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B r i s t o l C i t y C o u n c i l

Information Systems
and Technology
Strategy 2007-10

May 2007

“Modern governments with serious transformational intent see technology as a strategic


asset and not just a tactical tool.”
Cabinet Office report: “Transformational Government, Enabled by Technology”, 2005

“The Council should develop and communicate its long term strategy for achieving
efficiency gains and service improvements through the use of new technology.”
eGovernment Audit Report, 2005
IS&T Strategy Final 1.0 17 May 2007

Table of Contents
1 Background and Introduction........................................................................................3
1.1 Delivering Customer Excellence in Partnership.........................................................3
1.2 The Challenges We Face...........................................................................................3
1.3 Our Business Drivers and Objectives.........................................................................4
1.4 Purpose of the IS&T Strategy.....................................................................................5
1.5 Scope of the IS&T Strategy........................................................................................5
1.6 Overview of the Strategic Framework........................................................................6
2 The IS&T Strategy 2007-2010..........................................................................................7
2.1 Leadership and Governance......................................................................................7
2.1.1 Introduce Leadership for Information Management...................................................... 7
2.1.2 Provide and Increase Capacity for Strategic Governance............................................ 8
2.1.3 Strategic principles for Leadership and Governance:................................................... 9
2.2 IT Commissioning and Financing...............................................................................9
2.2.1 Create New Ways to Fund Council-wide Infrastructure................................................ 9
2.2.2 Improve the Effectiveness of IS&T Commissioning...................................................... 9
2.2.3 Strategic Principles for Commissioning & Financing:.................................................. 10
2.3 Knowledge, information and data management...................................................... 11
2.3.1 Develop Effective Information Management............................................................... 11
2.3.2 Have a Single Consistent Source for People and Property Data................................ 11
2.3.3 Improve Strategic Management of Major Information Systems................................... 12
2.3.4 Improve Bristol's Capacity for Evidence Based Decision Making................................ 12
2.3.5 Provide Tools for Online Collaboration Across the Council......................................... 13
2.3.6 Strategic Principles for Knowledge, Information & Data:............................................. 13
2.4 Technology architecture...........................................................................................14
2.4.1 Provide a Shared Toolkit for Change.......................................................................... 14
2.4.2 Design a Technology Architecture to Support Change............................................... 15
2.4.3 Provide Good Quality Managed Desktop Software Tools........................................... 16
2.4.4 Provide technologies in support of flexible working..................................................... 16
2.4.5 Strategic Principles for Technology Architecture......................................................... 17
2.5 Internal Organisation and Staff................................................................................ 18
2.5.1 Improve Council Staff Skills in the use of IS&T........................................................... 18
2.5.2 Provide the Skills to Design and Implement Change.................................................. 18
2.5.3 Change the Roles and Structure of the IS&T Service................................................. 19
2.5.4 Keep IS&T Professional Skills up to date.................................................................... 20
2.5.5 Strategic Principles for Internal Organisation and Staff............................................... 20
3 Delivering and Measuring the Impact of the IS&T Strategy...................................... 21
4 Appendix 1 – High Level Action Plan.......................................................................... 22
4.1 Consolidated Table of Outcomes and High Level Actions...................................... 22
4.2 Action Plan Status as at April 2007..........................................................................26
5 Appendix 2 - IS&T Strategy Programme Roadmap....................................................29

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IS&T Strategy Final 1.0 17 May 2007

