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Digital Perth and Kinross 2023-2027

Digital Strategy - Foreword

Our innovative and ethical digital thinking contributes to making Perth and Kinross the best place in Scotland to live life well, learn, work, do business and relax.

Digital is essential to prosperity and quality of life, for people and place: it is a fundamental enabler for a thriving, greener Perth and Kinross economy, connected people and communities; and ensuring high-quality Council services are available when and where they are needed. 

Our reliance on technology has never been more visible than over the last few years. Since 2020, accelerated adoption of digital ways of working has helped us meet a unique succession of new and emerging customer, community and business demands. Increasingly, digital solutions are helping people engage with (and deliver) Council services; protect our vulnerable natural environment; stay connected; learn, work, do business and relax in Perth and Kinross. 

Building on successes achieved in the last few years and working closely with our digital partners in Scottish Government, Health, Education Scotland and the public and voluntary sectors, we are ambitious to ensure our people and communities sit at the heart of a collaborative, digitally connected alliance of partners and organisations. In paving the way for more joined-up, accessible digital services, designed around the needs of service users, we are already aligned to key messages from the Scottish Government's 2021 Digital Strategy: How Scotland Will Thrive in a Digital World. 

We know we can use digital to tackle current challenges: targeting limited resources to those in most need; making sure people across Perth and Kinross are digitally connected and confident; working towards net zero climate targets; attracting high-quality/high-wage, greener jobs into the area; becoming ever more efficient in the face of continuing financial pressures. We also understand that even as our digital infrastructure and services become increasingly mature, we need to match the relentless pace of change by continuously evolving our digital and data skills, thinking, leadership, talent and capacity: standing still is now the equivalent of falling back. Prioritisation of our finite resources - people, skills and expertise, physical assets, time, money - will require compromise to achieve this successfully. The need for bold digital leadership that upholds 'One Council' values, consistently applies our digital standards and rallies behind the ambitions and objectives of Digital Perth and Kinross, has never been greater. However, with our sound digital foundations, growing digital expertise and experience, and streamlined governance we can look forward to the next five years with confidence. 

Digital can deliver positive sustained change and better outcomes for our people and places: we are committed to redesigning our services with, for and around the people who use them. This is the digital 'Perth and Kinross Offer' in action.

The need for bold digital leadership has never been greater.

Digital Strategy - Executive Summary

Digital Perth and Kinross (PDF) [1MB]  - our Digital Strategy for 2023-27 demonstrates our level of ambition for using digital, information and technology over the next five years to encourage a vibrant, sustainable local economy and make our services more personal, accessible, available and efficient for the people, communities and businesses who rely on them. 

Throughout this Strategy, we use:

  • 'digital' to mean our wider culture and approaches for using new tools such as Internet of Things (IoT) and technologies to change the way we deliver our services; this encompasses our thinking around leadership, platforms and shared solutions, partnership working, customers, services, skills and channels;
  • 'information' to include the data we capture and use across the organisation, the business systems in which we store it, how we keep it secure; and share it; this encompasses the wider aims of the Council's Data and Analytics programme and the drive for using consistent accurate data and business intelligence to target services at those most in need; 
  • 'technology' to denote our core infrastructure including connectivity; datacentres; telephony; filtering and cyber security; our Microsoft 365 environment and computing devices; these are the foundations on which our digital ambitions are built

The Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things describes a network of physical objects - kitchen appliances; doors and wearable health monitors; 'things' - that are embedded with sensors, software and other technologies. These connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the internet. The data collected via these sensors, cloud technologies and mobile technologies, can be combined and analysed to provide intelligence/inform better decision-making.

