Drivers For Innovation In Government

Thursday 17th of October 2019 - 5 star Fitzwilliam Hotel, Dublin

Who Should Attend: C-Level & Senior Decision Makers in the Public Sector responsible for driving policy implementation and customer centricity through an innovative digital Government.  

Strengthen and support effective policy implementation, identify the key obstacles between achieving business goals and explore innovation.

Drivers For Innovation In Government

SESSION 1  DRIVING INNOVATION 

Explore how embracing partnerships can elevate innovation in central & local Government. Understand how EU projects can assist you to further your policies through research & innovation and hear customer success stories of driving innovation throughout organisations. 

SESSION 2 – SUPPORTING BUSINESS GOALS 

Highlighting the importance of identifying when business goals diverge from your current technology capabilities, this session will assess the characteristics of a legacy platform. Understand how you can get the best from your solutions provider to support your business goals and hear a customer success story of how modernisation enabled achievement of business goals. 

SESSION 3 – GOV-TECH AHEAD OF THE CURVE 

This session brings a strong emphasis on tackling legacy technology in Government taking a strategic approach to exploit emerging technologies – using cognitive services, power apps and micro-services to drive future proofed and flexible platforms in Government. 

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About OpenSky Data Systems

OpenSky Data Systems for Digital Government That Works. 

As Ireland’s Only Govtech digital transformation specialist, we deliver future-proofed citizen access and operational efficiency.   

Our Govtech business expertise has transformed over 50 public sector bodies in Ireland & the UK.  Within transport, waste, housing & health, our systems impact 2.5m people every day & manage 100m digital transactions every month in Government. 

Taking a Customer-Centric approach, we equip government teams with scalable and sustainable citizen platforms, shared digital business process information systems, realtime monitoring and analysis, legacy system modernisation, minimal viable product designs and implementations and data management services. 

Our expertise & approach, provides our clients with a path towards increased cost-efficiency, reduced risk of investment and superior citizen services.  

Working with the best technologies & MS Gold Certified Partners, we have 15 years of digitising processesconnecting citizens – building a smarter nation. 

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Drivers for Innovation in Government Event

Strengthen and support effective policy implementation, identify the key obstacles between achieving business goals and explore innovation.
Thursday 17th of October 2019 – 5 star Fitzwilliam Hotel, Dublin​

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OpenSky partners with UiPath to help Irish public sector leverage robotic process automation

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OpenSky Press Release - 23rd of July  2019

OpenSky Press Release - 23rd of July 2019

OpenSky partners with UiPath to help Irish public sector leverage robotic process automation

William Flanagan – Director Commercial & Technology and Michael Cronin – Managing Director of OpenSky Data Systems.

– Partnership will streamline back-office processes for government agencies 

– UiPath is fastest-growing enterprise software company, with 400,000-strong developer          community and customer base of more than 2,800 customers 

–  Robotic Process Automation (RPA) boosts employee productivity and efficiency  

–  Approach also makes services more accessible for citizens in Ireland 

Dublin, 23 July 2019 – OpenSky, the Irish GovTech transformation specialist which provides process automated solutions to public sector bodies, announces that it has partnered with UiPath, the leading enterprise Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software company.  

Through this strategic partnership, OpenSky will design, develop and implement cutting-edge RPA solutions for public sector bodies and government agencies in Ireland.  

Leveraging robotic automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI), OpenSky will provide automated solutions that enable organisations to maximise efficiency – up to 80% of organisations using RPA have experienced significant increases in business process efficiency (The Impact of RPA on Employee Experience; Forrester survey, Aug 2018). 

These solutions will also help to reduce operational costs and free up resources, enabling employees to work on more customer-focused and business critical tasks, as opposed to menial jobs.   

The collaborative venture will also help Irish public sector organisations to enhance the citizen experience by making services more accessible via online portals and digital touchpoints. This digitisation of core services also means improved responsiveness and better value for the public 

UiPath has a 400,000-strong developer community and a customer base of more than 2,800 customers, including 50% of the top 20 Fortune Global 500 companies. Leading the ‘Automation First’ era and championing one robot for every person, UiPath brings digital skills to more than a million people, with its Enterprise RPA Platform already automating millions of repetitive tasks for businesses and government organisations all over the world. 

UiPath’s Enterprise RPA Platform is an end-to-end, high-performance solution that facilitates robotic process automation. OpenSky will customise, implement and support it within Irish public sector organisations to create digital, integrated ecosystems; helping to save time and expense, and improving data quality and compliance. 

Meanwhile, OpenSky has delivered major projects for leading government organisations which impact 2.5 million people every day. Its new partnership with UiPath ties in with the company’s wider plans to maintain revenue growth, increase staff numbers and expand further in international markets. 

Michael Cronin, Managing Director, OpenSky, said: It’s great to work with such a valuable partner and world leader in terms of RPA. UiPath is helping us to innovate and deliver cutting edge solutions for our clients. We pride ourselves on bringing valuable technology to the market that makes an impact for government organisations, not only for those who work within these organisations but for Irish citizens as well. 

“Together with UiPath, we are enabling government digital strategy to produce successful outcomes, transform the way in which they work and improve access to services for the general public. Through automation and RPA technologies, we can boost productivity, experience and satisfaction for everyone involved.” – Michael Cronin.

Michael Cronin – Managing Director of OpenSky Data Systems.

“Ever since our early days, we at UiPath have made it our mission to empower organizations and their staff to take back control over their time by relegating those repetitive, time consuming menial tasks to a digital workforce made up of software robots. Via this partnership, we get to witness technology at work bringing more efficiency to the public sector and freeing up critical human resources that can better focus on increasing citizen experience and ultimately channel their efforts on making our cities a better place to live.” – Jan Ursi, VP of Partnerships for EMEA at UiPath.

OpenSky hosted an event in collaboration with UiPath at the 5* Intercontinental Hotel in Ballsbridge on the morning of 11th July. The half-day workshop showcased use-cases on how automation improves government processes through AI-powered RPA. Gov-Tech C-Suite & Senior Management were invited to attend. 

Recent press coverage stemming from the UiPath & OpenSky partnership press release:

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About OpenSky Data Systems

OpenSky Data Systems for Digital Government That Works. 

As Ireland’s Only Govtech digital transformation specialist, we deliver future-proofed citizen access and operational efficiency.   

Our Govtech business expertise has transformed over 50 public sector bodies in Ireland & the UK.  Within transport, waste, housing & health, our systems impact 2.5m people every day & manage 100m digital transactions every month in Government. 