1 Background and Introduction


1.1 Delivering Customer Excellence in Partnership
The IS&T Strategy for Bristol City Council 2007-2010 outlines the actions we will take to ensure
the availability of the information, technology and skills needed to enable transformational
business change for the council, in pursuit of customer excellence.
“Transformation” involves making structural change on the inside, to produce significantly different
effects on the outside. But because the council can only carry out it’s roles and responsibilities
through a web of partnership relations with Health, Police, Fire, voluntary and other organised
groups, we must also change the way we manage the exchange of information across
organisations, to achieve successful outcomes for citizens, customers and visitors.
Bristol’s emerging Business Transformation strategy draws together the existing Customer
Excellence Programme (CEP), corporate projects to reduce bureaucracy and improve productivity,
and a bold new accommodation strategy that aims to release major ongoing savings through
consolidation onto eight sites, accompanied by a reduction in desk spaces and an increase in
“new ways of working” – greater mobility, flexibility and location independence.
The council already participates in several existing shared service arrangements (Pensions
administration, Libraries West, provision of financial systems to Probation and Fire Service). As
council policy towards new shared services is developed, the IS&T Service will provide the
necessary support for the information and technology changes required.
The Business Transformation strategy is itself driven by the priorities set out in Bristol’s
Community Strategy, Corporate Plan and departmental service strategies. The key measure of
successful transformation will be improvements for our citizens, in some cases in the form of
effective new services, in others through the efficient and innovative delivery of existing services
through different channels, or by an improved quality or quantity of services, better access or
lower council tax.
Bristol is also developing ambitious plans to create a “Connected Bristol” as part of its Digital
Challenge bid. The council and a range of commercial and voluntary partners will jointly deliver a
massive increase in wireless hotspots and high speed broadband coverage across the city, which
will provide significant new opportunities for access to and provision of service to the public.
The IS&T Strategy provides a foundation for Bristol's corporate and service strategies because
transformation is fundamentally grounded on:
➔ the adoption of new approaches to delivering services designed around the citizen or
business, not the provider
➔ and significant increases in operational productivity.
Both of these are impossible without providing the right information systems and technologies in
the back-office and modern delivery channels at the frontline.

1.2 The Challenges We Face


The council faces a clear set of challenges to improve its capacity to deliver better outcomes for
people in Bristol. The CPA Corporate Assessment report of April 2006 identified four main actions:
1. Embedding Performance Management in every department and ensuring that Councillors
and managers are comfortable with measuring and interpreting data and taking the
necessary action.

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2. Developing corporate and cross departmental ownership of the integrated children's services
agenda and specifically the improvement of educational attainment.
3. Driving high achievement in all services and improving the way it learns from benchmarking
against best-in-class performers and from customer feedback and complaints.
4. Achieving value for money more consistently, and routinely making the link between the cost
of the service, its performance and public satisfaction. Linking value for money to the
corporate plan priorities is a first step.
Information Management is a common thread through all of these actions. Without the right
information about needs, available resources, performance and costs, the council will be unable to
understand what it should do to meet the Audit Commissions expectations - and those of our
citizens. This information needs to be accessible to the right people, at the right time, and in the
right place: which means that, alongside attention to the frontline information systems, the IS&T
Strategy must ensure that the back-office systems, and physical infrastructure are in place and
can be relied on.

1.3 Our Business Drivers and Objectives


Bristol’s Corporate Management Team (CMT) and Executive Members have defined a set of key
corporate business drivers and objectives that the IS&T Service has to support:

The Audit Commission were clear that strong central leadership and vision were at the heart of
improvements to date, and for the future.
“The restoration of the Chief Executive post in 2003 and the drive of the current political leadership
has begun the transition from a previously departmentalist council which lacked clear priorities and
did not see things through, to one recognised by partners as providing strong leadership and
drive.”

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We need to drive this change down through the organisation to ensure that improvement becomes
continuous. Historically the “departmentalist” approach also resulted in a more tactical approach to
IS&T, implementing separate systems to meet the needs and finances of each business unit.
Now, expectations of the role of IS&T services in Bristol are changing. CMT and Members
recognise that IS&T is a key enabler for the major cultural and organisational changes required for
Bristol City Council to become a high-performing service organisation.

1.4 Purpose of the IS&T Strategy


This IS&T Strategy sets out the direction, intended outcomes and priorities for investment in the
information systems and technologies that are needed to underpin improved service delivery and
better outcomes for our public, in partnership with the other service providers, voluntary and civic
organisations in Bristol and the wider region.
It describes the strategic principles and high level actions that need to be taken by the IS&T
Service, and by council managers and staff, so that Bristol has the Information Systems and
Technology infrastructure and services it requires over the next three years.
The Strategy is aimed at several key audiences:
➔ Cabinet and the Corporate Management Team – the Member and Officer decision making
bodies, accountable for the effective investment of resources in Bristol.
➔ Departmental Management Teams – responsible for service delivery and reliant on ICT for
effective outcomes.
➔ IS&T Managers and staff – responsible for professional guidance to the council and ensuring
that IS&T projects and operations are aligned with Bristol's strategic objectives.
The IS&T Strategy Action Plan (Appendix 1) identifies the next steps and responsibilities for them.

Who is responsible for this Strategy?


