Prior to the launch of OneGov, the Software-as-a-Service provider to the NSW government and provider of Service NSW, the state government was running in silos and on outdated systems, some of which were up to 40 years old.
OneGov technology head Rahul Dutta explained recently at OpenStack Day Australia that each department -- whether it was transport, education, or justice -- ran their own different systems and processes which resulted in duplications, poor data quality, restraint on budgets, and ultimately impacted the way customers connected with the state government.
Dutta went on to say that when the state government realised the problem it had, there was a decision to consolidate each department's processes into one platform. He said part of that process meant re-engineering each department's line of business, which Dutta pointed out had a lot of similarities.
"What we found was there was a huge amount of similarities in how cases were managed, how payments are done, how partners are managed, and what we decided was to create and re-engineer business processes and create a new platform," he said.
Specifically, the government deployed a hybrid cloud, with the private cloud hosted within the government's datacentres located in Silverwater and Unanderra; and on top of that, Dutta said, a multi-tenanted application was deployed to run the same business processes each department had. This gave each department visibility and the opportunity to configure their offices on the platform in a short period of time.
"It's a little bit like a Salesforce in the government," he said.
In addition, the government partnered with Rackspace to migrate 50 organisations, largely their application environments, into OpenStack.
Since launching the new platform, OneGov handles 10 million transactions a year while managing a similar number of customers through Service NSW, the state's one-stop shop for government transactions.
At the same time, the state government has realised so far more than AU$100 million in cost savings as a result of the platform.
But according to Dutta, the work so far is just beginning for the NSW government. He said the next focus for will be to work on becoming more customer-centric by developing a single account for customers to manage all of their transactions with the government; developing concepts such as introducing digital licences; and enhancing the use of big data and machine learning through chat bots and conversational interfaces.
Investing in Hadoop will also be another future consideration for the government as it invests in big data, Dutta said.
Dutta added that OneGov is looking to adopt objective storage and move away from the existing block storage, with the belief it will give the government added flexibility to upgrade when dealing with large amounts of documents and files.
Last June, Service NSW received a AU$362 million in further funding from the 2015 state budget to increase the number of digital interactions with government.