Toggle menu

Digital Strategy

In 2023, the South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership approved a digital strategy and ICT roadmap.

An aligned and implemented digital strategy was one of the top 10 priorities for the Partnership when it was formed. 

By aligning the councils digitally will see improvements in how we work together across the three councils as well as offering a better online experience for our residents.

The Strategy recognises that to bring all ICT together across the Partnership is a long-term ambition and can't be achieved quickly, but over time it will be possible to align processes and systems, bring efficiency savings and single-service teams Partnership-wide.

The first changes include Boston Borough Council joining the Microsoft 365 Cloud, an aligned RingCentral telephony system across the three councils and Assisted Self Service introduced for residents using our websites.

You can view the strategy and roadmap below, or view the full document as a PDF here:  SELCP Digital Strategy and ICT roadmap (PDF) [815KB] (opens new window)

Glossary

Executive Summary

Where we are now

Strategic Context and Drivers

Our Vision

Our Strategy

Foundations for Success

ICT Roadmap

Appendices


Glossary

To support your reading of this strategy, here's a glossary of some of the terminology:

Cyber Security: How individuals and organisations reduce the risk of a cyber attack (e.g., hacking).

Data Assets: Anything comprising of data (e.g., a system or application, database, document, or web page).

Strategic Digital Platform - Goss iCM (Internet Content Management): The software used for the core of councils' websites as well as transaction Platform - Goss iCM functionality via online forms and 'My Account' functionality for regular visitors.

Assisted Self-Service: Delivered by Goss iCM, this allows Customer Contact Agents to complete transactions via online forms on behalf of customers, by mimicking the customer's 'My Account', if held, to maintain a history of user service requests.

My Account: An optional account that can be created by an individual on the councils' websites to hold name and address data. Initially, to speed up form completion, but with a longer-term goal to hold appropriate transaction history and potentially allow some two-way interaction.

Accessibility Regulation: UK law to enforce public sector organisations to make reasonable adjustments to their websites to make them accessible to people with disabilities.

Operating Systems: The computer software essential to manage hardware and provide common services for other computer programs to run. Everyday examples include Microsoft Windows, Apple iOS, and Google Android.

Browser Technology: A software program used to locate and display information on the internet or an intranet, most often in a web page. Common examples include Microsoft's Edge, Apple's Safari, and Google's Chrome.

Smart Technologies: Smart devices that can connect to the internet to send and receive information either dynamically or when programmed to (e.g., smart speakers that can play the radio station you request via voice recognition or remind you about an appointment you have made).

Internet of Things (IoT): A step on from Smart Technologies where everyday objects are enhanced to connect to the internet and interact with other technologies or services (e.g., smart light bulbs you can turn on and off via Smart Speakers, or by sending navigation instructions to your car).

Data-Driven: An organisation makes strategic decisions based on data analysis and interpretation so they may better serve their customers.

Data Maturity: A measure of how advanced a company's data analysis is.

Data Architecture: How ICT Infrastructure, hardware, software, and services supports your data strategy. Its goal should be to show how data is acquired, transported, stored, queried and secured.

Smart City Technologies: Using IoT devices such as connected sensors, lights, and meters to collect and analyse data (e.g. in waste management for litter bins to be monitored on how full they are to only have emptied them when required).

Big Data: Data that is so large, fast, or complex that it's difficult or impossible to process using traditional methods (e.g., Amazon, they have collected mases of data on what millions of people buy, where they live and which credit cards they use. They offer companies the ability to buy ad campaigns to target ultra-specific demographics based on past purchases).

Open Data: Data that is available to anyone to use and share (e.g., https://www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-tax)

Single Email Domain: A single system hosting all SHDC, ELDC and BBC email domains.

SharePoint 2010: An old version of Microsoft's web based collaborative technology which has reach end of life. Now replaced with SharePoint 365 available to councils as part of their Microsoft Enterprise licensing agreements.

Active Directory: Microsoft's centralised way of managing users, computers and services within a network called a domain. Users and computers must be members of the domain or be trusted by the domain with relevant permissions assigned to allow access to resources such as files, folders, applications, or databases.


Executive Summary

The South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership has the opportunity to make a real and tangible difference to the outcomes for local communities and local places. A key and visible component of this is the Partnership's ability to deliver quality services through the use of modern information and digital technologies, both for external use, and for improving ways of working internally to drive efficiency, accuracy, and effectiveness.