Key messages from this strategy are:

  • Growing a culture of One Council digital leadership: recognising that digital transformation is as much about cultural and organisational change as it is about technical change.
  • Securing and accessing our information assets: prioritising safety of our information by investing to stay ahead of cyber-security threats.
  • Redesigning services around life events: listening to people and communities to better understand their needs and life experiences, and improving services to respond to that end to end customer journey.
  • Automation driving design of fully end to end digital services: simplifying the customer journey, encouraging self-service; streamlining and automating back-office processes, and removing systems, duplication and manual effort where we can to free up staff for higher-value tasks that need empathy and human insight.
  • Building partnerships: digital and data services are joined up horizontally, to give us common ground for partnering in meaningful ways across the Council, to tackle complex real-world issues.
  • Digital is a driver for economic growth: encouraging adoption of improvements in fibre and the rollout of superfast broadband to stimulate growth in local digital business and visitor footfall; and attract new investment in green, high-quality commerce and jobs.
  • Digitally savvy talent incubator: attracting, growing and retaining the talent and skills necessary for a sustainable, diverse local economy.
  • People choose to use our digital services: services are accessible, relevant and easy to use; however they know assistance and alternative channels are available if they choose not to engage with us online.
  • One front door: delivering a better customer experience, built on shared, data-driven knowledge of the customer and accessed via a single point of entry for all services.
  • Better decision making/evolving services from reactive to proactive to prevention: using joined up data, analytics and business intelligence, to generate insights that inform prevention, strategic policy and improvement; target support and services more accurately to those most in need; enhance efficiency; and enable citizen self-service.

Digital Strategy - Here's the difference we can make

Examples of where our digital strategy can help make a difference:

Bill: using technology to live independently

Bill is retired and lives alone. He has multiple health conditions including diabetes, a heart condition and early signs of dementia. As part of our Smart City Initiative, modern technology, including Internet of Things (IoT) sensors have been installed in his home. This is allowing his medical conditions to be monitored remotely, while enabling him to continue to live independently in a safe and secure environment at home. His cottage has been fitted with telecare sensors that warn of smoke or fire, if he wanders outside at odd times or if his heating is too high or too low. He already wears a sensor in case he falls in the home: these automatically trigger on-site help from a nearby or remote responder.

Tomas: nurturing tech talent/developing local tech incubator

Tomas is 17 and wants to study at UHI Perth before setting up his own games design business in Crieff. He uses a loan laptop at school and at home for studying and online gaming with friends. For his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, he runs essential digital skills classes for people who live alone and are at risk of isolation. His "students" have formed their own online friendship group.

Heather: using data for better outcomes

Heather is a Housing Officer. She needs accurate, up-to-date information on demand, to help her target resources to tenants most in need. Dynamic information feeds from new Internet of Things (IoT) and sensor technologies automatically update existing housing and mobile working systems, helping her monitor temperature, humidity and CO2 across our social housing estate. She is able to use this data to better target help and sees real benefit to tenants, as this early intervention means she can prevent issues happening rather than only react to them after they have happened. These technologies are also helping the Council make informed decisions for managing its housing stock, including early identification of abandoned properties and fuel poverty initiatives.

Ben: making the most of his visit to Perth

Ben is visiting Perth for the first time with his family. Ben uses a mobility scooter so they like to plan ahead, online. When out in Perth, they use public Wi-Fi, to find out about accessible local attractions and places to eat, make bookings and leave feedback. They use public transport and buy a family e-ticket that covers all their journeys. Digital bus stops give them real-time updates about services.

Rebecca: protecting our most vulnerable people

Rebecca is a care assistant. The Service in which she works is implementing new technology to transform delivery of Care at Home services. The new ways of working make a big difference to Rebecca as it removes lots of manual processes and any need for recording information multiple times. This means she can spend more time ensuring her clients receive the care they need. Rebecca's managers and support team also benefit from the new technology: they are automatically provided with management information not previously available, allowing a greater focus on care delivery. 

 

The new solution includes automated scheduling which optimises care at home resource needs, based on criteria such as location, skills and gender. When events such as new clients or staff absences occur, the system automatically replans the care assistant schedules to reflect the changed situation.

