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HMRC Information Technology Strategy

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  • 1. Information Management Solutions (IMS) Information Technology Strategy 8th October 2007 Draft Version 1.3
  • 2. Document Overview This document defines the IT Strategy for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The IT Strategy expresses the key ways in which Information Management Solutions (IMS) plan to support the delivery of the Business Strategy. It supports the IMS Strategic Framework and is complementary to the IMS IS Strategy. It is valid for 12 months from issue or until superceded. Document Audience This document is designed to express the HMRC IT Strategy to HMRC Business Directors and IMS Senior Managers. It should also be read by Solutions Architecture and Business Solutions staff. IT Strategy v15 Page 2 of 13
  • 3. Contents 1 Introduction ...................................................................................................4 2 Background...................................................................................................4 3 Mission and Strategic Themes......................................................................6 4 Road to World Class IT.................................................................................8 5 Transformational Government Agenda .........................................................9 6 Key Architecture Principles .........................................................................10 7 Alliances and Products ...............................................................................13 IT Strategy v15 Page 3 of 13
  • 4. 1 Introduction HMRC has a Business strategy setting the ambition for the Department over the next few years. This IT Strategy is a view on how IMS will deliver the required IT capabilities to support the Business in the delivery of their Business Strategy. This document defines the IT Strategy in the context of • The mission and vision for IMS (“where we want to go”) • The IMS Road to World Class (“how we intend getting there”) • How HMRC is contributing to the delivery of the Transformational Government Agenda (“how we intend delivering in the wider context”) • The key architecture principles (“the guidance we will have”) • The key alliances and products we will use (“the technologies we will use”) The focus of the IT Strategy is to have an Enterprise Architecture underpinned by key architecture principles which are described in this document. 2 Background This document is informed by the HMRC Business Strategy through the IMS Strategic Framework and the HMRC IS Strategy, and informs the HMRC Enterprise Architecture. The relationship between these key documents is shown in Figure 1. Figure 1 - Key Document Relationships IT Strategy v15 Page 4 of 13
  • 5. The HMRC Business Strategy is: We will be alongside our customers, making it easy for them to participate and contribute to the UK’s wellbeing. We will be customer focused, treating our customers according to their needs and behaviours to deliver our corporate objectives: a) We will design our processes from the customer perspective so that interactions feel tailored to their circumstances b) We will simplify our interactions with customers c) Our guidance will be clear and strive to offer customers certainty wherever possible d) We will be accessible, embracing effective new ways for delivering quality services. • We will tackle non-compliance while minimising the effect on the majority of our customers who want to comply. • We will work with others to deliver wider government outcomes, recognising customers want service without barriers. We will use our understanding of customers’ changing needs and behaviours continually to inform, challenge and improve everything we do.” To deliver on this Business Strategy, HMRC has laid out plans to transform itself over the next five years, focusing on: • Putting the citizen at the heart of the business - with more online functionality and sharing of data between departments creating a more complete picture of our customers • Closing the tax gap - making it easier for customers to comply with their tax obligations • Modernising the Department – future proofing it by making it making it more efficient, robust and secure. These focus areas are reflected in the definition of 4 Departmental Strategic Objectives (DSOs). These set the targets for the Department for the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR07) period, and refine elements of the Business Strategy. • DSO1 – Improve the extent to which individuals and business pay the amount of tax due and receive the credits and payments to which they are entitled • DSO2 – Improve the customers’ experiences of HMRC and the UK business environment • DSO3 – Reduce the risk of illicit import and export of material that might harm the UK’s physical and social well-being The IT Strategy is to create and use Enterprise Architecture as the framework to define and deliver the IT capabilities required to support the business needs, underpinning the plans of work over the coming years. As these plans gain more definition, Solutions Architecture will refine the current future (“to-be”) Architecture view to reflect the actual changes that are planned and will produce annual views of the IT landscape. IT Strategy v15 Page 5 of 13
