“Government as a platform”, a term originally coined by Tim O’Reilly in 2010, has been a growing topic of discussion in central and local government in the UK, particularly in the past 12 months. The work we’re currently doing with DCLG on Waste standards will hopefully form a piece of the puzzle in supporting the government as platform concept.

The question “what is Government as Platform?” came up in a recent workshop – here’s a list of resources that already do a great job of explaining it:

Foden Grealy have produced two excellent videos describing the “Gubbins of Government”:

How new technology will change the mechanics of government services

The future of local government services


Methods Digital describe an approach of building Minimum Viable Capabilities that could form the needed building blocks:


The Digital Future paper and presentation (part of the Govern Up programme) was co-developed by Sarah Prag (who is also consulting on the Waste Standards project). It make four key proposals that offer a roadmap to a platform approach.

Mark Thompson, Strategy Director of Methods Group, published “What is government as a platform and how do we achieve it?” in Computer Weekly, giving a stepwise iterative approach to developing a platform model.

And the Government Digital Service have blogged about “the next phase of digital transformation”, also with a video:

These all present the complex change from a silo’ed, product-focussed digital infrastructure to one based on common, shared platforms oriented around services. Its vital to communicate these concepts in ways that speaks to a wide range of stakeholders as support is needed at every level.

In a future post I’ll give some more context how waste services fit into this picture.