Taking a Customer-Centric approach, we equip government teams with scalable and sustainable citizen platforms, shared digital business process information systems, realtime monitoring and analysis, legacy system modernisation, minimal viable product designs and implementations and data management services. 

Our expertise & approach, provides our clients with a path towards increased cost-efficiency, reduced risk of investment and superior citizen services.  

Working with the best technologies & MS Gold Certified Partners, we have 15 years of digitising processesconnecting citizens – building a smarter nation. 

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Drivers for Innovation in Government Event

Strengthen and support effective policy implementation, identify the key obstacles between achieving business goals and explore innovation.
Thursday 17th of October 2019 – 5 star Fitzwilliam Hotel, Dublin​

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RPA for Government Processes
Workshop with UiPath

News & Events

RPA for Government Processes
Workshop with UiPath

Thursday July 11th 2019
5 Star Intercontinental Hotel, Ballsbridge

OpenSky & UiPath will hold their first collaborative workshop, bringing together Government C-suite and Senior Management, to showcase Use-Cases on how automation Improves Government services through intelligent RPA.

As Gov-Tech Transformation Specialists, OpenSky’s recent partnership with UiPath, creates new and exciting opportunities for us to further enhance Government services & better interaction for the citizen & business with the public sector.

Our Programme

9:45 a.m – Registration

Refreshments at Hibernia II Suite

10:00 a.m – Welcome

Jennifer Ward (Marketing Manager, OpenSky)

10:10 a.m OpenSky and Technology supporting Government

William Flanagan (Commercial & Technology Director, OpenSky)

11:00 a.m – UiPath Introduction  

Anthony Ryan (UiPath Consultant)

11:30 a.m – Coffee/Tea Break

11:45 a.m – A Demo of RPA for Business Processes – UiPath

12:00 a.m – A Demo of RPA for Government Processes – OpenSky

12:45 a.m – Q & A

Location

When: July 11th 10am – 1pm

Where: 5 Star Intercontinental Hotel, Ballsbridge

Please note that places are limited and invitations will be restricted on a first come first served basis.

Register your place

Register now to reserve your official invitation to this event by contacting our Marketing Manager Jennifer Ward at: jward@openskydata.com

About OpenSky 

OpenSky Data Systems for Digital Government That Works. 

As Ireland’s Only Govtech digital transformation specialist, we deliver future-proofed citizen access and operational efficiency.   

Our Govtech business expertise has transformed over 50 public sector bodies in Ireland & the UK.  Within transport, waste, housing & health, our systems impact 2.5m people every day & manage 100m digital transactions every month in Government. 

Taking a Customer-Centric approach, we equip government teams with scalable and sustainable citizen platforms, shared digital business process information systems, realtime monitoring and analysis, legacy system modernisation, minimal viable product designs and implementations and data management services. 

Our expertise & approach, provides our clients with a path towards increased cost-efficiency, reduced risk of investment and superior citizen services.  

Working with the best technologies & MS Gold Certified Partners, we have 15 years of digitising processesconnecting citizens – building a smarter nation. 

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Drivers for Innovation in Government Event

Strengthen and support effective policy implementation, identify the key obstacles between achieving business goals and explore innovation.
Thursday 17th of October 2019 – 5 star Fitzwilliam Hotel, Dublin​

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Blog: Why We Use Web API’s

Our Expertise

By Aleh Holub

By Aleh Holub

Solution Architect

Why We Use Web API’s

An API (Application Programming Interface), or an interface for programming applications, allows developers to use ready-made blocks to build an application. In the case of web applications, the API can give data in a format other than standard HTML, making it convenient to use when writing your own applications.  

Based on the above, we can distinguish two existing components tied to the web API: server and clientIn this case, we consider the server to be an abstract machine on the network that can receive an HTTP request, process it and return the correct response. The physical essence and internal architecture of the server are absolutely not important, whether it be a regular laptop or a big cluster of industrial servers. it doesn’t matter what technology is responsible for processing the request, Apache or Windows IIS, which codePHP, Python or C#, processes it and forms the answer, which data storage is used: PostgreSQL, MS SQL or MongoDB. The main thing is that the server responds to the main rule – to hear, understand and respond. 

The client can be anything that can generate and send a HTTP request and there are several situations in which we need to create a Web API for our own lovingly written and refactored application. 

Service, Delivery & Support Banner
  1. Mobile appMany mobile applications for various services work when using the API of these services. You describe the API, make a simple mobile application and the client with the smartphone will receive information into their device through the API. Simple & Convenient. 
  2. Open Source:  If your application has a certain audience that uses it, why not utilise this to your advantage? Create an API and with the help of your users, they can create new clients for your application and new services based on it, which will reveal its new facets. 
  3. Maximum separation of frontend and backend:  When using front-end frameworks such as ReactJS or AngularJS, a Web API allows you to provide customer data regardless of the technology used for the development, including programming languages. And, the client can be rewritten in a completely new technology without the need to replace the API code.  

Using Web API allows you to expand the capabilities of the program, easily accompany various versions of the services provided and in terms of placement in the cloud, it can easily be expanded to provide better performance. 

 Although JSON-Pure API are becoming more and more popular, the most common standard for Web API is REST. 

REST (Representational state transfer) was originally created as a simple and unambiguous interface for managing data, which involved only a few basic operations with server: data extraction (GET), saving (POST), changing (PUT / PATCH) and deleting (DELETE). In addition, REST has a number of architectural principles that are strongly recommended to be observed when developing: 

*Server independence from client 

*The independence of the storage format of the data transfer format 

*Uniqueness of resource addresses 

*Visibility of the responses for all of the metadata necessary for using the API e.g. error messages, the total number of records in the collection for the correct display of page navigation etc. 

API

Creating a complete API for applications is only half the business. For correct use of the API, you must provide the necessary documentation to service users. There are several libraries that allow developers to automatically generate the documentation and place it in the same hosting as the API itself e.g. Swagger. Another solution would be creating an API framework that clients can use for communication with an API service. For large API services like e.g. GitHub, Twitter have frameworks written in different programming languages to allow as many clients as possible to use their API easily.  

Using a Web API allows you to expand the capabilities of the program, easily accompany various versions of the services provided and in terms of placement in the cloud, it can easily be expanded to provide better performance. 

About OpenSky 

OpenSky Data Systems for Digital Government That Works. 

As Ireland’s Only Govtech digital transformation specialist, we deliver future-proofed citizen access and operational efficiency.   

Our Govtech business expertise has transformed over 50 public sector bodies in Ireland & the UK.  Within transport, waste, housing & health, our systems impact 2.5m people every day & manage 100m digital transactions every month in Government. 