  • 6. 3 Mission and Strategic Themes The IMS Mission is “To drive massively more efficient and effective processes and systems for our customers” In order to achieve this mission statement IMS will: • Drive forward a services based enterprise architecture approach which helps us to increase the agility of our IT systems • Drive increasing value for money through the active pursuit of the reduction of total cost of ownership of our IT assets (including reducing the cost of change) • Identify and manage the adoption of innovative technologies whilst ensuring we control both delivery and reputational risk • Work through the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Council to implement the Transformational Government Agenda, by looking for opportunities to create or consume cross-Government shared services, and work more collaboratively across Government These improvements will be implemented as part of wider IMS actions around four key themes for change: • Drive a renewal program for our key Application Suites supporting our core business. This replacement programme will enable an improved customer experience and improved business efficiency through: Providing a consistent and shared way of providing customer interactions and services, which service customer needs in near real-time, and provide an end-to-end electronic service for standard interactions Adopting standard industry processes and approaches for non-differentiated services, primarily in the mid- and back-offices, through the aggressive adoption of certain key packages Implementing contemporary technologies and service orientation techniques, in-line with our key package vendor strategies, to improve the agility and integration capabilities of our IT application suite • Increase re-use of IT assets/services both inside our Department and across Government in order to reduce our total cost of ownership and improve the speed of delivery. This must be managed against a need to reduce inter-system dependencies which, unconstrained, increase the complexity of change. We will therefore: Drive to erode departmental boundaries, looking first to consume proven existing services and components, and second, to create and consume shared services where there is no realistic existing service Seek to identify suitable approaches or components already implemented by other Government Departments before buying or building new systems, or identify opportunities to develop solutions which can meet specifically identified opportunities in other Government Departments IT Strategy v15 Page 6 of 13
  • 7. • Improve data quality, integrity and reuse so enabling efficiency improvements, improved customer experience and compliance risk assessment. This will be achieved by: Identifying core Departmental information resources and ensuring there is a single point of record Reducing duplication and implementations of the core business rules and processes used to maintain that data Creation of and adherence to a corporate data architecture. • Create a utility, virtualised infrastructure which increases the speed of delivery and reduces cost by provisioning standardised platforms and reducing the amount of system specific infrastructure. We will look to Identify and adopt the most cost-effective hardware platforms, using advanced virtualisation techniques to maximise the use made of that hardware investment Look to provision system and supporting software in an application independent manner, effectively allowing commodity provisioning and pay-per-use technqiues to be used for as much of the enabling technology as possible Allow flexible internal working practices and allow applications to be effectively used by non- Departmental staff i.e. staff from Other Government Departments (OGDs) IT Strategy v15 Page 7 of 13
  • 8. 4 Road to World Class IT HMRC has a programme of work to take IMS and our IT suppliers on a Road To World Class IT so that together we can meet the increasing challenges of the demands placed upon us by our customers. The programme addresses people, processes and technology through 3 themes: Shaping New Behaviours Getting the Fundamentals Right Creating World Class IT Services These themes do not of themselves determine the IT Strategy but they are fundamentally important to our ability to deliver that strategy. Within the Shaping New Behaviours theme, Solutions Architecture has specific responsibility for delivery of the “Exploiting Innovative Technology” initiative. This is a framework and process describing how Solutions Architecture will keep abreast of technology innovation and manage a funnel process to assess the applicability and value that the technology may bring whilst balancing this against the risk that we might incur by introducing it. IT Strategy v15 Page 8 of 13
  • 9. 5 Transformational Government Agenda The Transformational Government Agenda is a strategy to transform the business of Government. It is directed to provide technology leadership in 3 core areas: 1) The transformation of public services for the benefit of citizens, businesses, taxpayers and front- line staff 2) The efficiency of the corporate services and infrastructure of government organisations, thus freeing resources for the front-line 3) The steps necessary to achieve the effective delivery of technology for government Simply stated, it is to deliver: • Citizen and Business centred services • Shared services • Professionalism IT Strategy v15 Page 9 of 13
