A report from the Executive Director – Resources is attached. (Key decision – reference number 5222)
Councillor Mary Maguire (Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement) introduced the report of the Executive Director – Resources informing Cabinet of a new Digital Services (IT) Strategy and seeking agreement to proceed with its implementation.
1. The requirement for a new Strategy as explained in the report. The case for change was around three key themes: programme portfolio; team capacity and culture; and, customer focus. The new Strategy had been developed to meet the challenges set out in the report and to deliver a Modern Council to the community.
2. The new operating model that was being developed, as detailed in the report. The extent and range of service provision was highlighted; going forward it was essential to ensure that the services were modern, fit for purpose, innovative and provided value for money and customer focused. The Digital Services team looked after the needs of approximately 3,000 council employees and during the pandemic had enabled the council to quickly adapt to remote and mobile working.
3. The change in recent years to bring the ICT support function in-house and the continuing move away from the use of agency staff with an increasing focus on succession planning and retention of staff.
4. The Strategy supported the Council’s vision and priorities. The financial implications were noted, as set out in the report which expected savings of £3.6m to be delivered over 5 years. By delivering the Strategy it would help the Council to achieve its Modern Council cross-cutting objective and deliver the digital workplace demanded by staff and the community.
5. The key performance indicators as outlined in the Strategy.
6. That no additional funding was being sought through this report; efficiency savings were expected, as outlined in the report.
7. The potential positive climate change impacts through a reduction in printing and continued remote working resulting in less commuting and so a reduction in emissions.
8. In the light of a recent cyber-attack on Hackney Council, Members sought reassurance on the cyber security in place at Enfield and the lessons that had been learnt. In response, Members were advised the high incidence of potential cyber attacks on Councils, and the support that had been provided by Enfield to Hackney. Enfield had a good cyber security plan in place and supporting measures had been fast tracked to ensure that Enfield was fully prepared. A dedicated digital security manager was in place; external support had been secured and infrastructure upgraded as necessary. There would be a programme of awareness raising and education across the Council.
9. That the Council had a good remediation plan in place; monthly meetings were held of the Risk and Cyber Panel with all appropriate actions being taken. Members were assured of the measures in place.
10. That the new website was being developed in collaboration with the Director of Customer Experience. It was anticipated that the new website would be completed by Spring 2021.
11. That Members welcomed the Strategy and the thorough update that had been provided and together with reassurances on the Council’s cyber security.
Alternative Options Considered: NOTED, that an option had been considered to outsource most of digital services to “managed service providers” however this option had been rejected for the time being to improve internal competency and service, whilst managing costs.
DECISION: The Cabinet noted that the new Digital Services (the new name for ICT) strategy and associated organisational structure was designed to improve the maturity and robustness of day-to-day operations and governance. It would also enable Digital Services to deliver the council’s “modern council” cross cutting theme by creating a modern technology landscape and digital workplace. The Cabinet agreed:
1. To adopt a new name for the function (Digital Services).
2. To deploy a new vision, strategy and organisational structure.
3. To support this new strategy with revised operational processes and governance across project management, service delivery, budget management, technology architecture and data.
4. Delivery against new key performance indicators.
Reason: The outgoing IT strategy and current operating model was not fit for purpose for delivering the Council’s priorities. The detailed reasons for the proposals were set out in paragraphs 7 to 10 of the report.
(Key decision – reference number 5222)