Taking a Customer-Centric approach, we equip government teams with scalable and sustainable citizen platforms, shared digital business process information systems, realtime monitoring and analysis, legacy system modernisation, minimal viable product designs and implementations and data management services. 

Our expertise & approach, provides our clients with a path towards increased cost-efficiency, reduced risk of investment and superior citizen services.  

Working with the best technologies & MS Gold Certified Partners, we have 15 years of digitising processesconnecting citizens – building a smarter nation. 

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About The Author

Currently Aleh works as Team Lead/Architect on a wide range of projects for Health, Transport and other public services.
Work includes managing many aspects of software development, code writing, application design and leading projects.

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Drivers for Innovation in Government Event

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Blog: Life is Short, Work Somewhere Awesome

About Us

By Shaúna McGuire

By Shaúna McGuire

HR Manager

Life is Short, Work Somewhere Awesome

If we were to look at our life in numbers, the average human spends approx. 79 years or 28,835 days on earth – after sleep, work is the biggest time consumer. Whether we’re going through the motions or working in our ‘dream’ job, it takes up a lot of our time……working out at an average of 13 years (not including any overtime that may be worked!). (Huffington Post) 

Huffingtonpost image
Huffingtonpost infographic

Infographic by dreams.co.uk 

With these figures in mind, it really highlights the need for a person to work in an organisation where they feel fulfilled, supported, respected, challenged and feel they can grow and develop their skills. It is the responsibility of the organisation to ensure they foster a positive working environment that provides engagement for their employees and allows them to succeed.  

There are many ways an organisation can approach this 

*Have a robust, clear and transparent recruitment process 

*Understand that an employee’s engagement is not only driven by the Human Resources department but also by their Manager and Team 

*Provide employees with the room to grow and develop their skills whilst ensuring a clear career path is identified  

*Promote a culture of continuous learning, knowledge sharing and professional development – driven by the organisation alongside the employee 

*Have a clear structure and reporting lines in place 

*Ensure there is a competent and fully skilled management team in place that not only utilise their job/industry knowledge but are capable of leading and motivating a team 

*Ensure Managers do not underestimate the power of showing appreciation and acknowledging a job well done – the power of a simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way 

*Promote and follow an ‘open door’ environment/policy  

*Ensure there is a clear and transparent communication policy and practice 

*Ensure that employees have the right support available to them from both a work and personal perspective  

Supporting an employee’s development ensures they’ll be more engaged, more productive, and better skilled at what they do.

An organisation needs to appreciate and understand the importance of making a positive first impression on prospective employee which will follow suit into their working life with the organisation. This is achieved by ensuring you have a robust, clear and transparent recruitment process where there is open and regular communication. Once an applicant is hired, this positive impression should follow via a clear and structured induction into the organisation. 

It is highly important that when a new employee joins an organisation that they obtain an introduction to the organisation as a whole and not purely focused on the area in which they will be working. This approach ensures that an employee has a clear understanding of the organisationits values, goals, work practices and can see how their role contributes to the overall success and growth of the organisation. This approach also provides an employee the opportunity to have a clear understanding as to where they are now within the organisation but also where they can be in the future. 

The importance of this is reinforced by a study completed by BambooHR where they surveyed 1,000 currently employed individuals and found that nearly a third of them, 31%, reported to have left a job before reaching the six-month mark. According to the research participants, the main reasons for leaving, were a poor onboarding experience, a lack of clarity surrounding their job duties and/or expectations, or a less than stellar boss. 

Organisations need to ensure they have an effective, competent, experienced and skilled Management team in place. It is not enough to have an appropriately experienced or skilled professional in a Management role, soft skills are just as important. An effective Manager needs to have the appropriate experience, but they also need to know how to motivate and get the best out of their team by displaying a genuine interest in their direct reports – not only from a work perspective but also on a personal level. Another important aspect of an effective Manager is ensuring they display professionalism, remain unbiased/neutral and not allow personal opinions to cloud their judgement.

According to a recent publication by Access Perks where global survey results were collated regarding 2018 Employee Engagement & Loyalty Statistics, the following show the importance and impact that a Manager can have on an organisation’s workforce; 

*Employees who give their managers a low rating are four times more likely to be interviewing for other jobs than their peers (TINYpulse) 

*Of employees who rate their boss unfavourable, 40% interviewed for a new job in the past three months vs. 10% who rated their manager highly (TINYpulse) 

*21.5% of workers who don’t feel recognised for doing great work have interviewed for a job in the past three months vs. 12.4% who do feel recognised (TINYpulse)

*Nearly half of employees said they’ve quit a job because of a bad manager, 56% think managers are promoted prematurely, and 60% think managers need managerial training (Udemy) 

I quite my job

An organisation needs to ensure they foster an environment where learning, knowledge sharing, and continuous development is at the forefront not only for Human Resource departments but also Line Management. According to a Willis Towers Watson study, more than 70% of high-retention-risk employees, employees who possess critical skills and are top performers, say they’ll have to leave their organisation to advance their career. 

An employee’s growth and development are vital elements of what an organisation can offer, and the benefits extend in every direction. Supporting an employee’s development ensures they’ll be more engaged, more productive, and better skilled at what they do.  

Again, according to the same publication by Access Perks, the following statistics confirm the importance of employee development; 

 *Offering career training and development would keep 86% of millennials from leaving their current position (Bridge) 

*51% of employees would quit their job if training was not offered (Udemy) 

*If a job lacks growth opportunities and avenues for leadership development, 67% of millennials would leave that position (Bridge) 

*42% of L&D professionals who indicated their employees were highly engaged in learning were also highly engaged overall at the organisation (Findcourses.com) 

*70% of employees believe training could help them become more focused on the job and better at managing their time, but 66% have never asked their managers for such training (Udemy) 

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” ― Benjamin Franklin 

Trainning.

Finally, but by no means least, organisations need to be aware that the mental wellbeing of an employee is extremely important and that support mechanisms need to be in place to address this.  

Many organisations may assume, for example; poor results, absenteeism or missed deadlines are signs that an employee isn’t right for the job. While it can be hard at times to identify the root cause of performance issues, it’s crucial for organisations to consider a factor that has, until recent times, been discountedemployee wellbeing. 

  

The issues and stresses that employees are bringing with them to the workplace could be affecting their overall morale and productivity. 

