Common Ground

The benefits of Common Ground for your organization

Reading time 3 min

By Robert Horsmans

Common Ground is on the rise. The Netherlands is preparing for the new standard in the field of software for the government, semi-governmental organizations, and affiliated organizations. Organizations constantly wonder, ‘(When) should I join?’ So, in this article, PAQT will list the main benefits of Common Ground for your organization.

1. Keeping up with the times

We’ve already mentioned that Common Ground is the new standard. It started out as an initiative of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten, VNG) to improve collaboration, but Common Ground is now much more widely supported within the public sector. From the Dutch Common Ground Growth Pact, which PAQT is affiliated with, we’ve noticed that more and more organizations switch to this new form of ICT collaboration as they see the usefulness and necessity of it. 

Organizations that get on board now are early enough to comfortably tie in with the rapid developments and go along with the new standard. Furthermore, they help speed up the process. If more and more organizations embrace Common Ground, market players will be more eager to invest, more organizations will benefit from each other, and the pace of innovation will be increasingly accelerated. 

2. Benefiting from other people’s knowledge

In principle, Common Ground is open-source software. If you want to know more about it, have a look at our Common Ground FAQ. As the source code of modules and applications developed by co-workers is publicly accessible, you benefit from each other’s knowledge and efforts, so you can (continue to) develop faster. This is doubly advantageous for governments, as they save double development costs and can now spend the public money saved in a different way. They reap two benefits in one fell swoop. Moreover, this approach prevents you from paying high amounts for standard solutions. 

3. More flexible development

Custom software developed yesterday should be renewed today. With traditional all-in-one applications, it’s difficult to quickly implement improvements. And as the system is all-inclusive, it’s not easy to make any individual part of it stand out.  

However, Common Ground uses the 5-tier model. As the layers operate independently of each other, improvements are easier to implement. Maintenance is also much more manageable, because you focus on one of the layers without having to overhaul the other layers. That provides focus, and it helps organizations be more agile than they’d be with traditionally built software. 

4. Common Ground is (more) secure

Information security plays a major role, especially when it comes to government software. An important security advantage of Common Ground is the separation of data in the separate data layer. Thanks to the 5-layer model, data is only stored at the source, and other organizations merely retrieve it. As a result, it is only in one place, and it’s easier to secure. In the event of a data breach, only the data from one’s own application becomes accessible — data stored with other parties remains secure. This is in contrast to the traditional way of working, which involves the endless copying of data and storing it again. 

On the other hand, systems within Common Ground are connected to each other. API connections in the integration layer of the software ensure data is exchanged. To limit the risks that comes with these connections, they meet the strictest and most state-of-the-art standards. Moreover, the integration layer with connections is easy to maintain because of the layered structure of Common Ground. And data is — by definition — linked, which creates broad awareness and solid working arrangements among the collaborating parties. 

In principle, the source code of Common Ground software is open, which can be considered as insecure. In practice, however, it means that co-workers who use the code will find any bugs faster. This actually makes the software less vulnerable. 

5. Better user experience

Perhaps we’ve saved the most important point for the last. For a big advantage of Common Ground is that it comes with a better user experience. As (semi-)governmental organizations and public organizations can improve collaboration and connect software and data, data is exchanged faster and the user benefits from an easier process. 

Furthermore, the foundation on which Common Ground is built ensures better privacy and prevents duplication and errors in the systems. Citizens only have to report changes once (to the source authority), and all connected applications are always up to date. 

Finally, Common Ground is developed by a community which consists of a group of (smaller) market parties and specialist niche players that want to provide solid customization rather than a standard solution. This means you get better value for your (public) money. 

PAQT Robert H

Curious to learn more about Common Ground software?

Are you curious to learn more about Common Ground software and do you want to explore your options? For more information, check out the desk set up specifically for Common Ground or contact Common Ground expert Robert directly. 

Contact me

The fastest way to reach me is by phone:

06 – 55 89 67 36

Fill out the form, and I will respond no later than the next business day.

Of course, you can also send me a message via mail or LinkedIn.

Talk soon!

Robert Horsmans

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