New research conducted by Deloitte revealed that 96% of government officials described the impact of digital technologies as ‘significant’, with three-quarters of respondents also describing the journey to digital government as ‘disruptive’. One of the driving factors behind this assumption is the idea that closed ecosystems cannot compete in an open world.
This blog will outline how interoperable software platforms need to be forefront of mind when implementing a new technology strategy.
Create interfaces not silos
Implementing software projects inherently complex, and even the development of the simplest software information system and you may find that an array of issues may arise during the process. To give you an idea of some of the issues that may arise, they can include; the management of external metadata, embedded metadata, derivatives, integrity, storage and retrieval. Focusing on these issues could make it easy for teams to fall into the mistake of focusing on delivery at the expense of interoperability, and all the benefits that it could bring.
Creating software where business units are interoperable with well-defined interfaces forces information architects and users to think about the ‘what if’s’. Security, conformance to industry standards, best practices and obsolescence before implementing functionality are all risks that should be considered beforehand and not as an afterthought. Software is no longer built like huge complex monoliths of unimaginable complexity, but rather are built with simple blocks that interoperate instead.
Many government departments need asset management solutions with the ability to restrict access to digital assets to certain users and groups at a very granular level of authorization, and for this to work effectively, software needs the interfaces to be agreed upon across the board. Interfaces like these exist and are already used by the fast moving companies of the Internet era like Google, Facebook and Amazon.
The virtualisation revolution and the birth of the dashboard
The virtualisation revolution enabled many companies to cut the cost and complexity of compartmentalising data by removing physical barriers and decoupling one technology from another.
Different kinds of virtualisations can be used in different situations in order to apply resources where they’re most needed. The trick here is choosing the right interfaces, components or technology, that frequently combine to achieve specific requirements. The below image shows just one example of how big data workflows are now being increasingly compartmentalised into individual components.
The rise of the dashboard has proven to be incredibly valuable to many businesses as you can now aggregate and display data from disparate sources. Different states in Australia have begun to develop dashboards for different purposes, South Australia has developed a data dashboard revealing insights into workforce data, and in 2013 QLD developed an ICT dashboard to build reports on ICT projects.
Dashboards can provide government agencies with greater visibility and provide ongoing improvements, however, it is important to first understand what metrics you want to track and ensuring your dashboard automatically and securely connects to your data in real-time.
Interoperability standards are more important than ever
As more and more organisations grapple with the complexity of fast-growing data sets, failing to effectively manage content can create chaos later on down the line. Creating custom integrations to ensure interoperability of data can be timely and costly for organisations, and using a controlled vocabulary for managing data will often help alleviate some of the issues associated with this.
Creating interfaces, utilising dashboards and ensuring you implement interoperability standards are some of the best ways to ensure your software will speak to different systems effectively. If you want to learn more about interoperability, you can find out more by visiting our stand at the GovInnovate Summit in November.
About the Author:
Iqbal Talaat is the Chief Technology Officer at Active Capital IT with nine years of industry experience in Telecom VAS, Software Startup Companies, Distributed and Scalable Software Architectures. Active Captial IT is a Bronze Sponsor of the GovInnovate Summit 2015, you can find out more about the event here.