This year, Colonial Life released survey results that analysed 1,506 consumers working full-time January 29th to February 1st that revealed: 

*More than 70% of employees spend valuable work time worrying 

*More than 20% of full-time workers responded that they spend more than five hours thinking about what makes them stressed 

*An additional 50% said they lost at least an hour of work per week due to stress 

There are practical ways in which an organisation can address this; 

*Normalise the conversation around mental health and remove the any stigma associated with same 

*Implement strong and clear policies/procedures to address and support healthy mental wellbeing in the workplace 

*Tailor employee benefits to ensure they support a healthy mental wellbeing e.g. Employee Assistance Programme 

Following a recent survey commissioned by Friends First, it highlighted some concerning statistics regarding mental wellbeing and its impact on the workplace; 

*Mental health issues are the most common illnesses in the workplace 

*Almost two in five workers say they are suffering from stress and anxiety 

*38% of workers say they are under stress 

*Nearly half of millennials in the workforce say that they have experienced mental illness 

*Almost half of under-35’s say they have taken extended sick leave of a week or more due to stress or anxiety 

Karen Gallagher, Protection Director of Friends First, said the research showed mental health issues had the potential to affect us all and the effects of stress and anxiety knew no boundaries when it came to age, gender or profession. 

 

About OpenSky 

OpenSky Data Systems for Digital Government That Works. 

As Ireland’s Only Govtech digital transformation specialist, we deliver future-proofed citizen access and operational efficiency.   

Our Govtech business expertise has transformed over 50 public sector bodies in Ireland & the UK.  Within transport, waste, housing & health, our systems impact 2.5m people every day & manage 100m digital transactions every month in Government. 

Taking a Customer-Centric approach, we equip government teams with scalable and sustainable citizen platforms, shared digital business process information systems, realtime monitoring and analysis, legacy system modernisation, minimal viable product designs and implementations and data management services. 

Our expertise & approach, provides our clients with a path towards increased cost-efficiency, reduced risk of investment and superior citizen services.  

Working with the best technologies & MS Gold Certified Partners, we have 15 years of digitising processesconnecting citizens – building a smarter nation. 

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About The Author

Prior to commencing my career in HR, I worked in different sectors within different roles such as Customer Service, Accounts, Payroll, Administration and Office Management…

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Thursday 17th of October 2019 – 5 star Fitzwilliam Hotel, Dublin​

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OpenSky to create 80 jobs after €2.5M investment in expansion

About Us

OpenSky Press Release - 16th May 2019

OpenSky Press Release - 16th May 2019

OpenSky to create 80 jobs after €2.5M investment in expansion 

OpenSky, Ireland’s only GovTech transformation specialist which provides process automated solutions to public sector bodies, is proud to announce that it has invested €2.5 million in its own expansion and will create 80 jobs over the next two years.

The company’s employee numbers are set to reach 160 by the end of 2021. New roles will include digital transformation consultants, software engineers, sales and marketing executives, and project and team leaders.

OpenSky is an IT and consultancy solutions company, based in Naas in Co Kildare, that provides innovative solutions and managed services to public sector bodies. The team has successfully delivered major projects for 50 organisations in the sector, impacting 2.5 million people every day. Their systems manage more than 100 million digital transactions per month between Ireland and the UK.

Over the last two years, OpenSky has achieved continued growth, with revenue increasing 30% year-on-year. As well as investing in new additions to the team, 10% of revenue is put towards research and development activities.

The company’s success has been driven not only by the increasing demand among government agencies and public bodies for digital transformation, but OpenSky’s extensive range of services which now includes Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation and Information Intelligence.

 

Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen T.D. said: “Innovation and digitisation are key to Ireland’s continued economic success and so I very much welcome OpenSky’s ambitious plans for expansion.  I would like to congratulate them on their continued success and of course very much welcome the 80 high-end jobs that will be created.”

Furthermore, the business is planning to expand further in international markets, including the UK and the US. OpenSky’s customer base has grown in recent years with both international and Irish customers including the Health Service Executive, the National Transport Authority, the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation, North London Waste and Surrey County Council.

Michael Cronin, Managing Director, OpenSky, said: “More and more public service agencies and government organisations realise how important it is for them to be able to boost productivity, deliver services and support citizens as directly and efficiently as possible.

By transforming, they can not only streamline their own processes and optimise resources, but also enhance the citizen experience and create a digital government that works. In order to meet this increasing and evolving demand, we have invested in expanding our team and adding new services.”

Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen T.D. said: “Innovation and digitisation are key to Ireland’s continued economic success and so I very much welcome OpenSky’s ambitious plans for expansion.  I would like to congratulate them on their continued success and of course very much welcome the 80 high-end jobs that will be created.”

Check out Vacancies at OpenSky

 

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About OpenSky Data Systems

OpenSky Data Systems for Digital Government That Works. 

As Ireland’s Only Govtech digital transformation specialist, we deliver future-proofed citizen access and operational efficiency.   

Our Govtech business expertise has transformed over 50 public sector bodies in Ireland & the UK.  Within transport, waste, housing & health, our systems impact 2.5m people every day & manage 100m digital transactions every month in Government. 

Taking a Customer-Centric approach, we equip government teams with scalable and sustainable citizen platforms, shared digital business process information systems, realtime monitoring and analysis, legacy system modernisation, minimal viable product designs and implementations and data management services. 

Our expertise & approach, provides our clients with a path towards increased cost-efficiency, reduced risk of investment and superior citizen services.  

Working with the best technologies & MS Gold Certified Partners, we have 15 years of digitising processesconnecting citizens – building a smarter nation. 

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Drivers for Innovation in Government Event

Strengthen and support effective policy implementation, identify the key obstacles between achieving business goals and explore innovation.
Thursday 17th of October 2019 – 5 star Fitzwilliam Hotel, Dublin​

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Blog: Are you really doing DevOps?

Our Expertise

By Radoslaw Podgorski

By Radoslaw Podgorski

Team Lead

Are you really doing DevOps?

DevOps nowadays is such a trendy topic – you’ve probably noticed so many references to it on articles, tech conferences talks, videocasts, training courses etc.  General awareness in this area is on the rise and this is not surprising at all since modern systems are becoming more and more complex with vast amounts of data to be processed and with simultaneous user access. But what’s most important is that modern systems have to be open and flexible to introducing new changes and meet the demands of an always on, 24/7 working environment.  Without this commitment, there are losses – of revenue, reputation…or in some cases lives!! 

So, what is DevOps and how does it help? Well there is no concrete definition for DevOps – in fact in you search Wikipedia you’ll find;  

DevOps is a set of software development practices that combines software development (Dev) and information technology operations (Ops) to shorten the systems development life cycle while delivering features, fixes, and updates frequently in close alignment with business objectives.” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DevOps 

And while this definition offers a very broad overview to what DevOps is, there’s so much more it and so many more questions than the basic ones like: 

Qs: Are you doing DevOps?  A: Oh, yes we are! We have Jenkins in place for our Dev/QA environments. All we have to do is to hit a button and watch the magic happen! 

and 

Qs: Does it also transfer to Production Environment?  A: No, our customer security policy does not allow us to do so. 