This is a strategy for how the South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership will deliver the ICT/Digital services our residents, visitors, businesses, partners and staff need in order to thrive and prosper now and sustainably into the future. This fully acknowledges and addresses the collaborative relationship with Public Sector Partnership Services (PSPS) - the Partnership's ICT and Digital provider - recognising that the ICT and Digital foundations required for the Partnership more widely, and for delivery of this strategy specifically, are provided by PSPS. We recognise that the Partnership and PSPS must pull together with clarity of direction and purpose to complete foundational work from which we can build the strategic vision. Alongside development of this strategy, work has been undertaken to assess the capacity and skills of PSPS to support its delivery, and an ICT roadmap developed to identify and sequence the work required to put the right capabilities in place to deliver on this strategy. That ICT roadmap and the current Cyber Security Roadmap must be enacted to meet the Partnership vision defined in this document.

This strategy is about how we can use information and digital technology to realise the potential of the Partnership, reach for the opportunities, and deliver the benefits of partnership working.


Where we are now

Each partner has different levels of digital capability and differing numbers and types of council services have digital channels for people to request services, make reports, and to book or pay for services. This reflects not only the differing service provision across the Partnership, and the priorities and needs of the communities they serve, but also the different system capabilities in the back-office. There is a great deal of legacy technology across the Partnership, and PSPS and the Councils are working hard to rationalise, harmonise, and modernise the technologies. There is still much more to do and it can't be done overnight, however, to realise the technology benefits of the partnership and move to a strong position from which to deliver strategic change, any strategy, including this one, must balance ambition against the realistic capability to deliver.

Outline of pre-existing strategies

As well as the wider strategic landscape, there are three existing strategies relating to technology. These are:

  • SHDC Digital Strategy - 2019-2022
  • ELDC ICT Strategy - 2020-2024
  • BBC IT Strategy - 2019-2023

This Digital Strategy and ICT Roadmap replaces the existing strategies to provide strategic alignment for the direction of ICT/Digital across the Partnership. It also replaces digital elements of other strategies.


Strategic Context and Drivers

The South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership came into being in October 2021. This groundbreaking partnership between East Lindsey District Council, Boston Borough Council, and South Holland District Council provides the opportunity to realise both significant cost savings and service delivery improvements through the ability to share expertise, teams, and resources, and amplify the voice and influence of the of the Councils at the sub-regional level, whilst continuing to retain individual council identities and accountability to the local communities which they serve.

This means that we can now work together to leverage those capabilities to drive the transformation of our digital landscape, simplifying and aligning the way we work to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve the service offerings for residents across the sub-region in a demonstrable, consistent, and continually improving way.

We will do this through a shared Digital Strategy which sees us working together with our strategic technology partner, PSPS, and with customers, businesses, and partners across all three councils towards a shared and clear vision of a digital future which benefits all across the sub-region.

Digital is one of the fundamentals for achieving the Partnership's strategic ambitions, and this strategy is designed to align to the Partnership's plans, the principles for the Partnership, and the wider strategic landscape. Indeed, much of the opportunity for service alignment in the future relies on common technology being in place.

Key Outcomes

  • Over time digital will realise cost-reduction, increase efficiency, and improve services for customers through automation and provision of 24/7 self-service options and relevant information, advice, and guidance.
  • Joined-up digital and data will make services smoother, more personalised, and responsive.
  • Services will be available anytime, anywhere, and on any device, providing the same high level of service independently whether they are accessed in-person, by telephone, on the web, or a mobile device - in line with modern expectations across all demographics.
  • Channel-shift will be achieved as digital channels become the natural first-choice of customers.
  • Automation, integration, and standardisation of technology and processes will release resource to focus on more valuable activities and there will be a culture of digital advancement and innovation.
  • Clearer, more efficient, division of roles and responsibilities in our ways of working with PSPS will lead to more effective ways of working, with colleagues playing to their strengths and delivering together.
  • Demonstrate the benefits of partnership working to the region.

Our Vision

To use digital technology to support the provision of high-quality services to residents, business and visitors.

To become a Partnership that leads the way in its use of digital technology to deliver high quality, secure, digital services which are the first choice for our customers.

To ensure equality of access to our services, whoever you are, and however you choose to contact us.

To design and provide services which focus on inclusivity and customer needs.

To build a proactive culture which welcomes change and embraces innovation.

...and doing it together.

We will commit to...

  • Work with and listen to the community when designing digital services, listening to feedback, and making continual improvement.
  • Working closely with our expert technology partner, PSPS, to lay the digital, data, and technology foundations through the life of this strategy to increase efficiency and opportunity and to create a platform from which to launch future, greater, ambitions.
  • Making digital practical and enabling while minimising disruption and delivering value for money.
  • Improving the digital skills of our residents and the region through engagement with digital training providers and other partners to develop training and advice for multi-channel delivery.
  • Giving staff and Councillors the right digital tools and training to maximise the benefits of the technology.
  • Encouraging and supporting the use of digital technology in areas outside of our direct control, such as Health and Social Care.
  • Understanding and improving our data assets to reduce inefficiencies, improve accuracy and quality, and realise the value of data.
  • Ensuring Information Security and legislative compliance is fundamental to everything we do. We will support and partner with PSPS on the development of policies, process, and technology to deliver the Cyber Security Roadmap which will deliver best practice and external assurance of our security posture.
  • Doing the basics well. We recognise that to support a modern digital strategy, foundational technology work will be required to rationalise, modernise, and improve the wider infrastructure and services of the Partnership.

