[LINK] Australian Government Data Centre as a Service

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Wed Mar 2 12:34:21 AEDT 2011

On 2/03/2011 9:11 AM, Tom Worthington wrote:
>  ... If bespoke applications are replaced with standard web based
>  ones, the processing and data storage requirements will be much smaller.

A proportion of business functions can be supported by standardised apps.

Custom-building or customisation can be dispensed with, because 
there's not a lot of harm done by having to fit those particular 
business processes to the software rather than the software to the 
business processes.

Think doc prep, spreadsheet modellers, calendar, time-sheets, etc.

But government agencies do a great many things that very few other 
organisations do.

People often forget that:
(a)  government agencies don't have competitors.  We don't want lots
      of organisations performing those functions, just one per
(b)  government agencies are subject to enabling legislation, and for
      legal reasons their business processes have to correspond to
      those statutes, and hence a standardised app, even if one exists,
      may not be able to be used
(c)  parliaments muck around with legislation continually, and hence
      some business processes that could previously be supported by
      a standardised app can't any more

My impression is that a lot of small-scale apps being developed in 
government are very specific.  Even something as apparently generic 
as grants admin is a lot more variable than you'd think, e.g. 
AusIndustry and the ARC have very different needs.

Roger Clarke                                 http://www.rogerclarke.com/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University

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