Having a continuous Integration tool, a new shiny system version shipped to a production environment is only the start of what’s involved.  DevOps is more of an organisational change, the company being the engine that needs to have all the parts and components running correctly – which needs to be maintained and inspected regularly to future proof for potential issues.  

So, how can DevOps can help with this? How can we move towards something that will fit our needs and tackle problems in a better manner?  I’ve provided a compact guide below: 

 

Daily Basis: 

 

Standardisation: 

 

* Define ops and development standards in your Organisation (if you haven’t already!) and follow them – apply KISS (Keep It Simple Stupidprincipal and try not to re-invent the wheel. Be aware that complex solutions have longer learning curves and are harder to maintain. 

* Follow best practices – if you have a problem you need to tackle, there is a high chance that someone has been faced with the problem already. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and gain from another people’s experience – whether in or outside of your Organisation. 

* Don’t lock yourself to specific stack/technology. There are no perfect solutions, but some are better in dealing with specific problems than others. Always try to seek alternatives. 

* Create a Technology radar for your Organisation that will help you track new technologies – in IT everything is changing fast so you need to plan ahead and be prepared for introducing changes.   

 

Automation: 

 

* Try to automate any repeatable manual work – deployments, testing, daily checks – you name it. This will not only save a lot of time but also prevent any human error caused mistakes. 

* In order for automation to work correctly, enforce standardised environments – all fixes and patches should be applied across DEV/QA/UAT/PROD. 

* Is there an issue each time you request new environment? Adopt and implement Infrastructure as a Code using dedicated tools/platforms. 

* Once you have automation in place – focus on reducing its error and failure rate – this will get you up to speed in no time. 

 

Team: 

 

* People are the true value of every IT Organisation. Be aware of that & trust them.  Don’t micromanage your team as this leads to problems. Remember that good teams can be fully autonomous and can manage on their own. 

* Try to balance team workloads and be aware that multitasking can do more harm than good. Apply WIP (Work in Progress) limits if necessary 

* Support people and teams during failures – everyone makes mistakes. The key is to learn from them and provide a means for these to not happen again. 

* Create an on-boarding plan for new Employees – not everyone has the same knowledge level, but actions should be made to mitigate this.  

Having a continuous Integration tool, a new shiny system version shipped to a production environment is only the start of what’s involved.  DevOps is more of an organisational change…

Development/Deployment approach: 

 

* Move towards Agile methodologies – Waterfall is an enemy of DevOps and causes issues when applying some of its best practices. 

* Increase Deployment frequency – if you only have Continuous Integration in placetry expanding it into Continuous Deployment and ultimately into Continuous Delivery 

* Follow some deployment patterns that can be adopted to your Product: 

Canary releases 

Rolling deployments 

Blue-Green deployments 

 

Change Management: 

 

* Define a standardised and transparent process to be followed by your Organisation – by default it should have as little overhead as possible and a quick turnaround. 

* Define and follow a Release management process for provisioning your systems. 

 

Monitoring and Alerts: 

 

* Watch your system as they work in order to gain insights and prevent or predict possible failures/issues on either system or infrastructure level. 

* Implement alert mechanism in order to mitigate issues before they occur. 

 

What to do if your Production system is down or facing a serious issue? 

 

Prioritisation:  

 

* The key rule to most production issues is to mitigate first in order to provide continuous operations. ‘Proper’ fix can be applied a little bit later. 

* All services need to be recovered based on impact. Look into what’s most critical first to get you up and running. 

* It’s very important to record all evidence related to the issue (times, logs etc.) as this will be used for Root Caused Analysis later on. 

 

Communication: 

 

* When facing issues, communication is key and needs to be timely sent and always transparent – do not try to hide anything. 

* Don’t cause panic – communicate the issue only to the affected parties. 

* Separate external and internal communication – customers usually won’t understand tech talk so the information provided to them needs to be clear and understandable.  And consider ChatOps as a good solution to have one centralised place for internal communication. 

* Have an ‘Incident Manager’ in place who will coordinate everything in correct manner. 

* It’s good to have some insight of your system in real time otherwise your support might get overwhelmed with questions like ‘When will it start working?’ so a dedicated health check/incident page would be useful here. 

 

Now that we’ve identified the cause and restored initial functionality – what’s next? 

 

Root Cause Analysis: 

 

* Perform accurate Root Cause Analysis (RCA) – go through recorded timelines, think of lessons learned and possible future improvement plan to ensure the issue does not happen again.

* Create a Post Mortem document that is clear and accessible to everyone. 

* Review your Post Mortems to see if you are not falling into the same rabbit holes. 

* It is very important that RCA and Postmortem be done with blameless approach – everyone can make mistakes and if you approach analysis with a witch hunt style, it’s likely to result with your team not sharing the important details they know which are crucial to the analysis. 

 

Improvement plan 

 

* Create an improvement plan – this should be initiated from the Root Cause Analysis document. 

* Track your improvement proposals so these get implemented properly – regardless if this is a process modification, monitoring improvement, code fix or Architectural change. 

 

Great, what’s next? 

 

So much to cover right?  Do you have to do all of this from the start?  No! Improve on what you have. Start small, fail often and learn from it, adopt, adjust, improve! Improve! Improve! 

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About The Author

Team Leader at Opensky Data Systems. Currently responsible for developing and maintaining Ireland’s enterprise level systems for Taxi Industry. Enthusiast of Cloud, Agile and DevOps. In deep love with .NET stack, with some warm feelings for Android

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Blog: Supporting Efficiency in Government with Emerging Technologies

Our Expertise

By Manuel Tomas Estarlich

By Manuel Tomas Estarlich

Cloud & Productivity Solutions Architect

Supporting Efficiency in Government with Emerging Technologies

The Current State of Digital Government 

The public sector is taking advantage of technologies that have delivered improvements in other industries in order to achieve a higher performance and an exceptional culture.  However, the sector faces its own series of unique challenges from regulations, which can add complications to Government making simple improvements.  The complexity alone of securing citizens’ information from within the vast volume of government agencies and organisational silos between departments is a challenge in itself, which can only be achieved with sophisticated technology and business innovation. 

Governments are making great progress in their transition to the digital world. According to the Public Service ICT Strategy published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in 2015, “the new strategy would deliver better outcomes and efficiency through innovation and excellence in ICT“ such as; 

* The Public Service will be more agile and deliver more user centric and innovative services for citizens and businesses. 

