The New IT Stack to Modernize Public Service

January 24th, 2017

Every organization today, irrespective of size, mission, or sector, needs to move at the speed of digital technology if they want to operate effectively, and meet their stakeholders’ expectations. This need is even more pronounced for government agencies, which are seeing higher demand on delivery of digital services, shrinking resources, and the burden of legacy technologies built over many years of large IT investments. The speed at which agencies must move to meet their stakeholders’ changing expectations simply cannot be met by the IT models of the past, requiring years of effort and millions of dollars of investment to deliver each mission functionality.

In order to enable the mobile centric, on-demand user experiences sought by citizens, agencies must consider developing a new enterprise architecture approach. Government agencies face unprecedented new challenges, whether in designing new regulations regarding AI, Clean energy, and autonomous vehicles, or to provide services at new scale and complexity, to address challenges of climate change, immigration, and law enforcement. To accommodate this ever-changing landscape, the “new IT stack” must be firmly anchored around user centricity and flexibility, continuously incorporating end user input, with a premium on great user interfaces and design, and leverage flexibility through iterative processes.

Instead of the traditional approach of building complex, vertical integrated point-solutions, the “New IT Stack” must rely on trusted technology platforms to address various service areas such as Analytics, Identity management, Unstructured content management, Email and office productivity, CRM and Workflow automation. When selecting such platforms, agencies should keep certain guiding principles in mind, requiring:

  • Reuse readiness: Reusing packaged services between different mission applications.
  • Flexibility and Extensibility: Adopt to ever changing mission demands, without requiring significant re-work of custom code, scale to meet mission needs and pay for use.
  • Loosely coupled: Relying on open APIs to easily connect different platforms together with business applications, allowing for inter-changeability and competition.
  • Agile centricity: Allowing organizations to quickly deploy mission capabilities through low/no code techniques through iterative delivery.
  • Secure by design: Leveraging zero trust, with audit transparency at the transaction level, compliant with international standards like FedRAMP, NIST 800-53, UK NCSC Cloud Security Collection, and the Privacy Shield Framework.
  • Data Residency Compliance: meeting in-country data storage requirements.

This new model, and a competitive landscape of cloud service providers, exist today and continue to evolve to meet the mission needs of government entities. For example, OXFAM is leveraging cloud and mobility across an international confederation of 17 organizations working together with partners and local communities in more than 90 countries. And The United Nations Foundation, with stakeholders all over the world, is leveraging cloud platforms to improve effectiveness of its field workforce. In the Canadian public sector, the City of Mississauga is using technologies, including Box, to automate field operations and connect with citizens. Agencies at all levels should begin this journey by thinking about their new IT architecture in the era of cloud, mobility and big data.

Sonny Hashmi - Managing Director, Global Government, Box

Sonny Hashmi is the Managing Director of Global Government Strategy at Box. In his role, Sonny is responsible for developing and executing a go-to Market strategy for Box within global public sectors, and represents Box as a cloud computing thought-leader in government. Sonny also serves as part of the Editorial Advisory board for GovernmentCIO magazine, […]