Our Strategy

Our strategy is composed of four critical pillars which together support the ICT/digital vision of the Partnership:

  • Digital Customer
  • Digital Place
  • Digital Data
  • Digital Together.

Digital Customer

While each partner supports different communities, and will have different local priorities and needs, we know that all our residents, visitors, communities, and businesses have similar underlying motivations when engaging with a partner council. We want to ensure that it is easy for people to communicate with us using the technologies and channels they prefer and expect of any provider in modern society.

Where we are today, at the start of this strategy, means that we have to firstly provide the strategic foundations to be able to achieve that, and we will work with PSPS to do so, to support the delivery of the next and substantive part of the Digital Customer strategy.

We have selected and are implementing a strategic digital platform in GOSS iCM. This platform delivers the capability we need to transform our digital services and digital customer contact approach and accelerate the delivery of new services, including assisted self-service. The strategy is to focus initially on completing the migration to this platform of all legacy digital services across the Partnership to harness the benefits of being on a single, consistent, and capable digital platform. This focus will reduce complexity, remove the cost of the legacy platforms from the estate, and clear the way to deliver on the substance of our Digital Customer commitments, ultimately delivering those objectives sooner, more efficiently, and in a future-proofed way.

With that foundation in place, we will next lay the groundwork necessary to support both inclusivity and channel shift by developing the assisted self-service functionality on the platform.

We want to make sure that our online services are easy to use and are designed with input and guidance from the people who need them, and that the services offered are the services needed, in the ways they are needed. With our foundational, strategic, platform and assisted self-service in place:

  • We will put residents' needs at the heart of designing and improving digital services.
  • We will develop digital services to be better connected, accessible and convenient for residents.
  • We will deliver digital services that are so straightforward and convenient that all those who can use them will choose to do so whilst those who can't are able to access services in alternative ways.
  • We will use digital solutions to help us to get things right first time.
  • We will design services to provide feedback to customers at key stages of their interaction.
  • We will provide support for those who need extra help.
  • We will set standards for digital services for how and when a response can be expected and achieve them.
  • Digital services will be secure by design. Security is not a bolt-on and will considered throughout the design and development of the infrastructure, platform and services at every stage and fully tested. Data used to deliver services will be governed and secured throughout its lifecycle.

Inclusive systems. Our digital services are for everyone in our diverse communities and accessibility and inclusivity will be at the forefront of the design and delivery of all our digital offerings. We will meet our obligations under the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 by meeting the international WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standard for systems which are under our control, ensure procurement stipulates that incoming systems can or will meet those standards, and request compliance from incumbent suppliers. We will be mindful of the forthcoming WCAG 2.2 standard as it becomes available during the life of this strategy, and work towards adopting that standard in the next digital strategy, when our capability and digital maturity have increased. We will ensure consistency and equality of access for speakers of any language in the sub-region, and for those with impaired vision, motor difficulties, cognitive impairments or learning disabilities, deafness, or impaired hearing.

Channels and Channel Shift. We will improve options for how customers can get in touch. Digital will not just be web, and we will design services to allow us to take opportunities for customers to access services through other channels, such as social media, where there is demand and opportunity to deliver efficiency and value. Customers will be able to use their device of choice at the time of their choosing, and services will be developed to work consistently on the most common and current devices, operating systems, and browser technology. User experience and quality and responsiveness of service will be consistent across channels and devices.

Assisted Self Service. To support both inclusivity and channel shift we will commit to migrating all legacy digital services across the Partnership to our strategic digital platform, GOSS iCM, and to implement assisted self service. This is an important first step for delivering services to digitally excluded customers as part of the overall Digital Customer strategy. Assisted self service supports users who do not have the skills or confidence to access online channels, providing additional support as required. This requires technology shift, and this strategy commits to supporting PSPS to deliver the technology platform work required to provision the functionality and migrate legacy services to our strategic digital platform to provide a single digital platform for all partnership digital services and provides customer My Account functionality and assisted self-service. The organisational capability to provide inclusive, assisted, self service will be addressed through review of the contact processes and structures to ensure the right skills, training and behaviours for advisors are adapted to meet the assisted model. These measures will improve services to customers, and drive efficiency and cost-savings through a shift from face-to-face and telephony transactions to blended self-service and assisted self-service.

