The business problem addressed by the Common Web Platform (CWP) is the significant level of duplicated investment made by government agencies in web initiatives, as well as the variability in the quality of service delivered through online channels.

The amount that government invests in online channels is significant – conservatively estimated as at least $40 million each year. The use of over 50 distinct content management systems indicates duplicate investment in web projects and web technologies across government agencies..

From an agency perspective, website developments are usually treated as a one-off project, requiring unnecessary reinvestment in design, development, procurement and security. The functional requirements of  most government websites are similar, yet agencies rarely leverage investments already made in technology components, designs and contracts.

What is the strategic case for moving to CWP?

CWP demonstrates innovation and improvement across a connected, collaborative public sector to create Better Public Services (external link) . CWP helps towards results 9 and 10, improving interaction with government. Using a common, shared web platform across government makes it easier for agencies to collaborate on delivering information and services to New Zealanders. By reducing procurement time and the need to choose technology solutions, agency staff can focus on their core function: to provide government information online and deliver business outcomes.

CWP aligns with the ICT strategy and action plan 2013-2017 (external link) focus area 'Investment and capability are shared'. In particular that ICT systems should:

"leverage common, standard technology platforms, procured ‘as-a-service’ to drive scale efficiencies;"

"use existing functionality components from across the system wherever possible, to reduce duplication and fragmentation"

Using a shared online code repository makes reusing other agencies code easy, and ensures that code developed for the Crown is not locked in by vendors. This reduces the duplication in investments made for website development.

What are the benefits to New Zealanders?

CWP reduces the overall cost of operating the New Zealand Government’s online channel, allowing agencies to focus on providing better information and services. Improved security will give New Zealanders the trust they need to engage with the Government online. Making it easier to comply with the New Zealand web standards, will improve the accessibility of information and services. The platform has a multi-lingual capability which makes it easier publish content in other languages, reaching a wider audience.

What are the benefits to an agency for moving to CWP?

For an agency, CWP:

  • Reduces unnecessary investment by supporting agencies to reuse technology and designs already developed by other agencies.
  • Provides tools, versioning and backups to help agencies comply with the public record keeping act.
  • Provides base website templates tested for compliance with the New Zealand Web Standards, reducing the risk of publishing inaccessible content.
  • Provides a platform architecture that has been through an independent security review, reducing the reputational risk of websites being compromised.
  • Provides regular patching and software updates, reducing the reputational risk of your website being compromised. 
  • Provides software and infrastructure components as a service, reducing the risk of poor performance or downtime due to relying on aging software and hardware.
  • Provides a single content management system across the agency, reducing the risk of staff making publishing errors, and making it easier for business units to collaborate on content.
  • Provides a comprehensive legal contract, which reduces legal costs and includes financial incentives for the provider to meet the agreed service levels.

What are the benefits to a business unit of moving to the CWP?

For agency staff, CWP:

  • Provides a base install, with website templates and features selected to meet the common requirements of government web projects. This allows websites to be setup with urgency and reduces time for web projects.
  • Provides advanced tools, including enterprise search and Word Document conversion, for use across all CWP websites, without the effort to set them up.
  • Provides control to develop their website as they see fit, without restriction on design and functionality.
  • Makes new features and Content Management System (CMS) enhancements available at no extra cost, through the co-funded development pool.
  • Provides a fit for purpose CMS, making it easy to update and restructure content.

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