This Strategy refers throughout to the “IS&T Service” which is intended to encompass all
council staff providing specialist IS or IT services to council staff and the public. Although staff
are currently organised in a variety of separate central and departmental units, they have to
work jointly to deliver service to our customers, who should not have to understand or even be
aware of our organisational structures – in the same way that citizens should not have to
understand the council to access public services.
Where the Strategy commits the IS&T Service to an outcome it should be understood that
accountability for that outcome lies with the Head of ICT, as the head of profession, but with
collaborative support from IS Managers across the council. Specific responsibilities for the
actions involved in delivering the outcome will be agreed and distributed between the
appropriate specialist teams as part of the IS&T Strategy Action Plan.

1.5 Scope of the IS&T Strategy


The IS&T Strategy encompasses changes to the policies, procedures, standards, and operational
activities of all Information Systems and Technology units within Bristol City Council.
It also explicitly requires changes in the behaviours of senior management across all departments,
both in their positive engagement with strategic issues and in their acceptance of a council-wide
strategic approach.
The strategy also impacts on every member of staff in Bristol who uses technology to do their job,
both indirectly as the technical environment changes, and directly through a new ICT competence
framework that individuals must meet.

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1.6 Overview of the Strategic Framework


This document sets out the Strategy through a simple five-part framework. We describe what
needs to be done to:
➔ The leadership and governance structures required to focus IS&T on Bristol's strategic
requirements
➔ The financial resources they will direct and how work should be commissioned and
controlled to meet agreed objectives
➔ The knowledge, information and data management issues that must be addressed through
this investment, to deliver the outcomes Bristol needs
➔ The technology architecture that will enable the capture, storage, sharing and processing of
data, information and knowledge, across boundaries
➔ The IS&T organisation required to design, create and operate the new infrastructure and
services, and the skills staff and managers need to use it
For each area we also define a set of strategic principles that will guide decision making and
choice between options. Finally we define a programme management approach to delivery of the
IS&T Strategy, and the measures that will be used to evaluate success.

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2 The IS&T Strategy 2007-2010


The end goal of the IS&T Strategy is to have new tools and capabilities in place, so that the
council can work with its partners to improve outcomes for citizens. To achieve this goal we need
to change a number of elements.

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Fig. 1: Five elements of the IS&T Strategy


Technology itself is only one part of the solution. Managing information, and the systems through
which we access them plays a part, as does the way we commission and fund investments in
systems and technologies.
Perhaps the most important aspects though, are the leadership and governance arrangements
that will ensure the Strategy is implemented, and the individuals within the organisation who will
make it happen.

2.1 Leadership and Governance

2.1.1 Introduce Leadership for Information Management


UK Central Government has recently followed the lead of many large organisations globally, and
split the leadership of IS&T between Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Technology Officer
(CTO) roles. The CIO and CTO Councils are defining the Transformational Government agenda,
including a new technology architecture and standards for the public sector.
CIOs are concerned with the business goals of the organisation, and the information it needs to
achieve them. They are typically judged on their effectiveness at enabling the organisation to meet
new challenges and take opportunities when they are available. They lead on Information
Management.
The CTO is concerned with implementing and maintaining the systems and technology that the
organisation will use to capture, store, and process information. They are judged on their
effectiveness at providing a robust, effective infrastructure that is seen to provide value for money.
They lead on Technology Architecture.
The council has historically expected the Head of ICT to provide a low cost, reliable infrastructure,
but has not seen the role as one of a CIO involved in defining and leading business change
programmes and projects. In part this reflects the still unfinished work of consolidating and
improving the basic IS&T infrastructure, that needs to be completed to give service managers
confidence.

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A number of leading Local Authorities have introduced CIOs as part of their redefinition of the way
that IS&T services are delivered, and the outcomes that they are expected to achieve.
Outcome Action Owner Priority Related Business
Drivers and
Objectives
Outcome 1: The council has a Action 1: Continue to develop a Head Major Value for money
clear point of accountability for reliable, effective, and value for of ICT Change One Council
the reliability and performance of money technology platform, and
it’s technology infrastructure. extend the internal shared
services model to Children and
Young Peoples Services (CYPS)
and schools.
Outcome 2: The council has a Action 2: Establish leadership CMT Major Customer Focus
clear focus of leadership for the and governance for information Change Continuous
use of IS&T to exploit management. change
opportunities and deliver service
improvements. New ways of
working
Value for money
One Council

