Dcode Group Blog

Follow-Up: What Happened to the Census?

Last week I wrote a piece on What-happened-to-the-census. The ensuring conversation betweeen friends, clients and colleagues certainly identified that many of you had been affected by the census outage. Since then, the ABS has been quick to advise that in the days following Census night, Australians have continued to submit their responses online with overall submissions exceeding the level expected - a positive outcome for the ABS and the project. I am certainly excited that technology is being embraced for projects such as the Census; but with a recent article titled "TWO UNI STUDENTS BUILT A BETTER CENSUS SITE IN JUST 54 HOURS FOR $500" - I am concerned about the delivery and the management of such projects.

For a long time, enterprise IT projects were the domain of large organisations. Large consultancies and computer companies ruled the corporate tiers as infrastructure and expertise were often difficult and constly to come by in smaller organisations. However these times have changed. The launch of services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) now allows small consultancies to leverage hosting/hardware that is cheaper, more flexible and more scalable than that of the corporates. And software frameworks such as Laravel signal the coming to age of open source frameworks that now support more technical coding requirements.

It is no secret that the Census costs were significant. Many in the industry question whether or not the investment was sufficient! I question whether or not the strategy/approach to developing cloud-based solutions should have shifted - given the shift in the way these solutions are developed.

I came across this article about how two university students built a better Census site in a recent Hackathon in Qld. In summary, the article covers how the students designed, built and load-tested a solution designed to handle a significantly larger level of traffic than the Census. While I'm not announcing a successor to the Census (certainly there would need to be much more involved in the process for a fully-developed solution) it goes to show that (at least the online form component and load-balancing) delivering a cloud based solution to a large user base can be easily achieved with readly available tools and resources.

Here at DCODE, we have been working with clients to develop custom cloud-based solutions for a number of years. We have recently launched: snow reporting solutions, custom tipping applications, hazardous material reporting systems, building inspection systems, staff systems, and many more ... We have the knowledge and expertise to help you design, develop, launch and scale your online custom solutions. If you're looking for assistance in developing an online solution for your business, Contact Us today.

Follow-Up Note: Many have raised concerns about hosting private data on public clouds (such as AWS). What you may not be aware of is that AWS has some of the highest security accreditations in the Industry: AWS Security. These accreditations provide compliance that allows some of the biggest companies in Australia (including the major banks) to be hosted on AWS.


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Written by

Andrew Sirianni

Andrew founded DCODE GROUP with the goal to develop custom software solutions...