10 ways to become a local authority fit for the future so you can transform your citizen’s local experience
According to a report by Eduserv looking into IT in local government:
- 65% of decision-makers were keen to use IT to improve their services, but 85% said a lack of investment was having a negative effect on services.
- Three out of four councils admitted their IT systems were not capable of transforming businesses or services.
- While two thirds of councils were involved in IT projects or implementation during the early stages of planning, three quarters were unsure whether the system would be able to make the proposed changes.
Here are ten things you can do to transform your local authority:
1. Make a proper investment in IT
Local authorities might be reluctant to do this given the funding cuts but it will help you cut costs in the long run.
Local government can save about £1.8 billion a year by moving services online, with an average saving of £8.47 per online transaction over face-to-face and telephone transactions.
2. Invest in ‘business change.’
“In short, CIOs need to back any new investment in technology with better communication, more inter-team working, relentless focus on the needs of service users, plus a well-planned but flexible approach to business change.” A piecemeal approach won’t do, according to Eduserv.
3. Integrate departments
Do this across business areas so you can respond to citizens’ needs and create better services.
Lambeth Council reconfigured its IT around customer access, shared services, integration with healthcare and internal efficiency.
4. Create open systems so you can share information with other agencies.
Provide joined-up services and giving employees remote access so they can spend more time on the front line.
5. Think like a business
Instead of reinventing the wheel, work with other local authorities to develop IT services.
Haringey, Camden and Islington councils are set to share a digital and ICT service, which will save £6 million a year across the three local authorities.
6. Share procurement for ICT services
This can enable you to get cheaper contracts from suppliers.
7. Make a cultural shift in your organisation
You can do this by educating staff so everyone buys in to digital services. This will ensure the technology is embedded across the organisation.
8. Provide staff with proper training
As councils move tasks to cloud providers and start to focus on areas like analytics, they will have to build new skills.
9. Get your citizens ready for digital
This is so they can connect and participate. Make sure they have broadband access and offer them digital skills training.
10. Put the customer at the heart of transformation
Set up systems that make it easy for residents to report concerns, interact and make their voices heard so you can respond to their needs, develop effective services and strengthen the democratic process.