2.1.2 Provide and Increase Capacity for Strategic Governance


Bristol’s senior management, across the council, need to re-engage with the task of thinking
strategically about the use of IS&T. This task was delegated to the Heads of central support
functions within departments, or the operational IS managers. These managers were committed
and active, but could not fully represent and commit resources for their departments. As a result
the council does not have the IS&T Service that it needs.
The primary response to this issue is to constitute a new strategic decision making board
responsible for ensuring that:
➔ Investment in IS&T is aligned with the council’s strategic objectives
➔ The value of IS&T is being delivered
➔ IS&T risks are being managed
➔ IS&T resources are being used wisely
➔ IS&T performance is being measured
Outcome Action Owner Priority Related Business
Drivers and
Objectives
Outcome 3: Council-wide Action 3: Establish a senior CMT Major Customer focus
strategic thinking and plans for officers group to direct and Change Value for money
IS&T are actively championed monitor the IS&T Strategy
and driven from the top of the programme, under the overall One Council
organisation, ensuring that they direction of the Corporate
align with the vision for Bristol. Management Team.

This group of senior officers will consider the business interests of the council and the strategic
capabilities required from IS&T, not the specifics of what technology to use or how the ICT Service
is organised and managed. The group will be led by a Chief Officer and include the Executive
Member with responsibility for IS&T.

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Underpinning this, all departments will nominate System Champions, senior managers who are
responsible for a system or set of systems that support a business/service area. They will ensure
on a continuing basis that systems are fit for purpose and value for money, and be the final
decision maker on all significant investment decisions.

2.1.3 Strategic principles for Leadership and Governance:


➔ The strategic direction of IS&T in Bristol is set by CMT and Cabinet, for the whole council,
and provides a framework for action and decision-making by departments and service units.
➔ The primary objective of investment in and use of ICT is to improve the quality and cost-
effectiveness of front-line service delivery
➔ The Head of ICT is accountable for provision of a reliable, effective and value for money
council-wide technology infrastructure.
➔ Governance of IS&T is vested in the Business Transformation Group
➔ Departmental System Champions are responsible for ensuring that investments in
information systems are explicitly planned and that council-wide infrastructure is leveraged.

2.2 IT Commissioning and Financing

2.2.1 Create New Ways to Fund Council-wide Infrastructure


The past three years have seen attempts to introduce a number of core infrastructure
components within the current funding and commissioning structures. In most cases it has been
difficult or impossible to establish these components as a corporate resource due to the lack of
central funding mechanisms and the fact that Departments have been able to choose not to
participate.
Moving away from “departmentalism” and a piecemeal, service by service approach will enable
reduced unit costs via “Enterprise” licencing. Reduced unit costs can in turn accelerate adoption
and increase the impact of corporate tools.
Outcome Action Owner Priority Related Business
Drivers and
Objectives
Outcome 4: Financial barriers to Action 4: Develop a more Head of Major Value for money
deploying the tools to support joined up approach to Finance Change One Council
effective change are removed, investment in technology which
and the overall cost of procuring provides capacity for both
them is reduced. scheduled upgrades/refresh and
more innovative Council wide
new technology investment
which will support change and
enable efficiency savings

The basic platform that staff use to access information – desktop PCs, the Intranet and Internet,
telephones – will continue to be provided as services for a yearly charge. Service costs will cover
both the procurement of the assets, and the total life-cycle of support and defined upgrades. The
IS&T Service will ensure that costs are transparent and that services are value for money.

2.2.2 Improve the Effectiveness of IS&T Commissioning


Bristol City Council is in the process of maturing its approach to commissioning work and
negotiating between priorities for investment.

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The control and visibility of work on IS&T has been improved through departmental Programme
Boards that review and monitor all change projects, and the ongoing implementation of the Bristol
Project Manager standards. A new common approach to developing and assessing business
cases is being promoted that will further strengthen the maturity of our processes, and the
success of our projects.
Only projects with approved business cases are accepted by the IS&T Service, ensuring that we
are “doing the right projects.” As part of this adoption of a common business case format, Bristol
needs to develop a good understanding of the difference between low-cost and value for money.
As the CPA report highlights, we need to improve the consistency of delivering value for money.
If all projects have strong business cases, the council will need a clear framework for assessing
relative priorities. The CPA report commended Bristol for its new willingness to make hard
decisions and re-direct investments in relation to public services. The same approach is required
internally.
This commissioning and prioritising role must be performed by service managers, with the support
of IS&T managers. It is a business responsibility, not a technical one. As such it goes hand in
hand with efforts to improve IS&T governance in the council.
Outcome Action Owner Priority Related Business
Drivers and
Objectives
Outcome 5: The most important Action 5: Develop and adopt Senior Improved Customer focus
service outcomes are delivered mechanisms to determine Officers Service Value for money
first, making best use of available relative priorities between Group
resources. Priorities are set by projects, to guide resource (3.1.2) One Council
strategic managers, not allocation.
technicians.

