Service NSW Digitises and Secures State Services with Flexible API Solution

Service NSW were operating across a number of individual web portals and backend legacy systems, with limited integration abilities and multiple usernames and passwords for its citizens. They realised they needed a digitisation strategy to connect its multiple processes and platforms, creating a seamless customer experience while ensuring customer data was secure.

The Need

The NSW government was operating across a number of individual web portals and backend legacy systems, with limited integration abilities and multiple usernames and passwords for its citizens.

It realised that it needed a digitisation strategy to connect its multiple processes and platforms, creating a seamless customer experience while ensuring customer data was secure. In addition, it needed to provide a platform for the reuse of compliance and proof of identity transactions across agencies which would reduce the time needed for individuals and small businesses to interact with the NSW government.

A key aspect of Service NSW was that citizens could use multiple methods of identification from tax numbers to social media accounts, to securely access information and services. To accommodate this, the portal needed to be integrated with the NSW’s customer servicing platform.

Service NSW required the customer servicing platform to also act as a single, central source which could interact with other government agencies’ existing systems, with appropriate controls, to provide access to relevant citizen information. 

The Solution

Versent was selected by Service NSW to help achieve the digitalisation strategy roll-out. Versent recommended the implementation of a central, federated API framework.

To expose the platform’s APIs to the NSW government agencies, Versent built an API gateway using CA Technologies’ solution into the Service NSW architecture. The gateway was designed to manage APIs and offer secure access to associated information and services.

The API gateway provided the foundations for the Service NSW API gateway. The implementation began in May 2015, with Service NSW’s fist digital services going live four months later in September.

According Ben McMullen, Director Technology Architecture and Risk Management at Service NSW, the API gateway was designed to allow Service NSW to share other information sources and services both internally with government agencies and externally with authorised third parties and citizens.

“The APIs could be added quickly and easily, allowing them to be consumed by the citizen portal, mobile applications or agency micro-sites to expand the services provided to citizens,” said McMullen. “Every app linked through to the customer servicing system and system of record to ensure consistent citizen information.”

The Benefit

The solution has allowed Service NSW to rapidly provision services to a number of NSW government agencies. The APIs are at the heart of the agency’s digitalisation strategy and underpin a whole-of-government

The APIs were key to ensuring customers’ transactions on the Service NSW portal were both seamless and secure. In addition, the security framework allowed transactions to be securely executed with citizens’ consent.

“The introduction of customer accessible APIs are part of the Service NSW maturity model,” said McMullen. “Customer servicing is more than simply enabling APIs, it is a core component of our digital enablement strategy. Our ability to evolve and deliver differentiated APIs at speed and scale supports the expectations of our customers in today’s digital world.”

By implementing APIs, Service NSW has been able to transform transaction-centric state services into modern customer-centric services.

Having cemented its digitalisation foundation, Service NSW is looking to expand the scope of its portal to well beyond citizen identity to other services such as validating a boat 

Service NSW is working towards fully digitising the process for three different types of state-issued licences by the end of 2016 as part of its Digital Licence Program. NSW is one of the first territories in the world to embark on a licencing reform program of this magnitude, with the goal to introduce a digital Driver Licence by 2019, with APIs at the core of this initiative.

The agency also hopes to drive even greater digitalisation of state services by launching a developer portal to encourage new uses of the government services that have been exposed via the API gateway.

The state has established itself as a digital pioneer with approximately 50 per cent of transactions now being performed digitally. This is up from around 30 percent at the time of Service NSW's launch.

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