ACT switches govt services platform to Salesforce

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ACT switches govt services platform to Salesforce

Due to challenges with original system.

The ACT government has replaced the solution at the heart of its myGov-like digital services platform after experiencing challenges with the former system. 

The whole-of-government platform, dubbed iConnect, gives citizens a personalised digital account for transacting and receiving communications from directorates, through a single-sign on portal.

It was first funded with $21 million in the 2014 budget.

The platform had originally been based on the Backbase digital banking and Ping identity management systems.

But in June last year the Office of the Chief Digital Officer made the decision to move to a different underlying platform.

iTnews understands the Backbase product had not been providing the expected capability at an affordable price, and had been challenging to find local support for.

The office settled on a Salesforce suite consisting of the company's Service Cloud, Collaborative Customer Communities, and Identity products.

The solution offered “modern citizen identity and access management technology that is secure, user friendly, and value for money”, the territory’s director of digital experience David Colussi told iTnews.

It signed the deal in January.

Both NSW and Victoria have also settled on Salesforce for the digital component of their respective one-stop shops.

The ACT platform is being used to underpin the ACT digital account, which was introduced during 2017 to support delivery of digital services.

Citizens can use the account to perform transactions - either as a guest or verified user - and receive communications and reminders from directorates.

With the platform in place, the territory will now begin to increase the amount of services that are offered digitally, including an additional 75 from the Chief Minister's Directorate.

“The Office of the Chief Digital Officer is working in partnership with directorates to identify and prioritise services that will be transformed digitally, and released over the next few years,” Colussi said.

But he warned of the need to take “a pragmatic and measured approach to service redesign” when transitioning to digital services.

His office will initially focus on “working with directorates that are ready to use the ACT digital account, and those that manage services that will be quick and easy for citizens to use digitally”.

This will see the development of modest identity based applications for standalone services that don’t require difficult integration into legacy systems, such as an enhanced MyFamily portal for the Community Services Directorate.

The government has chosen to dovetail the iConnect rollout as part of lifecycle IT upgrades, to ensure "the architecture can be designed to robust, secure and managed" and avoid the "danger of joining things together that were never designed that way".

Commonwealth integration

There are also plans to integrate iConnect with the federal government’s Govpass digital identity platform in an effort to make all government services accessible through a single log in.

The ACT government has already aligned its digital identity trust model with Govpass to ensure ease of integration in the future. 

Govpass is currently being tested on the ATO’s new online tax file number application service. Testing on a broader number of users and services is likely to occur before the end of 2018.

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