10. Choose the right tools and technology
Choose tools and technology that let you create a high quality service in a cost effective way. Minimise the cost of changing direction in future.
Why it’s important
When you make a decision about technology, you’re making a significant investment. The choices you make will have a huge impact on your ability to create, iterate and operate the service in a sustainable way.
If existing services do not meet current needs and cannot be extended cost-effectively, a new product or service will be required. As well as meeting the need of the current service, any new product or service should also be made available for reuse.
If there are no existing services suitable for reuse or off-the-shelf solutions that can be purchased or licensed, then bespoke solutions that meet architecture principles will be considered.
How you do it
- Understand the technologies needed to deliver the service
Work out the different components required to build and operate the service
- Follow the principle of ‘reuse before buy before build’
Maximise reuse of existing services and technology components across government
- Make the service cost effective
Use appropriate tools and technologies to create and operate a good service in a cost effective way - for example, by automating things where possible
- Show how decisions on technology have been made
A technology options appraisal should demonstrate evidence and data-driven decision-making based on quality and cost
- Allow for flexibility when making technology choices
Understand the total cost of ownership of the technology and allow for different choices in future - for example, reducing the chances of getting locked into contracts for specific tools and suppliers by using open standards
- Create a sustainable plan for procurement and contract management
Reduce risk by breaking procurements into smaller parts where possible
- Consider the impact of your service on the environment
Create a service that reduces waste and energy consumption where possible, for example through cloud computing, minimising use of paper and reducing travel needed for the delivery or use of services
- Plan to replace legacy technology
Understand the legacy technology the service integrates with or depends on and make a plan to phase it out
Links to detailed guidance:
- An example template for an options appraisal document
- Guidance on choosing technology from GDS – note that the Technology Code of Practice is not currently mandatory for central Scottish Government organisations
- An architecture description is composed of a set of views including context view, functional view and application view. Access the templates for these views
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