to individuals using AI and data holdings to predict and target what users need Help and support - admin accounts and virtual assistance to ensure that users can get the help they need online, on the phone and at a shop front 
    Platforms to be developed myGov dashboard Payments in End user services Business registers
    Platforms in development Digital identity Tell Us Once Inbox Notifications

    Multiple platforms have been identified to lay the foundations and enable whole-of-government capabilities over the next 3 years. This has been divided into 3 horizons, each focused on enabling both growth and innovation for platforms. Further detail on the three horizons and the underpinning activities has been provided in the digital platforms strategic roadmap section of this document.

    In the future, additional capabilities could be identified as additional WofG platforms. This strategy will help to guide the development of all current and future platforms.