In 2019, Registers of Scotland (RoS) set out a transformative strategy outlining why cloud could support our corporate vision of becoming a ‘digital registration and information business, trusted for its integrity’. In this blog – which is the third in a short series about our cloud journey – Product Managers Cheryl Hunter and Nicole Clark talk about how this has worked in practice for some of our registers.
RoS’ first cloud hosted register, the Register of Judgments (RoJ), launched on 28 September 2020. The RoJ enables certain legal judgments from overseas to be recognised and enforced in Scotland.
Working on this register provided a great starting point for our transition to cloud. Starting with one of our smaller, less frequently accessed registers meant that we were able to test and adapt our learning in a safe space before expanding into higher volume, higher impact areas.
Archiving our data in the cloud unlocks a range of future opportunities. Placing our data in a modern, secure, flexible location significantly increases its accessibility and creates the potential to achieve greater data insights. Not only can we better interrogate the information which is in our registers we also have a greater understanding of customer needs and how they interact with our services.
Having the register on the cloud also allows our services to be more responsive. This includes allowing changes to be made quickly where required to improve processes and the customer journey. Trying to extract and build on these insights when working as part of an on-premise legacy system would have been significantly more difficult and time consuming.
Building a reusable framework
One of the highlights of this project has been the speed and efficiency we were able to achieve in our build. Benefiting from the learning which took place during the development of our Digital Submission Service we were able to quickly complete our first product iteration. We were then able to further benefit from this learning and adapt it for use in our next cloud-based register, the Register of Inhibitions (RoI).
The clear advantage to this approach is that we now have a common blueprint which can form the foundation of any future work. No matter what register we plan to tackle next we have the plans and infrastructure available. This means that the basics of a standardised system can literally be copy and pasted into a new cloud project.
Not only does this offer advantages in terms of consistency, security, and flexibility it also offers benefits in terms of timing. The RoI was completed in around six months. This is roughly half the time that the development of the RoJ took.
It also offers us the ability to respond more flexibly to demand. The use of cloud hosted platforms allows us to scale our system requirements up or down when desired. This means that, if needed, our cloud registers could support very high transaction volumes. Equally, if we have a drop in demand for any reason then we can scale down the back-room services required. This allows us to potentially make savings to the public purse.
Sharing our knowledge
We want to share our experiences with those who are about to embark on their own cloud transformation journeys and now that we have practical working examples of cloud-based registers we are keen to work with others in the public sector. Sharing our learning will not only give these organisations a head start it will also have wider benefits for public services more broadly and the citizens of Scotland.