Queensland’s Transport and Main Roads has taken the first steps in a large-scale effort to overhaul its ageing core registration and licensing system in favour of a more agile and less customised approach.
The department first signalled its intention to move away from the IBM mainframe that runs the state’s Transport Registration and Integrated Licensing System (TRAILS) in 2012.
The system is the largest repository of information about Queensland citizens in the state - it currently manages around 3.4 million driver licenses, 4.6 million vehicle registrations and around $2.8 billion in revenue.
TRAILS lies at the heart of the department’s registration and licensing application suite. The system was developed in the 1990s and over time has become bogged down in a significant number of enhancements and extensions.
Its “monolithic architecture with a tightly coupled information model” makes changes “time consuming and expensive,” the department revealed in tender documents.
Service delivery of registration and licensing for the state’s citizens is also supported by numerous other applications that have been developed in various technologies - such as Lotus Notes, Oracle forms, Excel and Paradox - some of which integrate with TRAILS and some which don’t.
It means functionality has become replicated across the portfolio, necessitating an application modernisation and rationalisation drive in order to enable a “contemporary, agile, flexible and secure registration and licensing system” that will “reduce total cost of ownership and reduce risk and reliance on legacy skills sets”.
The department has created a modernisation program aimed at reviewing the way it delivers the registration and licensing services to customers as well as the underpinning IT.
“Achieving business change is essential to improving our interaction with our customers,” a spokesperson said in a statement to iTnews.
“However, optimal change will only be achieved if business change is enabled by more agile and flexible applications and systems, which can be quickly and simply amended to reflect our and our customers’ needs.”
The department has already laid out a tentative business case to modernise its legacy applications - with consideration to off-the-shelf replacements - and has now invited the market to validate its approach and ensure all options have been taken into account.
Going to the market for advice on how Transport can best reach its goal of a modern and flexible system that will reduce red tape for users and better (and more securely) deliver online services will also improve its level of understanding about its existing registration and licensing applications.
“This will enable us to better understand the existing application landscape and architecture, legacy technology dependencies, modernisation options and to also provide a strategic roadmap to help inform and cost future work as part of the program,” the spokesperson said.
Once its consultation phase with industry is complete - expected by March 2015 - Transport will consider its options and select the most appropriate modernisation strategy.