  • 10. 6 Key Architecture Principles There are a number of key guiding principles to help drive consistency in the way in which IMS supports the delivery of the Business Strategy: Area Principle Implication 1. Cost and 1.1 - Reuse before Buy HMRC should consider all cost effective solutions, including flexibility before Build Open Source, to meet business requirements, operating a reuse before buy before build strategy together with pressure to avoid customisation. Solutions already in existence inside HMRC or in other Government Departments should be considered before electing to buy or build new components. However resuse of bespoke solutions should be carefully evaluated against potential off- the-shelf solutions. Reuse may be achieved by using multiple instances of the same solution in a ‘niche’ way, or by scaling up a single instance solution/design. 1.2 - Build once for Re-use of ‘fit for purpose’ solutions and designs, both HMRC, Government Government-wide and Open Source. Where clearly identified opportunities exist, solutions and designs should be made reuseable across the Department or Government. However solutions should not be designed to be unecessarily generic where obvious requirements do not exist. 1.3 - Reduce Total Cost of We will adopt a total cost of ownership model (over five years) Ownership (TCO) for solution design and delivery, balancing the cost of development, support, business change, disaster recovery and retirement, against flexibility, agility, scalability, ease of use and reduction of complexity. 1.4 - Maximise Return on Deliver Solutions with maximum Return on Investment (ROI). Investment For example, we should seek to maximise available infrastructure capacity, target the most cost optimal platforms and look to share infrastructure services between projects. 2. Delivery 2.1 - Pursue partnerships We cannot ‘do it all’. We will need to pursue partnerships with Options in service provision citizens, voluntary sector, OGDs etc. We should encourage entrepreneurial behaviour in our partner community. 2.2 - Delivery and Projects and Programmes must contribute to the realisation of Strategic Plans must be our strategic objectives and our goals must be aligned as such aligned to meet business at the outset. objectives 3. Balancing 3.1 - Use Proven IS and Technical Infrastructure solutions must use Reputation and Technologies commercially viable and stable technology products, stacks Delivery Risk and patterns. They should comply with Departmental security, with 4. confidentiality and privacy policies. IT Strategy v15 Page 10 of 13
  • 11. Area Principle Implication 4. Innovation 4.1 - Solutions will be We will base our core solutions and systems upon a common implemented using platform implemented with products listed in the technology products listed in the policy. We will adopt a “fit for purpose” mantra, seeking to: technology policy • Leverage partner competences, adopting solutions from our strategic partners where-ever possible; and • Use proven technology stacks, adopting combinations of products that have been proven to work together, where possible, previously in the account. Essentially we will seek first to re-use the technologies that are already inside HMRC and only look to new products or solutions where those are found to be inadequate. Indeed we will actively seek to reduce the technology diversity across the estate. Where we have multiple products that perform the same or similar function we should seek to identfy the primary choice, normally that provided by a strategic partner, and consolidate on that solution. 4.2 - Generate business New Technology advantage through use of • We will early adopt only / use niche players only where the innovative technology balance of risk is offset by the need to market differentiate. • We will have managed adoption plans which minimise exposure. We will require solutions to be deployed and live in a limited context for at least 6 months. • In support of the IMS Road to World Class IT (in particular the initiative for Horizon Scanning and Disruptive Technologies) we will have a process to identify, trial and prove innovative technologies and solutions. • We will work in tandem with our IT partners and the Aspire EcoSystem to deliver innovation in a collaborative way. 5. Leveraging 5.1 - One version of the For core Departmental information assets a single version of our information truth truth should be maintained with clear Business ownership. assets We will seek to ensure that we only provide one point of capture for information, that we verify and cleanse that data as early as possible and that we then seek to maximise use of this data. In order to ensure our data is timely we should also seek to minimise latency and links between the source data and the consuming services: i.e. all systems should seek to obtain their data directly from the master source rather than from other federated systems. 5.2 - Build trust through We recognise that customers’ trust will be driven by the way we proficient management of handle their personal data. We must ensure that such data is customer information correct and maintained securely. 6. Increased 6.1 - Build in Mobility We will ensure solutions are built to allow, where appropriate, Efficiency and near real-time consumption by any appropriate device from any Agility government department, in any location. Applications should not predicate the location of users and where possible should support access from mobile devices or (secure) devices on approved networks outside of the departmental boundary. 6.2 - Maximise Process We will automate processing wherever possible and minimise Automation the need for clerical intervention, ensuring processing systems are efficient and economical. We will target automation for the majority of standard transactions, but not seek to automate complex transactions. IT Strategy v15 Page 11 of 13