Decisions about commissioning new work, and choosing between projects, are difficult now due to
lack of information about the current programme and resource commitments. We need to provide
the raw information for prioritising decisions, in the form of an ongoing work programme and
resource availability report. The cross-departmental Project Support Office community is working
to define systems to support these aims and the IS&T Service will work with colleagues from the
Project Management Community of Practice to develop processes and systems that can capture
and report on the pipeline of project work.

2.2.3 Strategic Principles for Commissioning & Financing:


➔ Infrastructure and services that must be available council-wide will be funded through a
central budget.
➔ All projects, and therefore all significant IS&T developments/investment will be the subject of
robust business cases and project management.
➔ Decisions between choices for investment amongst business change projects will be made
on the basis of the council's service priorities, not IS&T criteria.

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2.3 Knowledge, information and data management

2.3.1 Develop Effective Information Management


Staff and managers in a transformed council manage knowledge, information and data effectively,
enabling customer focus, evidence based decision making, multi-disciplinary, and new ways of
working – within the council and across partnerships.
Knowledge enables us to make the right choices between options for action, as we change our
services to deliver better outcomes. Knowledge is based on having access to the right information
– about customer needs and entitlements, financial and human resource requirements and the
available capacity. Information is data in context – and is therefore only as good as the raw data
we capture and store.
Unless we manage data, information and knowledge effectively, improvements in leadership,
governance, commissioning and investment will not affect day to day service. We also need to
understand what core data must be accessible to which systems, how information flows across
organisational boundaries, and what tools we need to support knowledge sharing, in order to
design the right technology architecture.
Outcome Action Owner Priority Related Business
Drivers and
Objectives
Outcome 6: Information is Action 6: Implement the CAPITA Senior Major Multi-disciplinary
shared more easily and at lower improvement plan for CYPS Officers Change working
cost, both within the council and Information Systems, as a key Group Value for money
with partners. component of a Corporate (3.1.2)
Information Management
Strategy and develop a
comprehensive Information
Management Strategy, including
customer, finance, HR,
geographical and performance
information.

2.3.2 Have a Single Consistent Source for People and Property Data
Sharing information, internally or externally, drives us away from duplicate information sources,
towards a single consistent source for each core type of information. This does not necessarily
imply the creation of a new single citizen database, or the merger of all property information into
one system.
However it does imply the use of one standard format for each information type, e.g. BS7666 for
property data, and a commitment to ensuring consistency of data across existing sources. One
possible approach would be the development of a single system as the central point for accessing
citizen records, which are indexed to the diverse range of service specific data sources.
This activity aligns with existing priorities within the Customer Excellence Programme's “Access to
Bristol” (A2B) initiative.

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Outcome Action Owner Priority Related Business


Drivers and
Objectives
Outcome 7: Citizens’ interactions Action 7: Enable front-line staff Head Major Customer Focus
with the council are handled to resolve a higher percentage of of A2B Change Value for Money
effectively, and accurately, in the calls by providing them with a
minimum number of contacts. single view of the citizen, their One Council
entitlements and interactions with Effective
the council and develop a new Workforce
channels strategy

2.3.3 Improve Strategic Management of Major Information Systems


Bristol needs to conduct a broad review of Information Systems strategy. Many major systems
have been in use for years without a critical examination of their fitness for purpose and future
potential. Most line-of-business systems were chosen and implemented to meet the needs of a
single functional area. Many of the crosscutting corporate systems are, as noted in the
Transformational Government Strategy, “Cinderella areas” - well behind the private sector in
efficiency and effectiveness, but crucial to support better financial, personnel management and
policy/operational decision support.
A number of areas across the council are addressing this lack of strategic decision making
capability:
➔ A major review of the Corporate Financial Systems is underway, looking at systems used in
peer authorities, and investigating the issues with our own.
➔ Reviews of the HR and Payroll systems are planned – the CPA report highlighted workforce
planning as a weakness.
➔ Capita have reviewed the information systems in CYPS, in response to the critical JAR
report, poor standard of educational attainment, and need for an effective child protection
framework.
However, none of these systems can be considered in total isolation anymore, given the
importance of designing service delivery around the citizen and the potential for shared services. A
broader approach to information systems strategy is required and the IS&T Service have
undertaken a baseline investigation of all major systems, so as to create a strategic information
source to establish the ability for System Champions to take well-founded strategic decisions
about investment in the development or replacement of information systems.

