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Centrally-managed platform being developed for Singapore government agencies to build digital applications

Centrally-managed platform being developed for Singapore government agencies to build digital applications

The Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) is developing
a centrally-managed platform, called the Singapore Government Technology Stack
(SGTS), for public sector agencies to build their digital applications. The
SGTS is a redesign of Government’s digital infrastructure, to achieve greater
interoperability and agility.

At the moment most government agencies develop independent
services and infrastructure to meet the needs of the specific citizen or
business group that they serve.

The SGTS will make available common digital services and
infrastructure to all Government agencies. This reduces the time and effort
needed to introduce new digital services, as well as enhance and maintain
existing ones. It allows agencies to focus on designing solutions that best
meet the needs of those they serve, without worrying about the underlying
infrastructure.

With SGTS, government agencies would be able to tap on a
suite of tools and services hosted on a common infrastructure to ensure
consistency and high quality of their applications. Citizens will be able
experience a more seamless, consistent and connected user experience across the
spectrum of government digital services.

SGTS will also enable easy exchange of data across the
government, aggregating data collection for richer insights that would help
with policy development and monitoring of operations and reduce overall costs
to the agencies.  

The SGTS is a platform comprising layers of software and
infrastructure components. These common assets are scalable, reusable and
interoperable, allowing agencies to quickly launch
services and dynamically scale in accordance with citizen demand. SGTS is comprised
of the following components:

  1. Library of
    microservices
    – This consists of common services that agencies utilise to
    build their applications such as agency APIs (Application Programming
    Interfaces) for authentication, notifications or payment
  2. Application
    Infrastructure
    – This includes software services, such as API Exchange (APEX)
    and NECTAR, that allow users to quickly develop and deploy applications. APEX
    is a centralised data sharing platform for agencies to share data conveniently
    and securely through the use of APIs, while NECTAR, a Platform-as-a-Service,
    provides cloud-level flexibility and enables agencies to develop, run, scale
    and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining
    infrastructure.
  3. Infrastructure
    Scalable data centre service and secure connectivity
  4. Data – Various
    government data sources

GovTech is making SGTS available for the whole public sector
progressively from 2018 to facilitate Singapore’s national digital
transformation initiatives. The SGTS is expected to be integral towards the
development of high-quality and citizen-centric digital services, the rapid
development of services, as well as optimisation of resources by the
Government.

One of the early uses of SGTS was for the MyInfo bank pilot,
launched
in May last year, to enable people to use their registered profile on Singapore
government’s MyInfo service to
apply for new banking services. The pilot was developed and delivered in
four months using SGTS, instead of what would typically take a year.

Another example was the building of the Whole-of-Government
citizen engagement portal, Ideas!,
on SGTS. This allowed the team to focus on building a scalable web service with
a good level of security provided by SGTS, without the need to develop its own
infrastructure.

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