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A 21st Century Local Government: why digital is key
So, what is the key to keeping an organisation alive and strong for 800+ years?
According to John Barradell, the Town Clerk and Chief Executive of City of London Corporation, it’s about being adaptable, and able to react quickly to circumstances and change.
His was just one of the inspirational talks at our recent series of Local Government Digital Fund launch events. And there was much, much more.
One of the main reasons I left my seat as CIO for Suffolk County Council to join O2 was to help Local Authorities everywhere do more with less. And this event gave plenty of examples of just what’s possible.
Inspiration from developing countries
Further inspiration rang out from the words of Martyn Wallace, Head of Digital Sales for Telefónica UK. He showed how simple mobile phone apps can help the disadvantaged. His real-world examples included healthcare apps that help people with long-term illnesses integrate back into society.
He also directed us to take ideas from developing parts of Africa, where citizens use digital technology to overcome day-to-day challenges.
A wonderful example was of a father and son who have a fish stall at a local market. Instead of taking all the fish from the boat to the stall where they’d quickly spoil in the heat, the father would text his son back at the boat when a customer arrived, so his son could bring fresh fish straight from the line.
The connected city
Our Head of Managing Architects, Rob Davies, discussed our Connected City vision. It’s about making information and services directly and easily accessible to citizens. Providing employees with the tools they need to work securely and effectively wherever they are, so they can deliver the best possible service to citizens. And using data, captured through our mobile and O2 Wifi networks, to uncover citizen habits, preferences and areas of heavy footfall.
All this can be combined with intelligent machine-to-machine technology, to track assets and control costs.
Build these into your bid idea for our Local Government Digital Fund. You could win up to £250,000 in technology and services to make it happen. And remember, your idea needs to fit into one of the following three categories:
- Mobilising the workforce.
- Collaborating in the workplace.
- Connecting and communicating with citizens.
Good luck with your bid.