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Members Agree Digital Ambition For Highland Council - Or How To Make Cuts Without Saying So

18th March 2024

Photograph of Members Agree Digital Ambition For Highland Council - Or How To Make Cuts Without Saying So

Members of Highland Council, who met on Thursday 14 March 2024, approved a corporate Digital Ambition, which has been designed to deliver significant organisational change across Council services, recognising the current priorities within the organisation.

The Strategy, which is embedded within the wider Council Delivery Plan, has been developed to focus attention and resources on areas of change which will deliver the greatest benefit to the Council.

As part of this Digital Ambition, more specific outcomes will be defined relating to:

Improvements to service delivery;
Budget savings;
Digital Foundations; and
Data Foundations.

The specific technical initiatives to be taken forward for implementation of the Strategy will be informed by analysis from an exercise carried out by the Council in early 2024. This was undertaken in conjunction with external advisors looking across a range of public and private sector organisations' best practice use of digital and data innovation.

The exercise assessed a number of transformation opportunities across all Service areas for implementation of innovative technology, which may include:

using data about citizens to proactively identify what benefits and assistance could be available to them;
dynamic scheduling and routing of bin collections based on the volumes and weights of different materials;
automation of Council Tax transactions and administration;
video calls with tenants to remotely assist with Council housing faults;
integrating real-time data to provide insight and intelligence for rapid decision making.
Chair of the Corporate Resources Committee, Cllr Derek Louden, commented: "Technology continues to evolve at pace and this generates a number of opportunities for us to refine customer journeys and outcomes to ensure these are enhanced as far as possible through the use of technology.

"This will be achieved through a holistic approach, recognising that technology alone will not deliver this ambition, but must be complemented by changes to business processes, people and data.

He concluded: “Corporately, savings can also be achieved through better use of the data we hold and the automation of digital processes. A core strand of this work will involve the introduction of automation of otherwise manual processes, which will be key to realising savings from digital transformation."

 

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