2.3.4 Improve Bristol's Capacity for Evidence Based Decision Making


In addition to the operational aspects of Bristol’s line of business and corporate information
systems we need to review the IS&T required to support an effective approach to Performance
Management. The council holds large amounts of data, but it is not consistently translated into
usable information to support decisions about improving service performance.
The Corporate Performance and Improvement team already provide support for Managers in
defining information requirements and using management information effectively, but Bristol also
needs to develop a centre of expertise in the use of management information. The IS&T Service
have implemented a council-wide toolkit for extracting, analysing and reporting management
information from any system to any manager, so as to support this aim.

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2.3.5 Provide Tools for Online Collaboration Across the Council


At an operational level, Bristol has used a range of departmental and corporate Intranet websites
to record and share knowledge about procedures, standards, and services across the
organisation. Most of these websites have been static, one-way information publishing channels,
with low interactivity and a relatively formal approach to creating and approving content.
High-performing organisations are now investing in more effective online collaboration systems to
support knowledge sharing across communities of practice. These systems introduce easier
creation and sharing of both formal and informal knowledge, increasing the speed of knowledge
capture, and the breadth and depth of explicit “organisational memory”.
Outcome Action Owner Priority Related Business
Drivers and
Objectives
Outcome 8: Knowledge of Action 8: Strengthen the Head of Improved Continuous change
processes, standards, methods council's Intranet, including ICT Service Multi-disciplinary
and skills is captured, shared and implementing a range of working
can be found easily and quickly, appropriate knowledge
when required. management tools. New ways of
working
Effective
Workforce

2.3.6 Strategic Principles for Knowledge, Information & Data:


➔ The council will use systems, technology and open standards that facilitate the sharing of
information across organisational boundaries, both internal and with partner agencies.
➔ The council will have a single Citizen index
➔ The council will maintain a core set of standard, shared, council-wide information systems, to
provide a stable base for change:
 a financial system
 a geographic information system (GIS)
 HR information and payroll systems
 a customer relationship management (CRM) system
 a performance management system (KPIs)
 an enterprise reporting (business intelligence) platform
 a document image processing (DIP) system
 an electronic document and records management (EDRM) system
 Internet and Intranet websites
➔ Where the council is unable to standardise on one system, due to legacy or functional
requirements, it will specify the data interchange standards that must be followed to ensure
interoperability.
➔ The council will re-engineer business processes to work with best practice embodied in
standard systems, rather than tailoring systems to local practices.
➔ For its principal systems, the council will participate proactively in user-groups to achieve
maximum leverage over suppliers.

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2.4 Technology architecture


Our technology architecture developed historically in disconnected blocks, driven by tactical
issues, and as a result does not resemble the purposefully designed blueprint that the term
implies. Our infrastructure – the physical embodiment of the architecture – was constructed piece
by piece over many years, and represents the best we could achieve in the circumstances.
This became a serious impediment to service delivery, and drove the major standardisation
projects of the last 3 years that are now delivering common office tools and desktop services
across the council. We still have some work to do before the benefits of these projects are fully
realised.

2.4.1 Provide a Shared Toolkit for Change


To be more flexible and responsive as an organisation, we actually need more commonality,
simplicity and stability in our core IS&T components. Our current mass of varying, complex and
non-standard technologies makes it difficult to re-design, extend, or combine services to the
public.
We need to shift Bristol’s IS&T infrastructure from its current state to a position where the basic
platform is universal, and all the essential components for enabling business process improvement
are available to change programmes. By 2010 Bristol needs to have implemented a Business
Transformation Toolkit.