Portals. We will seek ways to minimise the number of portal accounts a customer requires to conduct their council business. The ambition is to have 'one front door', a single account for residents to be able access digital services across the digital platform and integrated services, such as council tax and housing benefits. The reality is that connecting existing services into MyAccount may not be technically feasible and, anyway, would divert skills, resource, and focus away from urgent priorities in other areas. The strategy with portals is, therefore, that any new digital service which manages resident or business accounts must be capable of working with MyAccount for initial access. This should be applied as a principle for any procurement or design work. This avoids further portal accounts being introduced through the course of this strategy.

Digital First. The provision of services and new architectures and systems will be digital first. This does not mean digital only, but that digital access will be available for those that need it and will become the channel of choice through being as fully-featured as other, more traditional, service channels, and be as or more responsive. This also means fully digital journeys connected with the back-office automatically, avoiding the 'digital by deception' approach that some transactions still use today - where data is collected digitally, but processed manually.

Digital Skills. Digital literacy and skills will be promoted for residents, members and officers. We will assess how we can support residents to improve their digital skills through education and training initiatives. We will seek to narrow the skills divide further by designing services which are simple, intuitive, and familiar, with minimal steps and data collection required to provide the service.

This way, we will increase the number of customers using digital channels, delivering savings and improving value for money for the Partnership, and providing quality service and greater independence for our customers.

Digital Place

We will acquire a deep knowledge and understanding of the strengths and aspirations of our communities and use this knowledge to develop local, place based and community specific services, complemented by digital and online services.

We will improve how officers work in the district, ensuring that work out in the place can be directly linked digitally with back-office systems, embracing opportunities, capturing efficiencies, and providing real time updates, where connectivity allows, to support our place-based approach. This capability will be supported by our Digital Data pillar which will strengthen our ability to understand and integrate our data to increase opportunities to provide joined-up systems which reduce rekeying and improve accuracy and consistency.

We recognise the importance and benefits of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for managing and delivering services in the sub-region, and an appetite from residents and officers for using mapped data. We will ensure our GIS data and mapping technology is leveraged and extended to improve sign-posting of services, overlaying more public realm information about the place onto interactive maps, integrating mapping with back office systems to improve the reportability of incidences and to avoid duplication of reporting, and to communicate the location of incidents, assets, and works accurately to both residents and place-based workers.

We are mindful of developments in Smart Technologies and the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and the benefits these are starting to bring to cities and regions globally and in the UK. Such technologies are proving highly effective in providing a wealth of accurate and current intelligence from assets, resources, and services, increasing efficiency in management and control, and delivering powerful analytical and predictive capabilities. Implementing a fully 'Smart' place is a longer-term ambition that cannot be realised in the timescale of this strategy. This strategy does, however, begin laying the foundations of digital infrastructure and data capabilities needed to meet future ambitions, and to allow opportunities for small-scale pilot schemes and proofs-of-concept to be explored later as our digital and data capability matures.

Digital Data

Data is fundamental to delivering on our strategic objectives. From how transactional data moves between systems, to using data to deliver actionable insights to improve outcomes, using data to make informed decisions, and for sharing with residents and organisations in the place, we will ensure we are using data not only legally but ethically and intelligently, driving value for everyone from the information we process and hold. We will only collect data that is necessary or useful, and we will be fully-transparent and clear on the purpose of the data.

We will invest and support PSPS to develop the skills and technology to allow our data to be understood, maintained at a good level of quality, and distributed securely to the people and services who need it to realise the value of the data we have. We recognise that we are at the start of a journey to become truly data-driven and this strategy will ensure that the technical and cultural foundations are in place to allow us to achieve that over time. We will build our data maturity pragmatically to be cost-effective, scalable, and sustainable to deliver value over the course of this strategy, building data capability towards a position which can competently deliver the greater ambitions the next refresh of this strategy will demand.

This will require increased focus across the Partnership and PSPS on data, and the data workstream will address:

  • Roles and responsibilities for data handling and processes between the Partners and PSPS.
  • How data should be stored, processed, provisioned, and understood.
  • Approaches for making timely and trust-worthy data available to improve decision-making, ensure legislative and regulatory compliance, and increase visibility of how our services are performing - Data Architecture capability within PSPS will be required to understand the data landscape and create a data platform strategy to support the processing, storage, analysis and delivery of data. Many approaches and technologies exist to achieve this and the answer cannot be presupposed here. Work will be required to identify the architecture required to deliver our strategic ambitions.
  • Approaches and technology to allow data to be joined-up between systems where this improves processes, accuracy, and efficiency. It is important, for example, that the strategy for digital services on the digital platform does not create data siloes and that transactions from all digital channels are joined-up with back-office and line-of-business systems, digitally, in order to provide a seamless and timely service through all channels and avoid rekeying or the need for officers to use multiple systems to manage their activities on a singlecase, as far as possible.
  • Developing and adopting a set of data principles, policy, and processes that materialise our commitment to this strategy and can be embedded to guide and support our data culture.
  • Enhancing our data governance to oversee implementation of these strategic data practices and monitor the overall effectiveness and value of the strategy.

