Argyll and Bute Council’s new Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Digital Strategy puts customers, staff and partners at its centre and allows the council to provide improved services which are easier for customers to access.
The new 2017-2020 strategy has a number of key principles outlining how ICT services will be designed, sourced and delivered. It enables access to services and information through a number of channels. Services will be delivered as ‘digital first’ and customers who can use digital media will be encouraged to self-serve. Others will be assisted to access so they are not disadvantaged.
Councillor Rory Colville, Argyll and Bute Councils Policy Lead for Customer Services said:
“The Argyll and Bute Council ICT service is already a very low cost service compared to others, being ranked second lowest in terms of spend across the Socitm benchmarking, representing exceptional value for money. The service also achieved its highest ever score for overall customer satisfaction in the most recent Socitm ICT benchmarking exercise.
“This strategy looks more closely at what is right for Argyll and Bute and is designed to steer a clear path to even more efficiencies, saving and improved services for our customers.”
As part of the strategy the council is committed to holding information securely. Customer details will be collected once, the data will be secure and not have to be provided many times, and the council will use analytics to make the right decisions and open up our data when it can.
Core technologies are designed to be flexible to support changing business needs and assets will be managed to ensure value for money and reused wherever possible. There is a clear strategy for moving to the Cloud, where it is cost effective to do so. The council will support its employees to develop their own ICT and Digital skills, and the ICT Service will support the council’s transformation agenda, seeking opportunities to become more commercial and generate income.
Councillor Colville continued:
“ICT and digital technologies are changing rapidly with the use of mobile devices, social media, and high-speed broadband presenting opportunities for the council. We have to keep up with these advances and meet the expectations of our customers by offering digital services so good that everyone who can use them will prefer to use them.
“In recent years the council has led the way in ICT. Our two data centres were recently assessed by the Scottish Government and regarded to be more cost effective in terms of energy consumption than others in Scotland and the council website is well regarded and last year won Socitm’s Better Connected award for best council tax delivery.
“Our current focus is to implement the national MyAccount single sign on to help maximise the number of online self-service transactions.
“The approved strategy underlines the council’s clear and progressive approach to continually improving ICT and digital services for the benefits of customers and staff.”
At its meeting yesterday, Thursday, 17 August 20-17, the council’s Policy and Resources Committee approved the council’s new ICT and Digital Strategy.