Fig. 2 - Business Transformation Toolkit

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This toolkit will sit on top of a common technology platform, and will be designed to interoperate
with existing and new business systems and core databases. It will be used within business
change projects, by IS&T professionals skilled in the design and implementation of business
process change.
Several components of the toolkit will directly support the council’s drive to reduce core buildings
to 8 sites, and increase flexible, mobile and remote working. Others will enable partnerships to
share information and services securely. In general, the toolkit will provide the means to support
re-engineered business processes, enabling efficiency savings and improved service quality to be
realised.
Outcome Action Owner Priority Related Business
Drivers and
Objectives
Outcome 9: Change projects are Action 9: Specify, procure and Head Major Customer focus
able to deploy standard tools to implement the components of a of ICT Change Continuous
enable efficient working practices, business transformation toolkit, change
more flexibility in time and place available Council-wide.
of service provision, and reduced Multi-disciplinary
unit costs. working
New ways of
working
Value for money
Effective
Workforce

2.4.2 Design a Technology Architecture to Support Change


In the next 3 years, implementing the Business Transformation Toolkit will require us to redraw our
technology architecture to meet its new purpose. We want to design for substitutability – the option
to choose to replace components to support new business goals or environments. Open standards
based interchange of data and open interfaces to integration tools and business process
automation (workflow) will be key criteria in product choice.
We have to overcome some challenges to succeed, including a strong resistance to standards
and commonality, in favour of multiple products to fit what are perceived to be unique
requirements. The needs of individual service units and the approach of system suppliers have
driven the technologies councils had to support. A clear message of the Transformational
Government Strategy is that this is no longer acceptable across the sector, let alone within a
single organisation.
A new version of the e-Government Interoperability Framework, and the forthcoming Enterprise
Architecture (currently being designed for Central Government by the CTO Council) signal a
strong intent to implement open standards to prevent future lock-in and reduce costs. Entering into
shared services arrangements in future will also require us to design our technical infrastructure to
support the secure exchange of data.
Leading councils are implementing this approach to technology architecture and Bristol should
learn from the best.

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IS&T Strategy Final 1.0 17 May 2007

Outcome Action Owner Priority Related Business


Drivers and
Objectives
Outcome 10: Introducing new Action 10: Design and Head of Improved Continuous
systems, connecting systems implement a new technology ICT Service change
together and changing the way architecture and infrastructure, Multi-disciplinary
services are physically delivered based on open industry working
is easier, and costs less to standards and stable
implement. “commodity” components. New ways of
working
Value for money
One Council
Effective
Workforce

2.4.3 Provide Good Quality Managed Desktop Software Tools


The introduction of a Managed Desktop during 2006-07 has identified a large range of desktop
applications in use across the council. Many of these different applications have the same purpose
and features, but the lack of control over purchasing and forward planning for version upgrades
has created a challenging problem in terms of managing costs of provision and support. The
council needs to consolidate wherever possible, reducing the mixture down to one or two options
that meet users needs and provide value for money.
Outcome Action Owner Priority Related Business
Drivers and
Objectives
Outcome 11: Users have access Action 11: Consolidate Head of Improved Value for money
to a standard set of desktop tools, desktop applications into a ICT Service One Council
that meet their needs, and standard set of core products.
provide value for money. Effective
Workforce

2.4.4 Provide technologies in support of flexible working


The new technology architecture and the planned expansion of free wireless access in the City
Centre through the “Connecting Bristol” strategy will provide an opportunity to develop both mobile
and wireless technologies to transform the way that Councillors work, enabling them to access
information where they need it, and improving the overall use of IS&T for conducting the process
of governing Bristol.
This same range of technology in the infrastructure and in the tools available for delivering
business applications will also enable more flexible working arrangements for council staff. In
particular, the use of home working and mobile working will increase, which has the potential to
improve effectiveness by delivering services where the citizen requires them, reduce inefficiencies
in how information is captured and used by staff, and support more efficient use of Council office
accommodation.

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Outcome Action Owner Priority Related Business


Drivers and
Objectives
Outcome 12: The way Action 12: Implement Head of Major Customer Focus
Councillors work and interact with technologies to enable home ICT Change Value for money
constituents is transformed, and mobile working, and
enabling them to access wireless access to information New Ways of
information where they need it, systems for elected members Working
and improving the use of IS&T for and the public in central Continuous
conducting the processes of Council buildings, the City Change
governing Bristol. Centre and a range of key
localities.
Outcome 13: The way staff work Action 13: Implement Head of Major Customer Focus
and interact with citizens is technologies to enable home ICT Change Value for money
transformed, enabling them to and mobile working, and
access information where they wireless access to information One Council
need it, allowing delivery of systems for staff. Effective
services where the citizen Workforce
requires them, and supporting Continuous
more efficient use of Council Change
office accommodation.

