Action Plan, Digital Government

Government as a Platform

Government as a Platform strategies for the Scottish Digital Economy

The Scottish Digital Economy action plan defines a number of goals that would be best achieved through a ‘GaaP’ architecture – Government as a Platform.

For advancing their own Digital Government strategy and capabilities, their action plan advocates:

“Deploy common technologies that can be built and procured once rather than multiple times” and also “Mandate the use of common platforms and infrastructure.”

This is so that the government can “Simplify and standardise ways of working across the public sector so that it becomes easier to use our services and we don’t waste time and money reinventing wheels.”

and also “Create common digital platforms for services that will encourage Scottish public and voluntary sector organisations to innovate in the delivery of public services.”

with specific use cases such as Payments: “Introduce shared technology platforms, starting with common approaches to publishing information, applying for services, and making/receiving payments.”

Platform Business Model

GaaP is one industry-specific implementation of the Platform Business Model.

Tim O’Reilly coined the concept in this presentation and documented in this book section. Writing for Computer Weekly Mark Thompson asks ‘What is Government as a Platform and How Can We Achieve it?’

In his Code for America video Tom Loosemore describes the background and philosophy in making it a central design model for GDS, the UK Government’s digital team. Their latest progress update is available from the GDS GaaP blog, detailing adoption case studies such as How the Department of Trade is basing their digital transformation strategy upon the model.


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