Isle of Man Government - Benefits Payment System

Protecting the welfare of Isle of Man residents

Modernising 25-year-old architecture and integrating with the e-island initiative.

Benefits Payment System

GW have been working with the Isle of Man Government since 1996 and during that time have designed, developed, and supported the Benefits Payment System (BPS) which pays out approximately £280m per year in pensions and benefits making it a critical Treasury IT system.

The Isle of Man Government commissioned an e-commerce and e-society strategy to bring about fundamental changes in the way it uses IT and re-invent itself as the e-island. The outcome of the programme was to modernise the business of Government itself, achieving joined up working between departments and create new and innovative ways for the island’s citizens and business to communicate with Government and receive its services.

GW were tasked with modernising the architecture and integrating with the e-island initiative.
Company profile
A British Crown Dependency with its own parliament, government and laws.
Modernisation, Architecture, Experience Design, Customer APIs, Integration.
Oracle, Node.js, Microsoft, React

The digital vision

To support the digital vision, a strategic review was undertaken of all business-critical systems within the Treasury to determine how best to proceed. Following the review, the decision was made to undertake a modernisation programme to renovate the BPS (Benefit Payment System) application and secure the long-term future of the platform.

The new front-end was to be a like-for-like replacement onto a modern tech stack, improving maintainability and usability. The 20+ years of IOM social security legislation, benefit calculations, business logic and customer data in the Oracle back end would be retained and stabilised.

The key requirement was to re-engineer the legacy application by decomposing the codebase into a suite of RESTful APIs written in Node.js. These APIs were to replicate current functionality with no loss of service and zero impact on Social Security operations whilst at the same time facilitating future self-service access by citizens as promised in the digital vision.

25 year

Client relationship


Payments / year


Mobile Design
Rich Barber
“The real challenge when re-designing a 25-year-old application is retaining the familiarity for lifelong users and serving the information clearly and efficiently, all while making the experience enjoyable both visually and functionally.”

Rich Barber
UX Designer

A migration to open-source technologies

One of the goals was to improve usability & performance on a system that has a huge focus on data entry and complex task lifecycles, all while limiting the amount of change to the existing data model and business functionality.

In order to achieve it, we migrated the middle tier and front-end onto modern JavaScript technologies - Restful API’s written in NodeJS and a front-end written in Oracle JET (JavaScript Extension Toolkit) and ReactJS. These replaced the existing Forms implementation, while being able to reuse the existing database assets.

To ensure like-for-like functionality with usability improvements was possible, we initially conducted a POC stage with clear objectives to confirm the projects feasibility. Continual involvement from the key stakeholders ensured that we could keep a fine balance of preserving the existing processes and recognisable functionality, while also modernizing the user interface, and integrating functionality improvements.
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20+ years. 100+ screens. One new modern system.

66%66% increase

Increase in organic search

34%34% increase

Increase in payments

25%25% increase

Increase in sales conversion
The Benefits Payment System is a critical tool in the day to day running of the Social Security Department in the Isle of Man government, and the new application preserves the business functionality whilst providing an improved, cleaner, and faster experience.

By moving towards a more customer centric design, users of the system have the ability to quickly find what they are looking for, and the tasks that are available to action. We’ve taken existing processes (like creating a new benefit claim) and reengineered the flow from start to finish using new input methods, contextual rendering and tailored system feedback. The end goal is the same, but the journey to it is improved.

The abstraction of the UI and database objects with the new NodeJS API layer enables further possibilities of extending the business functionality within the application and beyond, opening up more areas for integration with future projects.
“Yet again Griffiths Waite has set the standard in delivering their clients' highly innovative and information rich interfaces which are simply the best looking OFM applications we've seen.”

Peter Quayle
Project Manager - IOM Government Technology Services

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Richard AspinClient Lead
Richard Aspin
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