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As both Colin, my Chief Technical Officer and I have talked about in the past, we are currently entering a new era for Digital in local government which is coming at us very quickly but could give us maximum benefits if we take some risks and truly embrace transformation rather than just tinker here and there.

Colin has brilliantly captured the evolution of the three eras which are:

  • ERA 1 – Process Centric: Enterprise Software which can help efficiency and effectiveness has been in play for a number of years but is starting to tail off now;

  • ERA 2 – Transaction Centric: Web and online service which provide channel shift and efficiency. Again, this has been in flight for a number of years but personally I believe we could do more by looking at examples of where companies use Behavioural Psychology and testing of web content to multiple users at once to create “nudges” that help customers utilise digital channels in a more efficient manner and help them get more out of our services;

  • ERA 3 – Outcome Centric: The newest of all which sees us looking at how we can redesign services, work collaboratively, predict early interventions and preventions whilst we utilise the digital arsenal of solutions available to us such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Mobility and Internet of Things.

To help our councils embrace this new world, the Digital Office kicked off the “build” phase of the programme at its inception, which has seen us working with the 31 councils in the Partnership to “build capability and capacity in the sector” over the past 18 months.

As we hit our “Release One” milestone back in February 2018, we saw the programme enter a new “embedding phase” on the back of us delivering the GDPR project amongst a couple of others and we started to look to our councils to pick up the first of many outputs that will come out from the Partnership to embed them and begin to capture benefits realisation.

Just over 6 months on and we are on the cusp of “Release Three” which is due at the end of the month and is the biggest release to date with over 20 deliverables due for completion.

I would personally and publicly like to thank all the project leads and staff across the Scottish local authorities within the Partnership and our other partners who are helping us hit this significant milestone as there is some phenomenal work taking place for the benefit of all.

The next phase we anticipate we will enter will at the start of next year and be called “Operationalise”. This is when councils will have fully started to realise the benefits of some of the projects and tweak where necessary to get more out of what we’ve delivered.

The fact is no-one will ever truly deliver “Digital”.  The transformation we are seeing is as much an evolution as well as revolution, however I do believe that through the Digital Office and Partnership in Scotland and the ethos that it’s “for Scottish Local Government by Scottish Local Government” and the collaboration and momentum we have built so far can truly deliver more for all together.

The Digital Office and Partnership 18 Month Review Report we have compiled should give you a good idea of the journey we have been on so far including the wins, the challenges and our look to the future. 

If you wish to discuss this report or any other aspects of the Office/Partnership, please get in touch by emailing, @Digitalofficelg on Twitter or if you are member of staff in one of the 31 councils that are in the Partnership then join up and get involved  in the conversation on our Knowledge Hub.

Lets not tinker, let transform together!