* Innovative use of ICT in the Public Service will deliver better value for taxpayers by creating efficiencies through integration, consolidation and sharing of common infrastructure, systems and resources. 

* Adoption and facilitation of digital technologies will increase productivity, improve the relationship between citizens, businesses and government and will deliver social and economic benefits for Ireland. 

* Integrated services and increased data sharing will drive significant efficiencies; will facilitate insight driven decision making; will increase openness and transparency between Government and the public; and will provide a much higher user experience and quality of service for citizens, businesses and public servants. 

* Improved ICT governance will ensure alignment, reduce risk and support unification as envisaged under the Public Service Reform Plan and Civil Service Renewal Plan. 

* The future needs for ICT skills will be met through professionalisation of ICT streams, targeted recruitment and improved mobility and succession planning across all Public Bodies.” 

 

However, four years after the strategy was introduced, some of the greatest challenges still lie ahead for Government.  While much progress has been made to enable citizens to access many government digital channels, the true potential of digital government stands unexploited today versus the plans outlined in the strategy in 2015, such as; 

* Many end-to-end digital services are still not available. 

* Many of the existing digital services are still not optimised for mobile devices. 

*  Most departments are still struggling to comply with GDPR legislation. 

* Customer Service still relies totally or partially on call centres which are not facilitated by an always-on service.  We need to meet the demands of current day customer/citizen expectations for a 24-7-365 service. 

* The functionality and user experiences of government online services are usually poor compared to commercial organisations who have set the expectation to customers, of a user friendly, efficient & functional platform. 

 

The Need to Modernise 

In today’s digital era, keeping up with shifting consumer expectations and providing them with the low-friction and straightforward experiences they crave is a massive challenge that most public and private organisations face. Often, the problem lies in the fact that due to platform constraints, many companies are slow or even incapable, of deploying the digital technologies that consumers already expect and have adopted in their day-to-day lives.  

Many citizen transactions are still supported by old systems and platforms that lack the flexibility, scalability, extendibility and interoperability to deliver the digital channels needed for 24/7 citizen access as well as ensuring that customer interactions are not only more efficient, but also have a strong focus on delivering exceptional experiences. 

Therefore, in order to meet the increasing demands and expectations of more experienced digital users, Public Service departments need to go beyond digitising processes and services and leverage the power of digital technologies and data to improve efficiency and transform their business models 

OpenSky specialise in enabling Government to get the benefits of a true digital transformation – providing efficiencies by lowering operational costs and improving quality of service, resulting in more satisfied citizens. 

 

Platform Modernisation 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 can digitally transform the public sector by eliminating reliance on legacy systems, databases and paper-based services.  It provides the platform and tools that equip organisations in deploying seamless, end-to-end, multi-device, multi-channel digital case management systems – that allows users to transact their business while online, without having to resort to printing forms or calling a service centre.  

 

The key advantages of Microsoft Dynamics 365 are its; scalability, extendibility, flexibility, maintainability and interoperability as well as its seamless integration with other applications and services on the Microsoft Cloud (including SharePoint, Yammer, OneDrive, Skype for Business, Microsoft Flow amongst others).  

 

Some of the key benefits that Microsoft Dynamics 365 can bring to the public sector are; 

  1. Improved process efficiency – digitising and streamlining in person and/or paper-based processes, making services more available and convenient for citizens and cutting down the administrative overhead for government agencies. 
  2. Increased productivity – automating back-office operations, reducing bottlenecks, ensuring processes are always followed and reducing end-user training needs. PowerApps and Microsoft Flow can also be used to extend process automation with no-code solutions. 
  3. Improved reporting and analytics – agencies can interrogate data with highly flexible, customisable reporting and turn data into insights. Dynamics 365 Artificial Intelligence for Customer Service can help agencies to optimize their operations and create better customer service experiences. 
  4. Improved flexibility and maintainability – Dynamics 365 provides tools to empower organisations to configure/customisthe way they do business without the need of a developer and eliminates potential impact of customisations on platform upgrades. 
  5. Improved interoperability  Microsoft Flow and Logic Apps can be used to build no-code integrations with other internal and external systems and the Common Data Service can be leveraged for integrating Dynamics 365 with other business apps seamlessly. 

 

My colleague Marius Stoica wrote a great article which provides insight on how OpenSky minimises the business impact of the upgrading process when providing scalable, sustainable and future-proofed upgrades as well as replacements of obsolete case management systems – for many Government & Large Private Enterprises. 

Public Service departments need to go beyond digitising processes and services and leverage the power of digital technologies and data to improve efficiency and transform their business models.

Automating information classification and regulatory compliance 

Traditionally, implementing a successful enterprise search has always been a challenge. Search relies on classification and more so on consistent classification and relying on a manual classification process managed by end users, has never worked and it never will.  

In today’s digital world, consuming information has crossed application and service boundaries to the extent that it has an impact on security, enterprise content management, migration, text analytics, collaboration, compliance and information governance. Most agencies are still unprepared to address data protection, security breaches and data leaks as well as complying with the requirements of GDPR. And most, focus primarily on perimeter security even though a high percentage of data breaches are caused by internal stakeholders. 

In order to increase productivity and decision making while reducing costs and so importantly, ensuring compliance is maintained across the Public Sector, have all content (structured, semi-structured and unstructured) auto-classified and available in a single search index is paramount. 

By investing in a platform that; 

* Automatically generates metadata and makes it available to search engines, enterprise content management systems and line of business applications 

* Leverages Intelligent Metadata Enabled Solutions for Data Privacy, Protection of Confidential Information and eDiscovery 

The public sector would be empowered to; 

* Eliminate end user tagging, reducing errors, rework, and time 

* Create a virtual centralisation through the ability to link disparate on-premises and off-premises content repositories, improving decision making via the retrieval of all relevant information in a single interface 

* Enable concept-based searching for information 

* Ensure all privacy data vulnerabilities are identified across diverse repositories such as scanned documents and e-mails  

* Notify data exposures in real time  

* Automatically protect content that contains a potential data breach 

* Enable quick implementation to address regulatory changes while avoiding fines and audits 

* Minimise end user training 

 

Preparing for 2020 and Beyond 

Using automation to bring efficiency into the digital age  

While Process automation platforms have been around since the beginning of this century, there has been a more recent increase in general adoption across industries with the emergence of Robotic Process Automation. But what exactly is Robotic Process Automation and how can it be used to increase efficiency? 

 “Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the technology that allows anyone today to configure computer software, or a “robot” to emulate and integrate the actions of a human interacting within digital systems to execute a business process. RPA robots utilise the user interface to capture data and manipulate applications just like humans do. They interpret, trigger responses and communicate with other systems in order to perform on a vast variety of repetitive tasks. Only substantially better: an RPA software robot never sleeps, makes zero mistakes and costs a lot less than an employee.”  UiPath 

A great example of how RPA can be used to increase efficiency can be found in customer contact centres. 

