How can government agencies keep their apps optimal and resilient?

By HCLTech

As digital government applications become indispensable to everyday life, agencies will need to build and maintain resilient applications. GovInsider speaks to Aloysius Lim, Public Sector Lead at HCLTech, to learn how leaders can get started.

As governments embrace digital transformation, it is critical to develop applications that are resilient in the face of disruptions. Image: Canva

Governments in Southeast Asia are increasingly turning to superapps as a way of better supporting citizens through major life milestones – from Indonesia’s 9 new superapps to Malaysia’s MySejahtera


As digital government services become an indispensable part of everyday life, any application failure can wreak havoc. This is why it is critical that agencies build and maintain apps that are resilient and robust.


GovInsider spoke to Aloysius Lim, Public Sector Lead at HCLTech, a leading IT consultancy, to understand how agencies can build apps that are optimised and resilient to disruptions. 

Platform engineering for a robust backbone


First, digital governments should embark on robust platform engineering that can function as the backbone supporting all government applications, says Lim.


According to Gartner, platform engineering refers to an emerging trend where a dedicated platform team provides common reusable tools and capabilities that software developers can use to accelerate product delivery.


“One of the challenges that public sector agencies face is that the government has to account for many agencies, each with its own portfolio of apps,” says Lim. This is why it is critical for governments to develop common standards and building blocks that all agencies can tap on.


For example, Singapore’s Government Technology Agency (GovTech) has developed the Government on Commercial Cloud platform, which provides standardised security and development tools, such as centralised access management and the SG Tech Stack.


Tapping on common components through the SG Tech Stack enables agencies to develop cloud-native applications faster and more cost-effectively. A cloud-native approach is vital towards building applications that are more resilient too.


Similarly, a common cybersecurity approach can ensure apps remain resilient to cyber threats, making it easier for different agencies to assess, monitor, and mitigate cybersecurity risks.


“There’s a need to sync across all agencies,” he says.

Low-code, no-code tools to optimise development


However, many agencies will have unique challenges to address, he notes.


While certain applications can be standardised across the Government – like messaging platforms – agencies may have their own exclusive applications. For instance, Singapore’s tax authority, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), has its own tax collection system.


In these situations, each agency will need to decide how to build, optimise, and deploy these applications once they have chosen a cloud vendor to work with.


“More agencies are looking at low-code platforms to deploy their cloud-native architecture,” he shares. Agencies are tapping on low-code platforms to reduce the time it takes to develop code, he says. Low code can be particularly useful for business process management, case management, and decision management tools.


Now, agencies are also tapping on artificial intelligence and robotic process automation to augment development, he says. Last year, Singapore rolled out a whole-of-government automation platform to help agencies develop bots to speed up repetitive work, Leong Siew Keong, Chief Information Officer of VITAL shared with GovInsider previously.


“To execute digital transformation effectively, forward-thinking projects must choose platforms that streamline processes, reduce costs, and unlock the full potential of their workforce to deliver value faster,” Lim explains. 

Enterprise IT monitoring


It is a global trend for enterprises to consolidate maintenance of applications and infrastructure to reap economies of scale, reduce the cost of operation, optimise performance,  and enhance security.


Many agencies have at least twenty to thirty applications to oversee. These applications often exist in a hybrid multi-cloud environment, with some on various public clouds and others sitting on-prem. Monitoring tools can help agencies ensure that all the applications are running smoothly across different environments. 


Agencies can also optimise their maintenance efforts with AIOps, or the use of artificial intelligence to automate and streamline IT operations. According to Gartner, AIOps platforms are critical for large organisations to prevent, identify, and resolve high-severity outages more quickly. 


In fact, America’s General Services Administration, a federal agency which supports the functioning of federal services, has highlighted AIOps as a key tool for improving the reliability and cybersecurity of government services.


“AIOps operations can offer preventive, predictive, and self-healing maintenance capabilities,” Lim says. Instead of just waiting for an incident to occur, an AI-enabled observability platform can pre-empt when a system is going to crash and proactively resolve the situation.


“Instead of using manual manpower to monitor the application, the tool can automatically ensure the health of the IT environment to cut down resolution time,” he says.


HCLTech’s Consolidated Application & Infrastructure Maintenance Framework supports agencies in delivering experience-centric and business-aligned outcomes through automated, intelligent, and contextualised application support operations, he shares.


In 2022, HCLTech launched IntelliOps, a full-stack AIOps and observability solution that provides end-to-end predictive IT operations support for organisations.


As governments embark on their application modernisation journey, platform engineering, low-code tools, and enterprise IT monitoring may be the critical tools to develop and sustain applications for the long-term. 


To find out more about HCLTEch’s application modernisation services, click here or reach out to Aloysius Lim at