Best Practices

The BC Developer Exchange – Building a Cloud-based Service Innovation Marketplace

This Red Hat case study describes how BC adopted Cloud technologies to tackle IT service delivery challenges, and furthermore build a local service innovation marketplace.

The province sought to improve its user experience, but its datacenter infrastructure was too slow and fragmented to offer the necessary speed and development capabilities. Basic web server access could take 3–4 months, resulting in a 4–6 month time frame just to launch a project.

To address this the province worked with Red Hat to deploy the OpenShift Container Platform, gaining in-depth infrastructure visibility and governance. In addition, Red Hat Gluster Storage offers resilient data backup and persistent storage for containers, applications, PostgreSQL, Jenkins, messaging, logging, and metrics. Red Hat Fuse was deployed to manage API and data access and integrate legacy systems.

Open Source Innovation

Furthermore BC realized the full potential of this technology would be realized when they also employed an Open Innovation model, providing access to the platform not just to internal IT staff but to a local community of entrepreneurial businesses too.

The Developers’ Exchange offers co-design sessions, meetups, and other outreach events to connect the province’s private sector technology community with public sector needs. At these events, companies can learn about Code With Us, the procurement process that streamlines how the government works with developers and acquires software.

One example of success is a highway camera project for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. The department’s online highway camera streams were used by news outlets and shared elsewhere. After creating an open API to offer information on accidents other road events, a local software firm used this API to develop a mobile app with additional features, such as location-based camera access.

A multidisciplinary, DevOps approach lets the province’s nontechnical teams better participate in the creation of IT-based services.

As a result, the province and private sector developers can work together more efficiently. For example, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure rapidly developed a school bus inspection tracking service using Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform. Previously, the department had to wait 8-12 months just to receive proofs of concept, but this application was built and launched in just eight weeks.

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