Customer contact centres rely on a number of different systems and applications to process a high volume of repetitive tasks, which makes them an ideal match for RPA.  

Customer representatives need to understand a customer’s intent and carry out a series of actions that involve switching between systems and apps to find the required information and in turn, inform/direct the customer. This process has some disadvantages, including the long waiting times for the customer while the customer representative is busy dealing with data followed by the representative asking the customer for the same information more than once. The result, an increase in the duration of the interaction that wastes resources while creating customer dissatisfaction. 

By identifying frequent customer queries and analysing the tasks that the representative needs to perform in response, an RPA solution can be built to facilitate those actions by totally or partially automating those tasks.  For instance, for an interaction in which entering customer data in one or several systems is required, a robot can be built so when it is launched by a customer representative, IT performs most/all the actions in seconds. 

The above scenario could be taken a step further by the combination of a virtual agent (more on this in the next paragraph) and a robot, in which the virtual agent interacts with the customer to gather the necessary data and triggers the robot (sharing the collected data) to perform the actions, requiring only the intervention of a human when a negative sentiment in the conversation is detected or when dealing with a person is explicitly requested by the customer (escalation from virtual agent to customer service representative) or, when part of the process relies on the abilities than only humans possess. 

 

Using AI to drive citizen engagement  

A no-code, AI driven virtual agent can handle most citizen interactions to improve productivity, reduce workloads and create positive experiences by guiding citizens to the right solution every time. 

What are the Benefits of AI driven virtual agents? 

Connectivity – connect to different APIs, business applications and escalate seamlessly to human agents. Virtual agents can create great citizen experiences that evolves and learns with context. 

Deflection – free up human agents to work on high-value interactions by deflecting routine queries to a lower cost channel like chat. 

Dialog – provide quicker response timewith guided users interaction. 

Intelligence – handle complex service interactions quickly and effectively through rich conversations driven by AI which provides them the ability to understand voice, language, intent, sentiment, image. 

Interoperability – trigger back-end process automation workflows and automation robots 

“Chatbots will be responsible for cost savings of over $8 billion annually by 2022, up from $20 million in 2017” Juniper 

“Chatbots will power 85% of all customer service interactions by the year 2020” Gartner 

 

 

About OpenSky 

As Ireland’s Only Govtech digital transformation specialist, we deliver future-proofed citizen access and operational efficiency.  

Our Govtech business expertise has transformed over 50 public sector bodies in Ireland & the UK.  Within transport, waste, housing & health, our systems impact 2.5m people every day & manage 100m digital transactions every month in Government. 

Taking a Customer-Centric approach, we equip government teams with scalable and sustainable citizen platforms, shared digital business process information systems, legacy system modernisation and data management services. 

Our expertise & approach provides our clients with a path towards increased cost-efficiency, reduced risk of investment and superior citizen services. 

Working with the best technologies & MS Gold Certified Partners, we have 15 years of digitising processes, connecting citizens – building a safer nation. 

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I am a dedicated I.T. professional with +16 years of experience within a varied range of organisations. I successfully combine excellent analysis abilities and exceptional technical skills with the proven ability of completing work activities to the highest standard whilst working within tight deadlines.

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Blog: A Day in The Life of a Data Scientist

About Us

By Joanna Waszak

By Joanna Waszak

Business Intelligence & Analytics Consultant

A Day in The Life of a Data Scientist

I remember that when most of my friends were trying to do everything in their power to avoid maths, I always believed it was one of the most creative and interesting subjects for me to develop. My love of numbers lead me first to accountancy, and ultimately into data science and machine learning.  I like to think that my strong understanding of financial numbers and business gave me a competitive advantage when switching careers. The best thing about being a data scientist is that I work on a variety of projects, using different tools and facing new challenges every day with a certainty that I will be crunching into numbers at some point of the day. Data science is used as a buzzword for analytics these days, but generally, it is associated with machine learning, artificial intelligence and data visualisations. 

My working day usually starts at 9:30am, checking my meeting schedule for the day while drinking coffee!  Most days we have team daily planning meeting call at around 10am. One of the things I learned very quickly in my role with OpenSky, is that communication is one of the major success factors in any project. As a data scientist, I not only interact with my ‘data’ team members (who are incredible people by the way 😊), but I also collaborate on projects and tasks across multiple departments. Analytics is more than just coding and data modelling – it combines the human element of knowledge and science.  

That’s why I usually spend 20% of my time analysing the project objectives and requirements from a business perspective, creating documentation, conducting a series of interviews with stakeholders, and finally transforming this knowledge into a plan. Armed with business knowledge, a plan and caffeine, I am ready for the next phase: data understanding. To begin with, I start gathering the data. It usually comes from multiple sources and in various shapes. Early data discovery helps me to find key insights and links, but most importantly it tells me whether the data I am looking at is representative of the business problem I am trying to solve.   

“Analytics is more than just coding, and data modelling. It combines the human element of knowledge and science.”

Shortly after this, one thing that I am constantly faced with is that the data I am reviewing, is not in the best shape and usually far from perfect. Finding and cleansing dirty, noisy or missing data, takes around 60-80% of my time each day. After following multiple steps preparing data, can finally start building and evaluating the models. I repeat the steps until I am happy with the results and the model can be deployed. This will keep me busy for the rest of the day.  

On a daily basis, I use T-SQL to fetch and analyse the data, RStudio for data cleansing and profiling, PySpark to create a data models and SQL Server Integration Services for data extraction, transformation and loading. I develop SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) reports and create cubes from scratch using Analysis Services. I use Azure Cognitive Services to build intelligent algorithms into apps and bots and Power BI for data visualisation which brings the data to life. 

At OpenSky Data Systems I am always challenged with interesting projects and encouraged to generate and develop ideas. By finding meaning and value to data and enabling users to interact with it, I can support a wide range of evidence-based decisions which need to be taken. Depending on the needs of our clients my goal is always to make data more understandable, useful and accessible. I think that nowadays we are all suffering from information overload and the same applies to businesses. By visualising data, I can find and concentrate on information that needs attention. I can tell the story and bring everyone’s attention to the important patterns and connections between numbers that could be scattered across multiple reports.  

If you consider a career in Data Science, I believe Andrew Ng is among one of the most influential people in the field and his Machine Learning course on Coursera is a fantastic introduction to the topic https://www.coursera.org/learn/machine-learning. If you are interested in data visualisation, I would recommend “Visualize This: The Flowing Data Guide to Design, Visualization, and Statistics” by Nathan Yau which offers insight into a practical guide on real-world examples. 