David: getting joined-up help when it really matters

David completes a single online form the day after he becomes unemployed. The information this captures is automatically flowed to all the relevant Council business areas that may be called upon to help. Within these business areas, staff have on demand access to both a single, consistent record about David and real-time information about what interventions are being delivered by other Council areas. Submission of his form systematically signposts the range of additional help available including free school meals for his children and loan digital equipment to help apply for jobs online. Council managers have access to comprehensive data, in one place, covering the organisation's end to end support for the newly unemployed to inform resourcing, target services and future demand management.

Frances: receiving a better end to end service

Frances logs a request on the Council's online services system to have a pothole filled in, uploading a picture of the pothole and location. She receives an automated  acknowledgement via email that her request has been logged and is advised of next steps, including an estimated timescale for resolution. Frances's service request is automatically sent to our mobile working system which schedules the work. A roads maintenance engineer receives information about the job on his phone, telling him where the pothole is. He completes the work then updates the request on his phone to say the job has been completed. This triggers an automated email update to Frances, who appreciates being kept up-to-date at all stages through to successful resolution of her request.

Digital Strategy - Becoming digital Perth and Kinross

Scotland's future will be forged in a digital world. It's a world in which data and digital technologies are transforming every element of our nation and our lives - people, place, economy and government.

A Changing Nation: How Scotland Will Thrive in a Digital World - Scottish Government Digital Strategy 2021

Being connected and increasing digital participation sits at the heart of becoming Digital Perth and Kinross.

We know that currently 87.9% of residential and business premises in Perth and Kinross have superfast broadband - just over 7% below the average for Scotland (95.1%). The cost and quality of connectivity and lack of confidence in using digital technologies are key challenges for people across Perth and Kinross getting online. 

Perth and Kinross is also flagged as one of the areas of Scotland at particular risk of job losses through machine automation and use of Artificial Intelligence. Fibre/superfast broadband and growing digital skills are increasingly important for attracting technology-based jobs to this area and tackling existing inequalities. Digital Perth and Kinross aligns with the aims 
of the Perth and Kinross Economic Wellbeing Plan for increasing access for all, to digital skills at all levels, and encouraging investment in new clean growth industries such as renewable energy. 

As connectivity across Perth and Kinross continues to improve, we have demonstrated just how digital and innovative we can be: we have successfully designed new ways of working overnight; delivered these services safely at pace; and adapted and upskilled our people, all while continuing to meet the evolving needs of the most vulnerable in our communities.

The Council's online service platform now provides more than 100 online services to people, communities, businesses and internally to employees. Our mobile working platform gives field workers, such as care at home staff and housing repairs officers, trusted, consistent access to the real-time information they need on the move.

We are building on these practical digital achievements; harnessing our evolving expertise and experience and igniting our digital curiosity to find ambitious new, joined up local responses to emerging challenges and opportunities. We don't use Digital to make things easy, we use it to make a real difference.

Digital offers us a dynamic combination of opportunity, challenge, change and solution. It embraces our culture, our approaches for adopting new technologies, and shapes our thinking around leadership, skills and different ways of working. If the life of the last Digital Strategy is typical, we will see seismic change over the next 5 years. Emerging local initiatives, such as the Council's Transformation and Change programme, the Working in partnership with communities and a refreshed Corporate Plan, will redefine how we are organised; how we work and how we prioritise our key resources. 

Within this complex context, our Strategy sets out our digital Ambitions - the key areas in which we will use digital and IT to make a difference over the next five years.

Doing it digitally makes a real difference across Perth and Kinross

  • Data analytics and intelligence driving better decision-making
  • Digital regeneration and revitalisation for a vibrant economy: attracting investment/creating quality jobs
  • Changing demographics: ageing population and increasing demand
  • Changing role of high streets/digital commerce and business for the future
  • Connecting digitally/working smarter to reduce energy consumption
  • Fibre and superfast connectivity across a geographically diverse and rural region
  • Diversity, equality and inclusion: making sure no one is left behind

Digital Strategy - Our digital ambitions

Perth and Kinross is ambitious about using digital to make a positive difference for our people, partners and place and our organisation and services.

