How technology is making councils more agile
While agile started off as a tech development-based term, it has expanded to describe how modern government and business organisations work overall. It’s less rigid in structure and doesn’t often have as many interdependencies. And technology can enable these new ways of working. Let’s explore how technology is making councils more agile.
What is agile working?
Agile is a less restrictive approach to government work. According to Government Computing, “It means using technology to inform better and faster decision making. It can bring together departments by improving communication and help create a culture of collaboration instead of competition. By focussing on small wins and step by step improvement it avoids the pitfalls of big projects with long lead times. Because feedback is checked at every step it also stops projects [from going] off track and keeps them focussed on the business or customer goal.” In the public sector, this can help to reduce the red tape and unnecessary bureaucracy involved in pursuing public works, awarding contracts, or managing resources.
Enable remote working
In the last year or so, councils needed to quickly mobilise disparate workforces scattered at home, on-site and in the office to meet critical needs. Many SaaS systems were deployed to enable smart rota management. This allows routes to be recalculated in response to illness or adjusts the priority of council work orders to meet enhanced demand. They can create new rounds or adjust existing ones to optimise staffing resources required, all while working at home. Innovative online council services help councils meet the needs of their residents and improve productivity. And critically also, the best of these systems can do so in a fully secure manner. Now that many councils have moved to these cloud-based systems, it’s expected the shift will remain. If you’re looking at this type of deployment for your organisation, get in touch and you can discuss your requirements with our Public Sector team.
Understand the need
Councils have access to a wide array of information about the citizens living in their boroughs. But much of this data is not digitised. That means it is not easily accessible for informing decisions and defining strategy. But pioneering councils are moving to smart sensors, central databases and Internet of Things infrastructure to collate and action this data. Making sense of this expanse of data reveals trends that can help councils find solutions to costly social problems or be used to design services that accurately target the needs of residents. It helps councils make informed decisions about how resources should be allocated, while urban infrastructure such as street and traffic lights, can be managed more efficiently.
Moving to digital means that when actions are taken the ROI can also be accounted for in quantitative ways instead of through anecdotal evidence or surveys. So, not only are the decisions based on good data to begin with, but the results can be tracked and analysed too.
Through cloud-based digitisation, councils can update their antiquated ways of working to a more modern, agile approach. This might take the form of IoT, AI or just fast Wi-Fi and remote access. However, government organisations choose to take the first step, the path is clear. Effective local government makes good use of all technological advances to better serve and understand its constituents. And these deployments can help councils shed the bulky, ineffective ways of working from the past and embrace an agile approach.