3 reasons DDS needs a content services platform to succeed

Recently, I wrote about New South Wales’ Digital Design System (DDS) and the crucial role it can play in filling in the gaps for government digital transformation efforts. Digital Design System will help local councils, and possibly other states and territories, move forward with digital initiatives by providing thoughtful guidance for impactful solution designs.

Part of the power of DDS is that its outcomes are non-technical. By stressing people-centric design and principles, DDS creates goals that local leaders can understand and invest in. These principles support the tech decisions government needs to pursue for digital transformation, especially designing with users for citizen engagement. This highlights the fact that good design delivers good staff experiences and better staff efficiency.

Meanwhile, creating a consistent experience for citizens also increases ease of use and user satisfaction with online government services.

These are important impacts. However, an additional value point is the opportunity it offers IT managers to choose vendors and inform project planning by providing clear outcomes for investments. Knowing where you need to go with a project, especially if those standards are non-technical and linked to citizen engagement, is an initiative that goes to the heart of delivering services to citizens.

The connections

So, what are the connections between DDS and an IT investment that can empower your agency to reach those outcomes? Here are three:

1. Platform choice

To pursue DDS, you need to choose a platform with powerful tools and capabilities to support it. Your investment needs to support the “repeat and reuse” principle to speed delivery and allow for fast deployment of variants for different business processes. It should also build on the expertise created by previous solutions.

To do this, you need a platform with a low-code and configuration approach (versus custom code) so you can leverage agility for faster and more cost-effective deployment. These features allow for repurposable components that custom-created solutions do not.

2. Shared services approach 

Digital Design System also highlights the importance of shared services. Again, avoiding custom code in favour of low-code and configurable capabilities allows better collaboration, easier documentation and repeatability. Sharing also means more consistency across the solutions citizens need.

And, with investment in a common platform that has these characteristics, DDS can encourage a collaborative approach that ensures solution development that is agile and less expensive.

Also important to DDS is creating ways to easily share data. Because government relies on solutions tailored to specific agency missions and programs, your platform choice needs to have integration tools (not just custom code options) that can connect the specialised systems and solutions to create a seamless experience for internal and external users. It should also allow data collected to be shared and accessed where appropriate.

3. Digital repository

A system that seeks to replace paper-based business processes will also need the capabilities of enterprise content management or its successor, content services. These platforms feature electronic forms tools, workflow automation, case management and integration tools that can retain, secure and store content.

And, with encryption and records management tools, you can secure information that was once held in paper files and purge records dependably.

Start with a solid platform

Digital Design System is an important set of principles that offers leadership and support for government digital transformation efforts. Activating these principles requires investment in the right types of tools and platforms. Central to the potential success of DDS in practice are agile and repeatable components that can be used in an environment that encourages sharing of expertise and data.

Agencies looking to leverage DDS should explore content services to find the philosophy and capabilities that will allow their investment to achieve digital by default services and practices. Content services has demonstrated its ability to meet these needs and handle the processes that drive government processes, services and programs.

In the end, moving successfully into the digital future requires a content services platform.

Terri Jones is an enterprise advisor with Hyland’s Global Services team. Before coming to Hyland, in her 10-plus years in both state and local government, she’s managed IT departments, implemented ECM strategies and written legislation and program policies. As an enterprise advisor, she uses her background in IT deployment, change management and strategic planning to lead workshops that help Hyland customers get the most from their solution investments.
Terri Jones

Terri Jones

Terri Jones is an enterprise advisor with Hyland’s Global Services team. Before coming to Hyland, in her 10-plus years in both state and local government, she’s managed IT departments, implemented... read more about: Terri Jones