Service NSW dumps Windows for Chrome OS

Government agency rolling out Chromebooks, G Suite to its staff

Service NSW is planning to roll out Chromebooks and Google’s G Suite to all of its staff over the next 12 months.

The New South Wales government agency also recently purchased 1200 Chrome OS devices to continue replacing Windows-based PCs at its service locations as part of an ongoing program of using the lightweight Google-backed operating system to run Service NSW self-service kiosks for customers.

Service NSW offers access to some 1200 transaction types at its 130 centres across the state.

Details of the progressive migration to Chrome Enterprise were revealed by Service NSW’s chief technology officer Colin Jones and former chief information officer Ben McMullen in a post on Google’s Keyword blog.

The government agency initially purchased 800 Chromebase all-in-one desktop computers. Over a six-month period in 2015, Service NSW calculated that the desktops required only 5 per cent of the support hours that it had previously spent on Windows devices, the two technology executives wrote.

The agency also saved costs by ditching private WAN networks for its service locations, relying instead on broadband and Wi-Fi.

“When you add in the savings on devices and IT management, we’re targeting reducing our operational costs by 46 percent per year,” Jones and McMullen wrote.

“In our offices, we see the same reduction in cost and IT administration that we experienced with the kiosks,” the duo wrote.

Chrome OS has become Service NSW’s “digital platform of choice”.

Service NSW launched in 2013 as a one-stop shop for access to state government services and transactions.

According to the NSW government, Service NSW centres have a customer satisfaction rate of 97 per cent and an average waiting time of 7 minutes.

The state’s 2018-19 budget included $7.4 million for completing the conversion of the NSW motor registry network to Service NSW service centres in rural and regional locations, as well as $4 million over two years for a free ‘one-click energy switch’ service to be run by the agency.