These digital ambitions align with our Corporate PlanFinancial Strategy and Transformation and Change Strategy by identifying practical actions that contribute meaningfully towards the Council's comprehensive planning environment. They also reflect the spirit of the Perth and Kinross Offer for building an even better Perth and Kinross and the aims of the Council's digital learning and teacher; economic wellbeing; and climate change agendas.

People, partners and place

Smart Perth and Kinross

  • IoT is supporting better decision-making - enabling us to evolve services from reactive to proactive to prevention
  • New 'wearable' technologies are supporting people to live independently and safely for longer at home

Placing communities and the citizen at the heart of how we work

  • One front door: consolidation of customer services around a shared set of common tools and processes
  • Online services platform used to move more services online for anytime/anywhere access
  • Standard, secure approach in place for people to confirm their personal identity where required
  • Service users and communities engaged meaningfully in codesign
  • Accessibility and inclusion built in as standard to ensure everyone who wants to can access our online services 
  • Change shaped using the Scottish Approach to Service Design and Digital Scotland Service Standards

Tackling the climate challenge

  • Impact on the environment and energy is incorporated into our planning around digital solutions and contributing to net zero targets
  • IoT used meaningfully to monitor and reduce property and energy costs
  • Remote access solutions are enabling productive hybrid and home working, reducing travel and informing choices around physical offices
  • Energy efficiency is a core criterion when identifying digital device standards
  • Sustainable procurement and shared systems are driving one Council approaches
  • Remote switch on/off to reduce energy demand

Everyone connected

  • Continuing participation in national schemes to deliver reliable fibre broadband and 4G/5G coverage for all in Perth and Kinross
  • People/communities at risk of digital exclusion are identified and targeted for support
  • Local Digital Inclusion Fund supporting community projects
  • People have access, within easy to reach community spaces, to internet-enabled devices, connectivity and help to get online 
  • Digital Champions Network is providing meaningful support to people and communities keen to get online
  • External sources of funding to tackle digital exclusion optimised

Connected places

  • Fibre and superfast broadband: improved connectivity driving growth in digital business
  • Tay Cities Deal delivering a better connected Perth and Kinross digital infrastructure 
  • Reaching 100% (R100) Programme improving connectivity/broadband speeds 
  • Open Data supporting digital business growth and development
  • Vibrant Perth and Kinross digital marketplace: virtual and physical networks, incubators, and meet-ups for exchanging ideas, influencing change and making connection

Perth and Kinross digital welcome

  • Opportunities for user generated signposting/content encouraging visitor footfall
  • Visitor experiences are enriched via the creative use of sustainable digital technologies
  • Visitors and residents know how/where to access publicly available Wi-Fi services and information about Perth and Kinross attractions and events
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion sit at the heart of the Council's website design

Organisation and services

Data and analytics

  • Information is used confidently to inform decision-making and target services at those most in need
  • A single source of the truth is created by safely joining our data sets up 
  • Information is made simple, accessible and easy to understand
  • Customers tell us once: seamless data flows between systems 
  • Standard data roles, responsibilities and processes in place for improved governance
  • Common identifiers/joined-up data being used across the Council: one view of place, organisation, budgets, employees, customer and incidents
  • Certified data and analytics learning pathways aligned to roles
  • Standard Power BI and ArcGIS analytic platforms used consistently for business intelligence 
  • Overall Data Literacy of Perth and Kinross Council is improved

Securing and accessing our information assets

  • Significantly enhanced security, flexibility and resilience through delivery of a fit for the future IT network model
  • Preventative monitoring and intervention via a mature Cyber Security Operations Centre
  • Increased staff cyber awareness and resilience 
  • Perth and Kinross Council Cloud Framework/Playbook positively influencing safe, consistent use of cloud solutions