  • 12. Area Principle Implication 6.3 - Near Real Time We must always seek to provide responses to customer responsiveness to requests as rapidly as possible, and to maximise the accuracy customer requests and validity of those responses. This means that for e- transactions responses should be provided in near real time and should have been fully processed. Batch based connections between front-office services and core business systems should be avoided where possible, as this builds in time constraints to the flow of data. 6.4 - Service Orientation We should ensure that we use industry standards to provide and Use of Industry open interfaces into and between our systems. This will allow Standards elements to be replaced without major re-work, and customers to interact with our systems through their preferred mechanism. This applies both to the technology standards that define how to interact and the business definitions that define the structure and meaning of the information exchanged. Where suitable industry standards do not exist we should seek to facilitate their development rather than relying on internal proprietary answers. We should always seek to provide programmatic interfaces to our systems to allow customers own systems to interact directly with HMRC’s. 7. Drive out 7.1 - Share Common We should seek to use common, shared implementations of complexity Business Logic business logic rather than replicating it between different systems or channels. Whether a customer interacts with us by portal, telephone or paper the rules that are applied should be consistent. Whether a rule is applied during a customer interaction or during a periodic automated process in the back-office the result should be identical. This can only truly be achieved by building a single instance of the logic and sharing it between functions. Where this cannot be achieved because of security, performance or other limitations we should seek to duplicate the logic implementation rather that redeveloping it. 7.2 – Reduce net No change should increase the net complexity of the estate; if a complexity -decommission new system is introduced any systems it succeeds should be when replace decommissioned and the costs of this included in the business case for the new system 8. Secure and 8.1 - Accessible for all HMRC is committed to being an exemplar in the provision of Available users services that are accessible to the widest possible range of people - both staff and customers; all our future IT systems and software should be designed (and our existing systems modified) so that wherever reasonably possible anyone with an impairment that affects their use of IT is not disadvantaged, excluded, or disabled by those systems. 8.2 - Secure (protect We will deploy access controls at system boundaries confidentiality and appropriate to the level of identified risk integrity) Systems will be designed to prevent the modification of data by potential attackers and safeguard the accuracy and completeness of its information; We will only deploy products on the estate with a recognised level of information security efficiency. 8.3 - Available when All systems will be designed to meet customer availabity needed requirements IT Strategy v15 Page 12 of 13
  • 13. 7 Alliances and Products We will look to simplify the Department’s complex IT estate that has evolved and grown by acquisition/merger over time. We will significantly reduce the number of standard server variants (pre- defined industry standard hardware and software components) using the smallest number of sensible variants to support our business applications on a “fit-for-purpose” basis. We will achieve this by leveraging a set of core technology partners in developing our solutions. We will define a number of core technology stacks, based on our key vendors, and define each technology element for each stack. Our key server stacks are: Key Server Stacks Current Key Products Future Direction Enterprise Server HP-UX Superdome Server Undecided Oracle Database Server HP-UX and Solaris Servers Commodity Suse Linux Server Commodity Suse Linux Server, HP-UX Server, WebMethods Messaging Application Server WebMethods and BEA and BEA AquaLogic AquaLogic HP-UX and Solaris Servers, Commodity Suse Linux Server, Java Application Server WebLogic Server, JDK WebLogic Server, JDK Web Server Windows IIS and Apache Windows IIS and Apache In addition our Enterprise Architecture will be heaviliy influenced by a number of other key technologies, namely: • EMC/Documentum for non-structured Data storage and collaboration • Business Objects for Operational Reporting and Management Information We will leverage the Aspire Contract EcoSystem to bring appropriate innovation, technology and experience from our partners to bear in delivery of new capabilities for HMRC. IT Strategy v15 Page 13 of 13

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