These are not insignificant tasks, but they are fundamental, foundational steps required to deliver our strategic vision now, and ensure we can effectively deliver more ambitious data capabilities in future strategies. By the time this strategy completes, we will have improved our data quality through data governance, understood it through Data Architecture, and have the technology and tools in place to support the data needs of this strategy, putting us in a position to then seize the opportunities offered by advances in data science, machine-learning, predictive and prescriptive analytics, and use them to transform our services and support ambitions such as Smart City technologies, and shifting from reactive models of delivery to lower cost and more beneficial preventative models, including early, pre-emptive, interventions to support the most vulnerable in our society. None of these ambitions are within reach today.

Over the course of this strategy, these foundational technology, people, and process activities will be used to provide:

  • Capture of data accurately, consistently, and right first time.
  • Improved visibility and understanding of the quality of data, and the costs of poor quality.
  • A clear view of the data we own and its intrinsic value.
  • Improved data and information lifecycle management, leading to improved confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data, as well as ensuring risk management and compliance and reducing storage costs and complexity.
  • A cultural shift to treating data as an asset with real value.
  • A reduction in manual data processing for performance and operational reporting.
  • Improved data quality and trust-worthiness of data.
  • Provision of standard tools and ways of accessing the data needed for reporting and analysis from a standard, fit-for-purpose, data platform.
  • Automated, joined-up data analysis to intelligently inform service improvements and efficiencies, allowing timely interventions to improve people's lives, and for capacity planning.
  • Joined-up and automated processes to ensure systems are integrated, customer interfaces are connected with back-office systems, and rekeying into multiple systems is reduced.
  • A path toward a single view of individuals and households across the sub-region, including appropriate and secure sharing across partner councils to support movers within the subregion.
  • Tell us once capability.

Maturing our data capability will allow us to also capitalise on an increase in the availability of Big Data and Open Data (http://data.gov.uk), improving our ability to make informed decisions. Similarly, wherever it is possible we will publish our data openly and online, for reuse by residents, our partners, researchers, and investors, a principle which will be significantly easier to achieve securely, efficiently, and meaningfully as the Digital Data pillar is built.

Digital Together

Our Digital Together approach will unify the way that digital and data services are delivered and continually improved across the Partnership and reinforce the strategic relationship with PSPS so that the collaborative spirit between the Partnership and PSPS is surfaced and explicit as we deliver this strategy. There will be a culture change and a recognition that everybody needs to drive the strategy, and we need to be agile to work efficiently and deliver effectively and at pace.

To truly work together, we will draw together the skills, talent, and experience from all three councils and PSPS to develop digital and data services which are of a consistently high-quality and support re-use as far as practically possible. These will be designed in line with strategic principles and policies ensuring that they meet the needs of our digital communities for both internal and external customers, partners, and businesses.

This will include internal enabling activities to empower 'smart working' for the workforce and elected members. We will ensure that:

  • Key internal systems have full capability to be accessed remotely.
  • Smart tools (such as collaboration, messaging, webchat, data sharing) are introduced where applicable in order to support staff working remotely.
  • Sophisticated communications tools (such as video conferencing) are made available to facilitate attendance of meetings and conferences from locations outside of the main Council office locations.
  • Systems are automated and integrated, reducing manual effort and improving accuracy and efficiency of service delivery.
  • Opportunities to digitalize internal processes, such as in HR, are identified and incorporated into the delivery plan.
  • Opportunities to digitize democratic services to members are taken and we proactively use technology to streamline processes and reduce the use of paper and engender a growth mindset around the use and adoption of technology.

Digital Partnership & Ways of working

The Partnership will work efficiently and collaboratively with PSPS to deliver joined-up and seamless digital journeys which integrate with our back-office systems to both reduce manual work (avoiding 'Digital by Deception') and deliver a consistent user experience for transactions initiated for any service, from any partner, via any channel.

To reach this objective and increase the pace and value for money, we will revise the way we work with PSPS to deliver digital services. In terms of the technical build, PSPS are the experts and have responsibility, but we recognise that while they have the skills to design digital journeys and processes and undertake these activities on behalf of the Partnership, this impacts the time that can be spent on engineering elements - actually building digital services. The Digital Development capacity in PSPS is not great enough for the Partnership's current appetite for the service and delivering this strategy will only increase that demand. Therefore, two things must happen: firstly, an increase in resource in the PSPS digital development team is necessary to ensure capacity for important BAU activities and for delivering change, and we will carefully consider the optimum number (as part of a business case), balancing the need to increase capacity with the expected Return on Investment (ROI); secondly, a restructuring of how the Partnership and PSPS work together on digital delivery, with more emphasis on Partnership responsibility for owning and delivering change, while working closely and collaboratively with PSPS to bring the technical skills into the team.