Smarter working

  • Elected members are using digital technologies to engage with constituents to make the democratic process more open and visible
  • Always learning culture: continuing, accessible support to grow digital skills and data literacy. Focus on growing staff's creative skills (low-code application development, process automation and business intelligence) rather than consumptive skills (finding and using applications/information) to encourage innovation, automation, streamlining and sharing
  • Staff equipped appropriately to suit their workstyle; integrated telephony; video conferencing in hybrid meeting rooms and data secure in the cloud 
  • Microsoft 365 environment is optimised for all staff 
  • Staff's data, digital and technical skills are valued and targeted where they can make the greatest impact, regardless of service boundaries; multi-disciplinary teams the norm for driving technology-enabled change initiatives

Digital classroom: helping our children and young people to achieve their full potential

  • Current digital workspace (including Wi-Fi/broadband) reviewed/redesigned for a fit for the future digital learning environment
  • Scottish Government's 'device per learner' initiative delivered

Protecting and caring for our most vulnerable people

  • New social care platform implemented to improve health and social care self-serve choices/marketplace visibility
  • Single shared electronic patient/care record
  • Continuous collaboration/closer alignment with health, community planning partners and other public sector bodies: sharing/joining up systems and information wherever practical

These ambitions are our overarching vision for firmly establishing Perth and Kinross as a digital region. Underlying programmes and plans will be required to articulate specific operational actions for their delivery: however Digital Perth and Kinross stands as the anchor point, back to which our decision-making and digital activities must be tied. This ensures we are connected together as an organisation and able to connect meaningfully with communities and partners in the digital life of Perth and Kinross.

Perth and Kinross is ambitious about using digital to make a positive difference.

Digital Strategy - Organised to deliver

We recognise that to achieve our digital ambitions, we need standards and structures in place to give us a practical framework for driving consistency, providing sound governance and ensuring the Council is best placed for achieving positive digital change.

Our digital standards

Our Digital Standards are general 'rules of engagement'. They cut across all our transformation and change activities, sit at the core of our digital planning and are critical success factors for delivering fit for the future, customer-focused digital, information and technology. When consistently applied, they contribute to a lean, joined up digital environment, that is operated by skilled, digitally savvy staff and continuously evolving to meet the changing needs of customers. 

'One Council'

The people who rely on us view the Council as a single service provider. Prioritising digital investment in shared platforms, including common solutions adopted across the public sector. 

We:

  • take a 'One Council' approach to platforms, systems, data and intelligence: standardising, rationalising and joining our systems up at key point of change; 
  • recognise that investment in digital enables strategic business change and improvement, the benefits and efficiencies from which are realised within our business functions; 
  • innovate, automate, streamline and share: this frees our people to do what they do best - work compassionately with the people who need our services;
  • streamline business processes to increase efficiency, accuracy of information, reportability and auditability; 
  • understand that our digital and IT are shared resources: investment needs to be planned holistically on a whole-organisation basis to maximise improvements in outcomes and value added;
  • build digital into our change planning at a sufficiently early stage to allow security, integration, data and cost avoidance to be assessed before resources are committed;
  • think about our platforms and solutions as shared resources for delivering improved outcomes and experiences for customers, rather than tools we use to deliver services;
  • design new customer-centric ways of working: using the tools we have to work more smartly rather than using new tools to continue old ways of working.

Digital employee experience

Using creative digital ways of working to help attract and retain staff with the skills needed to deliver Digital Perth and Kinross. 

We:

  • recognise that our people are the most important part of any technology-enabled change and support them to develop the digital and data skills they need to embrace change with confidence;
  • we grow, embed and exemplify an 'always learning' mindset around digital and data literacy; 
  • ensure our employee systems are joined up wherever possible to provide a golden record for staff/a single view of the employee to drive efficiency; match skills to emerging demand/opportunities; target development and support; and remove duplication and overlap;
  • give staff the tools to innovate, automate, streamline and share.

Digital leadership

Growing our digital culture and building change around emerging digital opportunities. We are all digital leaders.

