Introduction By Jo Negrini, Chief Executive and Neil Williams, Chief Digital Officer
This strategy is about recognising the way the internet has changed our lives, and harnessing that change to provide better outcomes for the people of Croydon.
Residents, businesses, workers, visitors and students in Croydon rightly expect their interactions with the council and their experience in and around our urban spaces to be as straightforward, connected, convenient and technologically advanced as the very best of their experiences elsewhere. Council staff, too, have similar expectations of the tools they use to do their jobs. And, at the organisation level, we have political and financial imperatives to operate as efficiently as possible.
We have a remarkable opportunity to seize these opportunities. Croydon is a naturally ambitious council, and our borough is going through a multi-billion pound transformation.
However, delivering these new imperatives requires not just a new set of actions, but a radically different approach, hence this new strategy and accompanying roadmap.
It is important to recognise that digital is not a separate activity in its own right, but an enabler of everything else the council is doing (defined in our Corporate Plan 2018-2022) and of how we are doing it (due to be articulated in our upcoming Workforce Strategy). This strategy and accompanying roadmap exist to support the whole council’s goals, by radically re-imagining how we design, deliver and operate our services in the internet age, tailored for different localities.
It is essential we do this well, to stay competitive as a council and place, and to fulfill our duty to residents, communities and businesses by helping them survive and thrive as the world changes rapidly around them.
We are already well underway building new capability in the council to deliver this strategy:
- we’ve brought in new digital leadership
- we’ve signed the Local Digital Declaration, a public pledge along with hundreds of other councils to meet high standards for our technology and digital services and adopt digital culture and ways of working
- we are a founding member of the new London Office of Technology and Innovation
- we’re putting in place new techniques and capability for agile software delivery and user-centred design
- we’ve moved the council’s core technology services to new specialised providers and shorter contracts, giving us greater flexibility to improve the tools we rely on
- we are working more openly, blogging about our digital delivery for transparency and public feedback
This strategy itself was developed in the open, as a public conversation via the croydon.digital blog. Thank you to all who provided ideas and comments.
Digital moves fast, and digital strategy documents date faster. Therefore while this strategy sets a high level framework for where we’re going and how we’ll move forwards over the next few years, the specific timings of what we do will continue to evolve as we deliver and learn - in the open, via our public roadmap at https://croydon.digital/roadmap/
You can feedback and influence it at any time - these are your digital services after all.