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How cool is this, our project got a mention in this week’s Computer Weekly. It was only an inset in a bigger article about SOA, but it feels great to get some recognition. Here’s how the inset read:
On a budget he jokes is “less than John Prescott’s expense account”, Allan Patterson, director of the Isle of Man’s government information systems division, has delivered an internal cloud-based SOA that could be a showcase in microcosm for what much larger organisations will be doing in future.
“It is what I would call ‘building a virtual house’,” says Patterson.
“The foundations are our twin active virtualised datacentres running on a Windows platform and our IP network across the whole government estate of 250-300 locations – GPs’ surgeries, schools, sub Post Offices, etc.
“On top of that is the equivalent of the pipework and wiring – the common services – which mean we can build something once and use it many times.”
This has drastically reduced the IT organisation’s costs, but also brings wider benefits.
Patterson says, “We have seen a massive take-up of online services such as web payments by the business community and individuals – we now have about 5,500 users for online services, which for the Isle of Man is huge.
“I strongly believe this is how we make government-to-business more effective. We have even got people who no longer maintain tax books because they trust us to do it – so there are efficiencies for end-users as well.”
I had little to do with the dual data-center architecture, but I was responsible for the application architecture that delivers the online services integrating the government website with a variety of back end systems. I’ve been involved in a number of projects over the last few years, from websites selling sexy lingerie (that was Figleaves) to integration between different police systems; but this one is my favourite so far; mostly because I’m not only involved in technical delivery, but also driving change and working at a more strategic level.