The Driving Standards Agency has become one of the first UK public sector organisations to deploy a service oriented architecture (SOA).
The agency, which handles driving tests and instructor registrations, is rolling out applications based on an architecture devised by outsourcing provider Capita, in a bid to boost online service delivery and improve efficiency.
The Driving Standards Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Transport and is part of the Driver, Vehicle and Operator Group. Stephen Hickey, director general of the group, said, "Electronic, self-service systems are more efficient to run, as well as offering new and better services to customers. They will help us meet the major challenge of delivering better value for money by reducing costs while improving outputs."
As well as customer-facing transactional processes, Hickey's strategy will look at streamlining support systems and processes.
Rob Hailstone, director of analyst firm IDC's European SOA and application platforms service, said, "One of the benefits brought by SOA is greater adaptability in the use of outsourced IT services.
"However, organisations still need to keep ownership of services that they decide to outsource and this requires solid management technology."
The first application to use SOA, the Integrated Registry of Driver Trainers, is due to go live to internal users within the next month. In the summer, the system will go live to external users, with driving instructors being responsible for their own data online.
The architecture is built on BEA Weblogic 8.1 application server and portal server, managed using Amber Point's SOA governance tool.