SERVICE TO THE CITIZEN AWARD WINNER
Michel Laviolette and Melissa Teasdale are being recognized for leadership in consolidating websites across the Government of Canada (GC) and redesigning into a single platform Canada.ca (the official website of GC). Canada.ca is completely redesigned to improve the overall customer experience for all its citizens and employees working with and for its government institutions, agencies, and departments. The GC gained central oversight of all web properties combined with distributed content management while the 100+ agencies did not have to give up control. This empowered their 2,100 business/program content publishers to maintain their own content (managing their websites and digital assets in real time without IT becoming the bottleneck).
The Service Canada’s General Digital Services team recognized that the government needed an enterprise-class, hosted web platform to deliver a seamless, unified citizen experience with scalability, reliability, and robust cybersecurity. With this team’s vision, the GC embarked on one of the largest government re-platforming initiatives in the world (a new digital foundation for Canada). The website was redesigned, consolidated and migrated its data and content entirely to an Adobe secure cloud Software as a Service (SaaS) to make information and services more accessible to citizens, employees and businesses.
One centralized government website ensures consistency across digital properties and uses templates designed for: accessibility, bilingual content (French and English, mobile-first approach, and protection against cyberattacks. Content consistency across web and mobile is delivering better service to phones and tablets, with >38% of visits coming from mobile users. The GC uses the platform to launch nearly 1,000 new products every month, which are tweeted out to 22,000 Twitter followers automatically. Canada.ca has served over 4.1 billion page-views across 1.02 billion visits with zero downtime since it went live.
The Government of Canada (GC) serves a diverse, widespread population of more than 37 million citizens, and therefore, its official government website is critical for delivering government services and information. In the past, however, the government struggled managing a disjointed website and customer experience for its 30M annual website visitors. Instead of managing one centralized content management system (CMS), the GC managed 1,500 individual websites and hundreds of standalone web servers across more than 100 agencies, each serving up their own content. This made it hard for users – citizens, employees, visitors, and businesses – to find and access needed government information and services. Such a management challenge inevitably led to unreliable performance and availability, constant risk of cyberattacks and downtime, expensive infrastructure and personnel costs for operations and maintenance, and inconsistent and redundant web content; all which led to a reduction in citizen trust and confidence in government.
Understanding how visitors interact with a website is critically important for an organization’s ability to understand its customer behavior and optimize the overall experience. A significant part of this project was the collection, measurement and analysis of behavioral and operational data through Adobe Analytics. The fact that the government retains full ownership and control of the analytical data was a key requirement for Canada. There are now 44 agencies and departments using the analytics SaaS for operational insights. With the authority to monitor authenticated web pages, GC staff can observe and analyze the entire web journey from login through completion. The result is 2.75 billion server calls, generating 14,000 monthly reports for 135 IT and web staff and their stakeholders. Employees now have better insights with timely and accurate visibility of the entire digital customer journey.
Since the launch of Canada.ca, the GC has achieved significant results including 100% availability, avoiding more than Can$1.2 million per year in direct downtime costs. By consolidating on a single cloud-based platform, GC has significantly saved on infrastructure costs, reducing the number of content management systems, analytics tools, training requirements, and IT support resources. The project has also enabled greater agility, increasing the speed and scale of content distribution while reducing infrastructure and operating support costs and improving process efficiencies.
The GC is delivering exceptional digital experiences for citizens, employees, visitors, and businesses with a high-quality government presence. Consolidating hundreds of websites into a single government platform makes it easier and faster for people to find what they need with fewer visits and fewer clicks. Better digital omnichannel experiences from any device have also greatly reduced contact center volumes and improved the government’s digital brand in the eyes of the citizen. With an 80% confidence level among Canadians, the site is also improving overall trust in government and is seen as a consistent reliable source of information during natural disasters, outages and other crises.
DIGITAL SERVICE DIRECTORATE,
CITIZEN SERVICE BRANCH