The Partnership will encourage Business cases to come forward for investment that include improvements to ways of working in addition to replacements of systems. It is expected that services will work with the relevant Portfolio Holders in bringing forward Business Cases in order to ensure the right level of operational and political balance is achieved. Ultimately, Business Cases will require approval from the ICT Strategy Board and the ICT Portfolio Holders thereafter.

All projects will be managed in line with the Partnership's adopted Project Management Framework; with ICT and service specific Portfolio Holders retaining a level of strategic oversight.

Projects will be sized using the project scaling tool contained within the Project Management Framework.

Project highlight reports will be produced covering: overall status, tracking of activities and deliverables and details of risks and/or issues.

Reporting frequency for projects will be as follows:

Project SizeICT Strategy BoardPortfolio Holders, Assistant Directors and Services Managers
SmallSix WeeklyQuarterly
MediumSix WeeklyBi-monthly
LargeSix WeeklyMonthly

To deliver approved projects, a modified Partnership team approach will be adopted, utilising existing skills and people, to bring together a single customer process across the Partnership for delivering web and digital change and taking on board best practice and customer feedback.

Projects will usually be planned activity as part of the Annual Delivery Plan for the Partnership.

A project team will consist of:

  • Service Lead - to engage with counterparts across the Partnership and provide the vision and direction for the project team, and work with the Transformation Team and PSPS to drive the delivery. Be responsible for providing highlight reports to update on project delivery progress.
  • PSPS ICT - to provide the technical development capability and be embedded in the project team to build new services and incrementally improve existing services. Their role will be to provide technical infrastructure, web and digital platform development, and data and integration engineering services.
  • Transformation Team - to provide project delivery and process re-engineering support.

Additional representatives from other services may be invited depending on skills required.

This approach provides greater clarity of responsibilities between Partnership and PSPS without compromising the spirit of collaboration and allowing us to remain Digital Together.


Foundations for Success

We recognise, and have referred to some in the above strategy, that there are foundations required to firstly provide the conditions for delivering this strategy at all, and secondly, to be laid over the course of this strategy to ensure the Partnership can respond to future demands effectively and increase ambition over time.

The Capacity and Skills assessment conducted to identify what needs to change to ensure PSPS can support this strategy identified key areas that need to be addressed to achieve this. Capacity is one of these areas, with a significant proportion of resource currently spent on BAU activities and little on change. While some of this can be attributed to legacy factors, the reality is that there are too few resources for supporting a council partnership of our size and delivering the amount of change required. Additional resource will be required to increase capacity in existing areas and to add missing capability to improve the organisational model. More detail is provided in the Organisational and Cultural section below, and in the accompanying Delivery Roadmap. Any request for additional resources - either temporary or permanent - will be brought forward for consideration as part of a business case.

Technology 

A critical success factor is technology and the need for the Partnership and PSPS to support each other and deliver foundations - and the strategy - collaboratively.

Alongside and aligned with this strategy an ICT Roadmap has been developed which informs on activities and areas of focus for delivering efficiencies, cost-savings, reduced complexity, and improved technology and organisational capabilities for supporting the Partnership on a day-to-day basis and for preparing for and delivering strategic objectives. This is provided in this document.

The roadmap gives life to the specifics around capacity, skills, and the technology activities and platforms required. Delivery of this strategy will require more capacity and skills in areas of digital development, data and integration architecture, security, and project management being indicated.

Key projects which are foundational for aligning systems, infrastructure, and data across the Partnership in readiness for delivering our strategy are:

  • Single Collaboration/Email Tool - maximising the utilisation of the investment in licensing and ongoing work to create single email domain. This is a key lever for delivering fundamental digital collaboration capabilities into the Partnership, facilitating modern collaborative working across the sovereign councils.
  • SharePoint 2010 Migration.
  • Web accessibility review.
  • Technology Alignment - ongoing work to align the technology estate to rationalise where possible and optimise support.
  • Rationalising shared applications at the point of contract renewal.
  • Assisted self-service.
  • Delivering the Cyber Security Roadmap.
  • Review of the Active Directory configuration to ensure it is providing the experience the Partnership requires.

A principle that we are committing to in this strategy and our ICT Roadmap for all of our business systems is 'adopt, not adapt'. This means adopting standard functionality and provided configurations and avoiding customisation and bespoke development. This reduces costs for implementation of technology, allows innovations in the marketplace to be leveraged, and reduces ongoing support costs. There are implications to this principle for procurement approaches and on ways of working for Partnership services. In the long term, this principle will deliver greater agility for the Partnership and ROI from our suppliers, and we will commit to working with procurement, PSPS, suppliers, and services to ensure this principle is observed and works as intended.

