9 Benefits of Building Government Digital Services on a Common Infrastructure

9 Benefits of Building Government Digital Services on a Common Infrastructure

The world is currently undergoing a rapid process of digital transformation. However, based on what we’ve collectively been experiencing so far, this transformation has been quite the learning experience. Humanity has never experienced such a profound change in its way of life in a long time and, despite all our progress, we’re still feeling around for the best path towards our inevitable digital future.

It’s become clear that, to avoid more complications in developing truly useful digital applications, some standards need to be set, particularly for essential public services. This is where the common infrastructure solutions like the Singapore Government Tech Stack (SGTS) come in.

The SGTS is a GovTech-developed common technology stack platform that is designed to make the deployment of high-quality digital services easier than ever before. It solves multiple decades-old issues with public service applications that were often built on different competing infrastructures. Let’s explore the benefits of having a single technology stack for all public service applications:


1) Better Experience for Developers and Users

It takes time for developers to become proficient in any given tech stack, a key factor that often slows down app development and integrations. Having just one stack means that developers who specialise in public service apps are better able to hone their skills, speeding up the time it takes to create robust, easy-to-integrate apps. The end result tends to be a win for users who can now expect a consistent experience throughout the whole electronic government service ecosystem.


2) Smarter Processes

Having just one tech stack greatly simplifies the exchange of data across different platforms. This not only helps with everyday monitoring but also makes it possible to build truly smart services that are instantly responsive to the emerging needs of citizens. Just as importantly, a tech stack with standardised data-sharing capabilities gives policymakers cleaner and more expansive datasets for crafting workable solutions.


3) Faster Rollout

Public service application launches have historically been beset by delays and cost overruns, often due to the need to reconcile multiple technology stacks. Quite often, developers would be forced to develop applications from scratch, solving current issues but also potentially causing complications in the unforeseen future. With a common tech stack like SGTS, these problems could be avoided entirely, as all applications on the platform will share a common infrastructure.


4) Easier Collaboration

A common tech stack puts developers, users, and policymakers all on the same page, making the development of digital services more straightforward. There will no longer be a need to reconcile different definitions of the same features and less need to second-guess each other’s work. In turn, this added clarity should reduce the duplication of effort and result in the faster delivery of apps that work as intended, right out of the box.


5) More Scalable Solutions

It’s not enough for government apps to meet current demands—they need to meet future demand as well. Unfortunately, the use of older technology foundations often means there is a scalability limit in many critical applications. A modern tech stack like the SGTS will typically be designed to scale up as needed, allowing applications to remain in use for much longer.


6) Streamlined Maintenance

Everyday maintenance tasks such as security updates and bug fixes can be more efficiently managed across a common infrastructure, minimising downtime and improving the reliability of applications. Easier maintenance also prevents catastrophic cascades of service interruptions that can result when one key service goes down. This all means that users can fully expect a seamless experience when they access public services online.


7) Interoperability

A common technology stack for governments will finally make it possible to build out a truly interconnected public app ecosystem where users can easily access the services they need without them necessarily realising that they are going across different apps. In a way, such an ecosystem will be very similar to the ones currently employed by tech giants like Meta and Google, except highly focused on government services.


8) Better Security

The adoption of common infrastructure can also be key to safeguarding public data and services from malicious online actors. Without several underlying tech stacks to consider, centralised security measures and protocols can be implemented across the common infrastructure, bolstering the security of government digital services.


9) Better Cost-Efficiency

Lastly, all these other benefits can translate into serious savings for taxpayers. The reduced app development and maintenance costs alone may already be worth the cost of creating common tech infrastructure. However, government agencies and the general public can also expect savings in many other areas thanks to the smarter automation and enhanced efficiency that will be enabled in virtually all walks of life.


Singapore’s SGTS: A Blueprint for Global Digital Transformation

Despite all these benefits, building a common digital infrastructure for public services isn’t something that can happen overnight. It requires a mature technology base, knowledgeable leadership, and a hefty amount of political will to accomplish. It’s no wonder then, that only a few nations can even conceive of such a project at this time. There’s no doubt that the SGTS will serve as a model for other countries seeking to ease the often-painful process of digital transformation.