Versent helps Service NSW digitise and secure state services with flexible API solution
Service NSW is an agency of the New South Wales (NSW) government which provides the state’s citizens with access to more than NSW government services, from applying for a child’s birth certiﬁcate to licences for starting a business.
Service NSW’s services include:
- a customer-friendly government web portal;
- citizen identity and digital licensing platform;
- service centres where multiple customer transactions can be carried out; and
- mobile applications that provide real-time information as customers need it.
SNSW offers citizen-based services, provided through a customer identity digital platform. Due to the huge success of this program, many customers have increased their uptake in the services that they can consume from the NSW government agency. Some if these services include the following:
- book a driver’s licence test with Roads and Maritime Services
- lodge a bond claim if your tenant owes you money
- pay a penalty notice if your vehicle has been reported
- register the birth of your child
- apply for a Seniors Card when you turn 60
Currently, SNSW has 3 million users registered in its portal.
The NSW government was operating across a number of individual web portals and backend systems, with limited integration abilities and multiple usernames and passwords for its citizens across its agencies and services.
It realised that it needed a digitisation strategy to connect its multiple processes and platforms, creating a seamless customer experience while ensuring customer data was secure. In addition, it needed to provide a platform for the reuse of compliance and proof of identity transactions across agencies which would reduce the time needed for individuals and small businesses to interact with the NSW government.
A key aspect of Service NSW was that citizens could use multiple methods of identiﬁcation from tax numbers to social media accounts, to securely access information and services. To accommodate this, the portal needed to be integrated with the NSW’s customer servicing platform.
Service NSW required the customer servicing platform to also act as a single, central source which could interact with other government agencies’ existing systems, with appropriate controls, to provide access to relevant citizen information.
Service NSW is making it easier to access government services for people and businesses across NSW.
They’re using digital innovation to deliver fast, efficient services to customers in a one-stop delivery channel.
With the rapid uptake of the services within the citizens of NSW, the government agency was experiencing capacity issues that had the potential to impact its customers.
The solutions were well architected, however the old-world challenges of not having an on demand, scalable infrastructure had the potential to impact their service delivery. In addition, infrastructure costs were increasing as server capacity had to be acquired in advance for their growing Development and Production environments.
“Moving to a ‘self-service-on demand’ delivery model for base platform loads has enabled platform teams more time to drive enhancements and innovation in this space, rather than repetitive builds – Base environment builds were 3-5 days are now completed in 45mins.”Ben McMullen CIO
Without having the ability to “switch things off” when not being used, SNSW foresaw that their Data centre costs would keep on increasing at a rapid rate.
“Right-sizing and self-service through more effective technology choices to better support our product teams, agile delivery of environments (base servers, applications and configuration) through CICD has all but eliminated blockers for product teams”Colin Jones, CTO
Workloads were targeted for either rapid or transformed migration, depending on their ability to be automated and the critically to the business. The security platform was transformed first, adopting DevOps, Continuous Delivery and Infrastructure-as-code techniques in the migration. The new AWS environment can scale based on customer load, repair itself if a server degrades and deliver business change in a repeatable and reduce risk process.
Some of the AWS services leveraged when implementing this solution were:
- AD Connector
- Certificate Manager
- Direct Connect
- RDS (for Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL)
- Systems Manager
Service NSW is reaping the benefits of their all-in AWS strategy. Over the last 6 months, the teams at Service NSW, Versent, and AWS have migrated the following services into AWS:
- Security workloads
- Active Directory
- Microsoft Windows Workloads
- Microsoft SQL Server Workloads
- Non-production environments
By selectively transforming appropriate workloads and rapidly migrating others, the team ensured the migration finished on time while moving key services to an optimised state.
The security platform is estimated to cost around 25% less to operate in the transformed state. The impact on staff engagement has been tracked by the project and has seen staff move from reactively responding to incidents to proactively improvement the environment through continuous improvement processes.
The rapidly migrated workloads are benefiting from the move too. While not achieving the same TCO reduction, they are operating around a 15% reduction and benefiting from the improved resilience of the AWS environment.
The team is now starting to focus on transforming or replacing the rapidly migrated workloads to reduce the TCO further, through increased adoption of AWS Platform servers such as AWS RDS, AWS CloudWatch and Lamdba.
While hard to quantify all the benefits so far that can be captured are:
- Transform workloads achieve a TCO reduction
- Rapidly migrated workloads achieve a TCO reduction
- Staff and team engagement increases due to the reduction of incidents
- Projects can deliver faster due to the immediate access to infrastructure resources
- The investment in automation delivers application changes with less risk and reduced cycle time
- Technical Debt and software issues have been reduced during the migration