Cyber Security

To re-emphasise the importance of Cyber and Information Security in everything we do, security is a fundamental element that must be considered continually in our day-to-day activities and throughout any and every project at every stage. Security should not be considered an add-on or optional component. Nor is it solely a technology solution, but something which must be embedded culturally.

To this end, there is a comprehensive Cyber Security roadmap that has been created by PSPS and is being delivered against, which includes People, Process, and Technology elements which together encapsulate our target security posture.

This strategy adopts and supports the delivery of that roadmap.

Organisational and Cultural

Organisational and cultural readiness to deliver the strategy are crucial.

For PSPS, capacity to support the change activities is the critical success factor. The Capacity and Skills assessment was used to facilitate the understanding of the areas of deficit between our starting point and ability to deliver on the ambitions of the strategy. It is this understanding which informed the Digital Partnership & Ways of working narrative on the need to increase capacity in specific areas to ensure that PSPS is ready to deliver the strategy alongside existing Business as Usual demands.

A number of critical foundations need to be in place within the Partnership itself.

  • Leadership buy-in. Members and directorates all need to be aligned to actively promote the benefits of modern and joined-up digital and data, recognise their own role in adopting a digital mind-set and delivering the strategy, and to lead the cultural change that is needed.
  • A single plan. To ensure focus and enable tracking and benefits realisation, a single plan for delivering and governing the strategy needs to be owned at an appropriate level in the Partnership, with cross Partnership and service oversight, including close involvement with the planning and governance from PSPS.
  • Communications and change support. To ensure that cultural and organisational change is well supported, and that the strategy and delivery plan are well-communicated and embedded across the Partnership, PSPS, and partners and communities in the Place. We recognise that business process re-engineering, adoption of new ways of working, and change management disciplines are as fundamental to the success of the digital strategy as technology.
  • Funding. Additional investment to accelerate and support the foundational technology changes being made by PSPS to harmonise and rationalise the technology landscape of the Partnership and to put in place the digital capabilities needed. A sustainable funding model is required to maintain skills, resource, and technology to deliver over the course of the strategy, both in the Partnership and for PSPS.

ICT Roadmap

The Roadmap for the short to mid-term is based on improving the maturity of the capabilities identified as weaknesses in the assessment and that support the strategy. Many of these capabilities are foundational and are critical to the successful delivery of the ICT and Digital Strategy of the coming years. These activities are in addition to the existing work outlined in the ICT Plan and the Cybersecurity Roadmap, and will therefore need extra resource, particularly in the short-term. In the long term the improved ways of work should improve efficiency and the additional value realised by the Partnership will mean the business case can be made. Whilst timescales have been identified for the various aspects of the Roadmap, these may need to flex as delivery commences.

The Roadmap covers three years, starting in 2023 on the basis that the ICT and Digital Strategy will take some time to be agreed. Though the strategy covers 2023 - 2029, over three years the roadmap will put in place the foundations to deliver the strategy by the end of 2026. From 2027 iterations of the roadmap can be focussed on projects that deliver new services for the partnership and their residents.

Appendix 4 has been developed to identify when system alignment for services might be possible but in some cases there are some external factors that remain unknown at this time. It is anticipated that Services will use this plan to address the alignment of their backend processes and procedures and will seek to engage with ICT to ensure they are technically prepared.

Key areas in the strategy that will be easier to deliver by focussing on the capability maturity roadmap are:

  • Digital Partnership - supporting collaborative working and improved digital services across the partnership
  • Digital Data - improved understanding and management of data to extract value and minimise risk
  • PSPS Technology Foundations - better governance and definition of services to minimise technical debt, reduce risk and add value to the partnership.

Process

Process2023 Q12023 - Q22023 - Q32023 - Q42024 - Q12024 - Q22024 - Q32024 - Q42025 - Q12025 - Q22025 - Q32025 - Q4
Information & Data FoundationsXXX         
Integration Principles   XX       
Architecture GovernanceXX          
Procurement Process    X       
Contract Review & AlignmentX           
CMDB and Contract DatabaseXX          
Solution Design    XXX     


Information & Data Foundations - Development of the partnership vision and approach to managing data across PSPS and the client councils. Development of a relevant operating model that ensures maximum value from the data being held across the organisation and reduction of risk

Integration Principles - Following the approval of the Information and Data Foundations an agreed approach to the integration of systems and applications and relevant skills and tools to build applications

Architecture Governance - Put in place Architecture governance based on Enterprise Architecture (EA) best practice, key principles and ensure it is tied into key change processes to ensure alignment of technology change

Procurement Process - Refine current processes to ensure assurance by the EA governance structures

Contract Review and Alignment - roadmap to simplify contract arrangements, maximise value and create roadmap of opportunities for change

CMDB and Contract Database - A consolidated database of systems and contracts, across the partnership. This will have the necessary information to manage systems and associated contracts and define opportunities for review, optimisation and rationalisation of the ICT estate.

