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From theory to practice: Government as a Platform 3 years on and 200 services later

Infographic detailing facts and figures about Government as a Platform in March 2018: 35 million messages sent with GOV.UK Notify, 19 services hosted on Platform as a Service, 34 data registers, 900,000 payments made through GOV.UK Pay worth more than £40 million, and more than 200 services using Government as a a Platform's common components

Although Government as a Platform (GaaP) has no official birthday, the 29 March holds a special significance. On that day in 2015, it was announced that GaaP would be part of the ‘next phase of digital transformation’.

As we approach that date once again, I’d like to share our progress because a lot has happened in the past 3 years. Most significantly, we’ve moved from a theory about how Government as a Platform would work, to practice. Our common platforms are now used by over 200 government services, with over 35 million messages sent through GOV.UK Notify and £40 million in payments taken by GOV.UK Pay.

GOV.UK Platform as a Service (PaaS) currently hosts 19 services. We recently published a guest post by the Department for International Trade (DIT) about how PaaS is helping them host a range of services, including their site

We’ve increased the number of registers available for public use to 34, with a further 36 in progress. The Registers team has also completed the first iteration of the Register Management Tool, which is being used internally to create and update registers.

This week we’ll share some of the ways in which services - from central government departments such as the Disclosure and Barring Service to local authorities such as Pembrokeshire County Council - are making use of Government as a Platform.

If you’re using one of our components and have your own transformation story, tell us about it on Twitter this week using the #GovPlatforms hashtag.

We’ve matured operationally

Our platforms are not only being used more widely than ever, they’re also better platforms than ever. We’ve scaled up our operational support, as well as increasing the range of functionality offered by the platforms.

GOV.UK Email have switched their email notification system to use the GOV.UK Notify platform. This means GOV.UK Notify will process an extra 500 million messages every year. GOV.UK Notify sent between 5,000 to 42,000 emails a day in the last 60 days of 2017. So we’re proud that even with this substantial increase in volume, our response rates still remain high.

GOV.UK PaaS has zero downtime on deployments, meaning there's no downtime to live services, or the platform, when we do platform deployments. We’ve improved our API downtime from up to 40 seconds, which could be frustrating for services using GOV.UK PaaS, down to around 1 second.

GOV.UK Pay is fully compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) meaning services can be assured that the platform is compliant with the highest security standards.

Members of the Gaap senior management team team talking in front of the team's agile wall.

Default choice for services

Government as a Platform is now featured in the digital strategies of government departments, such as the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the ‘BEIS: Digital, Data & Technology (DDaT) Strategy 2017-2020.

GaaP is also becoming the default choice for many departments at the centre of government. This was the stage we set out to reach.

Michelle Thorp, Managing Director of Digital, Technology and Estates at the Department for International Trade (DIT):

"Our ‘front door’ for services,, is hosted on PaaS, along with several other parts of our service.

Tools on such as 'Export Readiness', 'Exporting Opportunities', 'Trade Profile (Find a Buyer and Find a Supplier)' and 'Selling Online Overseas', are extending the reach of UK businesses overseas.

These services were designed, developed and delivered very quickly, thanks to Government as a Platform’s common components."


We’ll be blogging every day this week to look at the various ways our common platforms are helping services meet the needs of users. We’ll hear from smaller departments without large back-end IT teams, larger departments undergoing significant transformation projects, local authorities and health authorities.

We recently announced that Sprint 18 will be taking place in May. If you want to hear directly from the team about how Government as a Platform could help your service, DIT and other departments will be at Sprint 18 in May along with our team to answer your questions.

You can follow Ash on Twitter, and subscribe to this blog to hear the latest from the Government as a Platform team.


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