Unlocking potential in the public sector
12_Duncan_Crawford
Duncan Crawford Lead Developer and Partner

Our Thinking Thu 14th January, 2016

Unlocking potential in the public sector

What springs to mind when you think of Government IT projects? Slow, rigid, cumbersome? They’re notions a grizzled veteran might be forgiven for thinking, but they’d be wrong – as our ongoing work for a large UK Government department shows.

Over the last two years, we’ve helped the department change the way it thinks about its digital services, and enabled a flourishing programme of Agile development.

MongoDB provides the non-relational database that sits at the heart of the platform we’ve built, so we were pleased to be asked to present at the recent MongoDB Days event in London. It was a chance to tackle the myths that have built up around what can and can’t be achieved when developing for Government organisations:

Myth: Government products depend on archaic legacy systems.

Not so. Thanks to ‘digital by default’ policies introduced over the last few years, the public sector is increasingly open to more modern approaches – as our adoption of the open source MongoDB shows. It allows us to use a flexible micro service architecture for the platform, and improves the end user experience with higher availability and faster response times. It’s as progressive a set-up as any you’d find in enterprise.

Myth: Multiple teams make development harder.

Our platform currently enables more than 40 agile teams to co-exist happily and productively. It’s perfectly po ssible to have teams working separately, with collaboration occurring naturally and smoothly as and when required – you just need to have the right set-up. You need the right culture as well as technology for this, of course; one way is to treat the platform as a club. Government is now open to this approach.

Myth: Progress is slow within Government.

Again, rapid embrace of modern approaches makes progress much swifter than it used to be. Our teams now make 40-50 releases on the platform each week – that’s compared to just one or two major releases a year before the switch to our microservice architecture.

Whether you’re a grizzled vet or a fresh-faced developer, it’s time to re-appraise development within the public sector. At Equal Experts we’re helping modern, iterative agile practices become the norm across a wide range of Government services.