Solution Design - design of the partnership approach to developing new solutions, which clarifies roles and responsibilities, the associated operating model and the skills required.

Organisation 

Organisation2023 Q12023 - Q22023 - Q32023 - Q42024 - Q12024 - Q22024 - Q32024 - Q42025 - Q12025 - Q22025 - Q32025 - Q4
Operating Model Review  X XX       
Programme & Project Management     XXX    
Data GovernanceXXX         
Design Authority XX         
Service Catalogue Definition        XXX 


Operating Model Review - review of the operating model to support the partnership and deliver the required services and service levels, focussing on web application development

Programme & Project Management - following operating model review implement programme and project management capability to support change initiatives and maximise benefits

Data Governance - implement data governance and associated processes across the partnership to support the developing Information and data strategy

Design Authority - implement design authority and associated processes, based on Enterprise Architecture best practice, to ensure alignment of change initiatives in line with agreed strategies

Service Catalogue Definition - clarify services provided by PSPS ICT, including roles and responsibilities and how these offering provide value to the wider partnership.

People

People2023 Q12023 - Q22023 - Q32023 - Q42024 - Q12024 - Q22024 - Q32024 - Q42025 - Q12025 - Q22025 - Q32025 - Q4
Recruitment Business Case    XX       
Skills Development Programme       XX   
Data StewardsXXX         


Recruitment Business Case - after strategy work and operating model review have identified gaps in resourcing, build business case to recruit additional resource as required, either on a permanent or temporary uplift basis

Skills Development Programme - after strategy work and operating model create skill development programme to fill any identified gaps

Data Stewards - as part of information and data strategy, clarify roles of data stewards across the partnership and create a community of practice.

Information and Technology 

Information and Technology 2023 Q12023 - Q22023 - Q32023 - Q42024 - Q12024 - Q22024 - Q32024 - Q42025 - Q12025 - Q22025 - Q32025 - Q4
Technology AlignmentXXX XXXXX    
Integration Platform  XX        
Data Platform      XX    
TCO Model        XXX 
Single Collaboration/Email ToolXXXXXX      
Application Strategy    XXX     
Cyber SecurityXXXX        
Single TelephonyXXXX        
Assisted Self-serviceXXXXXX      
Request ServicesXX          
Personal Circs  XX        
GIS integration   XX       
Systems Integration    XX      


Technology Alignment - ongoing work to align the technology estate supporting the clients to rationalise where possible and optimise support

Integration Platform - following definition of integration strategy implementation of appropriate solution(s) to manage integrations and associated skills

Data Platform - following definition of the Information and Data principles, implementation of appropriate solution(s) to manage data and make it available at point of need and support new digital services. What form the platform takes will be defined by other roadmap initiatives to improve the maturity of foundational capabilities.

Total Cost of Ownership Model - develop partnership model to understand the total cost of owning software and therefore the real opportunities and cost of change

Single Collaboration/Email Tool - this will provide great impact and deliver on many of the strategic goals, giving a modern digital collaboration suite which facilitates communication and collaboration across the sovereign councils. The work required is to maximise the utilisation of our existing investment in licensing and ongoing work to create single email domain. (Pulled out of the Technology Alignment as a critical workstream.)

Application Management Principles - agreed approach and operating model for creation of new applications and configuration of systems to minimise development, optimise support and encourage reuse where possible and define the increase in capacity to implement effectively

Cyber Security - Ongoing work to deliver Cyber Security roadmap • Implement a single telephony solution across the Partnership, bringing Boston Borough Council into alignment.

Assisted Self-service - a core part of the strategy, this can be considered as a package of deliverables:
1. Ability to request services and report issues using intuitive and accessible online forms
2. Ability to update personal circumstances using intuitive and accessible online forms
3. Ability to use geolocation software for the accurate location of reporting fly tipping and abandoned vehicles
4. Improved system integration with back-office systems to speed up response times to residents - dependent on integration platform/strategy.


Appendices

Appendix 1: Data Principles  Digital Strategy Appendix 1: Data Principles (PDF) [195KB] (opens new window)

Appendix 2: ICT Contract Landscape  Digital Strategy Appendix 2: ICT Contract Landscape (PDF) [202KB] (opens new window)

Appendix 3: Digital Transactions  Digital Strategy Appendix 3: Digital Transactions (PDF) [138KB] (opens new window) ​​​​​​​

Appendix 4: Roadmap for alignment to single systems for Partnership services  Digital Strategy Appendix 4: Roadmap for alignment to single systems for Partnership services (PDF) [678KB] (opens new window)