 

About OpenSky 

OpenSky Data Systems for Digital Government That Works. 

As Ireland’s Only Govtech digital transformation specialist, we deliver future-proofed citizen access and operational efficiency.   

Our Govtech business expertise has transformed over 50 public sector bodies in Ireland & the UK.  Within transport, waste, housing & health, our systems impact 2.5m people every day & manage 100m digital transactions every month in Government. 

Taking a Customer-Centric approach, we equip government teams with scalable and sustainable citizen platforms, shared digital business process information systems, realtime monitoring and analysis, legacy system modernisation, minimal viable product designs and implementations and data management services. 

Our expertise & approach, provides our clients with a path towards increased cost-efficiency, reduced risk of investment and superior citizen services.  

Working with the best technologies & MS Gold Certified Partners, we have 15 years of digitising processesconnecting citizens – building a smarter nation. 

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About The Author

Business Intelligence & Analytics Consultant, with a passion for finding meaning and value to data. With the ability to analyze large sets of structured and unstructured data– I can also support a wide range of business decisions using data mining and predictive modeling. 

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Joanna Waszak

A Day in The Life of a Data Scientist

I remember that when most of my friends were trying to do everything in their power to avoid maths, I always believed it was one of the most creative and interesting subjects for me to develop. My love of numbers lead me first to accountancy, and ultimately into data science and machine learning.

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Blog: OpenSky, Technology & the Citizen

Digital Regulation for Government

By Michael Cronin

By Michael Cronin

Managing Director

OpenSky, Technology & the Citizen

We in OpenSky have spent 15 years working hard to improve technology in Government. It is one of those things that makes it easier to get up at 6am on that Monday morning when it’s dark and wet (& that’s during the better part of the year here in our green & beautiful Ireland). While Tech is not the full story when it comes to change for a better and safer world, it has its place and we are proud to be driving force for some of that change in Ireland.  

Digital Citizen Tools 

Not so long ago, a friend said to me in passing, that since most, if not all Government services are now online, surely thjob is done since citizens can interact easily with the services they need. While yes, it’s great that many services are available online for citizens, there is quite a journey to travel before everything is available that’s needed.  Take a recent project of ours to enable a new digital way of interacting with Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLR) as part of their wider Civic Hub initiative. Yes, DLR already had online methods of interacting with their citizens, however this project not only delivers digital channels to the citizen, but it also completes the digital journey throughout the numerous divisions with the Local Authority, in effect joining the Citizen directly to the responsible department, not just to the initial contact desk.  

Then you add the digital tools needed for the Local Authority to efficiently deal with the issue raised by the Citizen, now the digital solution not only supports the Citizen request straight to the relevant department, but it also underpins the resolution of the request and subsequent update to the original requestor. The end result is that DLR are now able to provide a faster service to the Citizen using less resources, whilst providing 24×7 contact channels.  A major step up from filling in an online form which sits on someone’s computer screen awaiting action.  For more on this topic, you might like to read another of our Blogs about Minimising Business Impact when Upgrading your Case Management System”.

Collaboration in the Provision of Homeless Services 

It is true to say that often Technology is just an enabler for our better safer world. For example, in OpenSky, we provide the technology platform behind Ireland’s response to homelessness. While the technology platform we built, does not give out blankets on cold nights, does not serve food to those in need – as this is managed by the fabulous people working in Voluntary and Government agencies, the system we built allows up to 100 separate agencies, to jointly collaborate in the provision of services to those experiencing homelessness.  It underpins the availability of emergency accommodation to those in need and crucially, it allows analysis on how to continually improve our policies in response to homelessness.  

To me it is clearly our responsibility as Technology Innovators to ensure our AI systems reflect business and societal rules of conduct. 

Artificial Intelligence 

One of the other motivations to face the world on that dark and wet Monday morning, is that when working with Technology, everything is always changing (although sometimes it is a reason not to get up too!).  Taking a customer-centric approach to continuously bring value to those who matter most (our customers)we must constantly evaluate and innovate with the best technology options. Some of these are bringing change to how the Citizen experience is in the digital world.

The much talked about Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now, or is definitely becoming, the face of many businesses – which has brought a new level of responsibility for companies like us in OpenSky.

If our AI is deciding, for examplewho gets the allocation of a house on the social housing list and that intelligence is evolving, it’s now not necessarily the employee of the Government Agency who is taking the decision on the allocation of housing, but initially a programmer in OpenSky and additionally the ability for the system to self-learn.  

To me it is clearly our responsibility as Technology Innovators to ensure our AI systems reflect business and societal rules of conduct.  The intelligence programmed by our teams must be transparent in its decisions and open to interrogation and routinely audited. Our AI will work beside the staff in our Government customers, often as a trusted advisor and collaborator, assisting in routine tasks and decision making at all levels. This again brings service efficiencies to a higher level and allows for an exploitation of information to support decision making not previously possible, all positive for you or I as citizens.  

Our Goal: A Safer World 

The goal for our Technology, is to support that drive for a better and safer world, which enables all people to actively participate in governance and receive the services they need. The advent of AI driven solutionsbrings responsibilities for OpenSky – to set standards for what it means to realise a responsible digital eco-system that is transparent in the way it makes decisions, and which creates trust with our customers and citizens. 

Am I excited? Yes. 

Nervous? Maybe just a little…. 

 

About OpenSky 

OpenSky Data Systems for Digital Government That Works.

As Ireland’s Only Govtech digital transformation specialist, we deliver future-proofed citizen access and operational efficiency.  

Our Govtech business expertise has transformed over 50 public sector bodies in Ireland & the UK.  Within transport, waste, housing & health, our systems impact 2.5m people every day & manage 100m digital transactions every month in Government. 

Taking a Customer-Centric approach, we equip government teams with scalable and sustainable citizen platforms, shared digital business process information systems, legacy system modernisation and data management services. 

Our expertise & approach provides our clients with a path towards increased cost-efficiency, reduced risk of investment and superior citizen services. 

Working with the best technologies & MS Gold Certified Partners, we have 15 years of digitising processes, connecting citizens – building a safer nation. 

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About The Author

Michael is co-founder and Managing Director of OpenSky. He leads the organisation as it brings a new dawn of digitalisation to Government across its market sectors.

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We in OpenSky have spent 15 years working hard to improve technology in Government. It is one of those things that makes it easier to get up at 6am on that Monday morning when it’s dark and wet (& that’s during the better part of the year here in our green & beautiful Ireland).

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