Joined Up Government – Platforms for Government

Government has a long history of procuring large complex ‘tower’ systems – so the current IT landscape looks like;

Towers

Lots of individual systems, each of which delivers one function.  They don’t talk to each other particularly well, they don’t share components, and they don’t share data.  Not a good model for joined up government!

The panacea would be to shift to joined up systems like this;

Platforms

Much of this is conceptually straightforward, and just a change of policy – but a key part of this new architecture is the ‘Platform’ – shared flexible services which can be used across the estate to build systems.  But how are these created and where do they come from?

The video below looks at this, and how we can learn from the platforms which are already on the Internet – like Flickr and Google Maps – what made them successful? How can that success be replicated?

Government as a Platform should be encouraged as it provides the ideal means to generate and indeed exploit a platform architecture, which brings benefits of reduced cost, along with an improved service to both citizen and government employee alike.

At IBM we believe that this approach should be embraced, and we are looking at how we can help government to build these platforms.  We are working within government to deliver the systems of today, but we are looking to incorporate open, extensible services with the expectation that some of these will become the standardised and ultimately commodity platforms of tomorrow.

Executive IT Architect

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