We:

  • are ambitious about the difference digital can make to the lives of people of Perth and Kinross;
  • invest in digital leadership for our senior leaders to improve awareness and understanding of digital transformation;
  • appreciate the value technology adds for both the organisation and the communities we serve and think how new and emerging technologies can be used to make things better; 
  • recognise we cannot rely on our old ways of doing things and drive One Council ways for more successful change and improvement;
  • continually look outwards to learn new digital and data skills; 
  • have the appetite, capacity and skills to manage people through disruption and change; 
  • understand that new technologies are fundamentally changing the skills we need and take responsibility for continuously developing the knowledge, insight, and behaviours we need for confident participation in a transforming digital organisation.

Improving customer choice and experience

Meeting and exceeding the expectations of our people, communities, visitors and employees: our digital services are optimised for the best customer experience.

Our services:

  • are designed with and for the customers who use them; we engage with people and communities to co-design/coproduce the services they use;
  • exploit opportunities for multidisciplinary/cross-boundary sharing, for more seamless and efficient outcomes; 
  • use automation and IoT, where practical, for increased efficiency and to free up our people to focus on added value 'human' services;
  • are streamlined to drive efficiency, and remove duplication and overlap;
  • are accessible; always available; and straightforward to use;
  • enable us to better target our finite resources to those most in need;
  • have a standard look and feel to build user confidence and trust, and promote self-service;
  • maximise safe and appropriate use of customers' data on a 'tell us once' basis.

Information safety first

Investing to stay ahead of cyber-security threats and minimise risk of disruption to Council business.

We:

  • take a risk-based approach that prioritises security over improvement; 
  • ensure security is a key consideration in the acquisition of any new digital technologies, applications or hosted solutions; 
  • manage access; users and devices appropriately to ensure the right people have access to the right information at the right time;
  • remove legacy and de-supported applications/equipment to reduce risk;
  • support national cyber security goals by promoting/adopting best practice and professional standards.

Using data wisely

Becoming a data driven organisation with advanced intelligence capabilities. 

We ensure our data is:

  • safe, secure, accurate for its purpose; updated appropriately; and accessible to staff to perform their functions;
  • used knowledgeably to inform decision making; target services; and monitor and report on performance;
  • stored, managed and joined up securely across the Council;
  • joined up, where appropriate and safe, across the public sector and with partners;
  • if non-sensitive, open, published and easy to find, for improved transparency and to stimulate local innovation.

Moving to the cloud

Moving to the cloud at points of change. 

We:

  • choose cloud first before on premise wherever appropriate; 
  • do due diligence around cost, information security, accessibility, and availability before committing to cloud solutions;
  • ensure robust business continuity planning is in place for our cloud solutions.

Building our infrastructure from strong digital foundations

Getting the IT foundations right to keep us connected, safe and productive: a stable infrastructure, well managed to minimise risk and impact of downtime, provides our launch pad for delivering our strategic digital aims.

Our digital infrastructure:

  • is robust, resilient and secure from cyber attack;
  • gives learners and staff equitable access to modern equipment appropriate to their role and workstyle;
  • is underpinned by tested business continuity and professional user/device support;
  • is planned effectively to manage the beneficial and disruptive business change impacts of new technologies;
  • has trusted asset management approaches in place for core technologies, with underperforming and legacy assets removed at points of change;
  • is designed with flexibility in mind to support safe and secure changes to future ways of working/operating models. 

Aligning with national digital strategies and initiatives

We:

  • are committed to adopting common public sector platforms, implemented under the Scottish Government's Infrastructure Investment Programme, at points of change;
  • design our digital systems to integrate with national solutions/common platforms and the emerging national digital identity programme.

Governance

The corporate Digital Board, chaired by the Chief Digital Officer, provides governance, monitoring and review to ensure our digital, information and technology effort and resources are aligned for delivering the aims and objectives of Digital Perth and Kinross. Scrutiny and performance monitoring is provided to the Finance and Resources Committee as part of our Performance Management framework. A Digital Champion from within the Elected Member's cohort has a key role for ensuring Digital Perth and Kinross continues to deliver for the communities we serve. 

A number of digital initiatives, such as Data and Analytics; Mobile Working and Online Services; Social Care platform implementation and delivery of the Customer Services Strategy, already have established governance routes and planning approval/monitoring routines in place. Beyond these live programmes, new digital initiatives that launch during the life of this Strategy will be agreed via the Digital Board. 

Pragmatic meaningful bridges are being built between the Strategy and transformation and change initiatives, to ensure Digital Perth and Kinross continues to positively influence wider tactical decisions and deliver maximum sustained positive impact.

Whole organisational ownership of this Strategy is the starting point for shifting people's aims and understanding; replacing outdated habits with new ones; and making changes positive and sustainable.

Digital Strategy - We will know we are making a difference when

In the digital age, information and technology must be a core part of that business. This also means that the measures of success for information and technology must be explicitly linked to business outcomes, rather than internal activities such as cost, project delivery or services levels.

 

-Gartner

Digital Perth and Kinross underlines our ambitions for using digital, information and technology to enable positive change. Where there is no scope to radically re-imagine and transform services, we are optimising to make the very best of what we already have.

It is a mark of our growing digital maturity, that we accept such change will be best evidenced via 'softer' measures such as successful adoption of new ways of thinking and working, rather than 'harder', more traditional metrics and indicators.

We will know we are making a difference when...

We are measuring success based on outcomes for citizens and communities, rather than productivity targets, savings or number of services provided online.

  • For example: we will report on how citizens rate our online services rather than how many services are online; and how confident families feel about the safety of elderly residents whose homes are monitored by IoT sensors rather than how many sensors have been installed.

Digital is not just an IT thing: it is part of our culture and an essential enabler for making things better, as well as for solving problems. 

  • For example: we have already baselined our digital maturity via Local Government Digital Office and Audit Scotland assessments. We will continue to use external opportunities like these to measure our digital capacity, capabilities and readiness against objective standards, for assurance that we are continuing to keep pace with wider digital opportunities and trends.

We are using technology to do things differently rather than to do the same old things, only with different tools. 

  • For example: our new social care solution is introducing citizens' portals; new business processes that cut across service boundaries; and secure information sharing between a wider range of partners. We will demonstrate this change is successful by showing the extent to which our new approaches are delivering what citizens need and providing them with a positive experience, rather than by ticking off actions in an implementation plan.

Our first-choice approach is to share and co-operate in boundary-crossing multidisciplinary teams, that use shared platforms, shaped around life events to streamline and improve the citizen experience. 

  • For example: consolidating around a single 'technology-enabled, multichannel' customer contact centre will give citizens and local businesses more choices around when and how they contact us and reduce frustration resulting from unproductive calls. We will analyse a range of traditional indicators such as channel uptake, patterns of demand and customer feedback in combination to give us deeper insight for informing future demand management strategies, that maximise accessibility for citizens who need to contact us. 

We continue to grow from sound digital foundations: the IT Capital/Asset Management Plan delivers, and continuously improves, our core infrastructure to deliver the robust, secure launch pad we need for digital change and innovation. 

  • For example: Zero Trust Networking is an approach for delivering more resilient, secure, anytime, anywhere, any device access to business applications and information, for improved workforce flexibility and mobility. When we implement this, we will measure success based on staff satisfaction levels, to understand its impact, and the extent to which it enables and enhances service delivery, rather than via conventional metrics such as time taken to implement or number of current users. 

These can be nebulous measurements to pin down: clarity around benefits realisation can often emerge only over time and often retrospectively. How we demonstrate success will need to evolve in step with the implementation of individual strategic projects and the launch of new digital capabilities. Meanwhile, we will also continue to monitor operational indicators that together contribute to a general picture of the overall health of our digital operations and readiness for change. Cumulatively, these will add to the rich picture we want to build for demonstrating how we are delivering on our digital ambitions.

Digital is not just an IT thing: it is part of our culture and an essential enabler for doing things better.

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