2.4.5 Strategic Principles for Technology Architecture


➔ The council will have a technology architecture based on international open standards and
national standards mandated by the e-GIF.
➔ The council will use Open Source technologies where it is confident that high-quality, reliable
and sustainable products are available that are functionally equivalent or better than
proprietary products
➔ The council will require new technology procurements and developments to adhere to the
technology architecture, to avoid vendor lock-in, increase flexibility and reduce costs.
➔ The council will maintain the following core council-wide infrastructure, to provide a stable
base for change:
 a Portal service
 an e-Forms service
 an Identity Management service
 a Workflow service
 Integration Middleware
 a managed desktop
 a server infrastructure
 a voice and data communications infrastructure

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2.5 Internal Organisation and Staff

2.5.1 Improve Council Staff Skills in the use of IS&T


Implementing new technology and new processes will only produce the outcomes we want if the
people who perform IS&T enabled processes learn the new skills and behaviours required of
them.
Mandatory minimum standards for ICT competence have been agreed by the Development,
Implementation & Delivery (DID) group, based on the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL)
– the internationally recognised standard for ICT user knowledge and skills. At present,
responsibility for the implementation of these standards has been left to individual managers and
no additional corporate investment or direction has been provided.
In the light of the new Cabinet and CMT determination to drive a step change through the
organisation, a more focused and active approach to ICT user literacy is necessary.
Outcome Action Owner Priority Related Business
Drivers and
Objectives
Outcome 14: Council staff are Action 14: Achieve agreed Head Major New ways of
more efficient using office minimum IS&T user of HR Change working
systems, doing more of their competencies by 2010. Value for money
existing work in less time, making
more time available for delivering Effective
services to citizens. Workforce

Alongside staff skills in using IS&T, the council needs to ensure that managers across services
are competent in getting the best out of their systems and technologies, in the same way that we
expect them to have financial, people management and other core competencies. The IS&T
Service have worked with HR and departmental managers to devise a new IS&T competence
within The Bristol Manager framework, which will be implemented in 2007/08.

2.5.2 Provide the Skills to Design and Implement Change


Implementing new technology will only produce the outcomes we want if the processes we operate
have been designed correctly – starting from the citizens’ needs and the outcomes we want. This
is often the role of Business Analysts - a function which is not currently well developed in the
council. Although progress has been made with Business Processing Re-engineering (BPR)
activities linked to the Customer Excellence Programme and Access to Bristol (A2B), there is also
a need for business analysis in the many other projects and service development initiatives.
Outcome Action Owner Priority Related Business
Drivers and
Objectives
Outcome 15: Business change Action 15: Establish a Council- Head of Major Customer focus
projects use skilled process wide capacity for business and ICT Change Continuous
redesign and change systems analysis. change
management specialists, making
them more effective and New ways of
increasing successful delivery of working
service outcomes. Value for money

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2.5.3 Change the Roles and Structure of the IS&T Service


The council will always need a firm foundation of well managed, reliable and cost-effective IS&T
services. However, on top of that platform, the council now requires the IS&T Service to support
transformational change, and to work in an engaged way with service managers, to highlight
opportunities based on the innovative use of technology. Service unit managers need to move
from viewing the IS&T Service as a reactive supplier, and use it as a partner. The IS&T service
needs to step up to this new role, and build trust and confidence.
The ICT Division's priority over the past 3-5 years has been to improve the quality and reliability of
the basic infrastructure, whilst establishing a clear link between the cost of technology services
and the charges paid by customers. As a result we expect the numbers of pure technician roles to
decrease over the next 3 years due to improved simplicity, standardisation and reliability of the
infrastructure, leading to fewer fault fixes, and easier provision or change of facilities.
We no longer develop new large scale systems, and expect all large systems to be procured in
future rather than built internally. This will lead to a decrease in the number of pure developers,
and an increase in the need for skills in new areas, such as building composite systems using
integration toolkits, implementing components of the Business Transformation Toolkit and
developing more efficient office automation. Developers will work closely with Business Analysts to
provide the systems that enable re-engineered business processes.
In contrast to these reductions in traditional technical roles, we expect that numbers will increase
in areas related to supporting and enabling business change: performing roles like business
analysis, account management, supplier/contract management, project management, programme
management and change management.
Changes to roles and competencies generate questions about the best way to organise the ICT &
IS teams across the council. The current structures and numbers of staff are the combination of a
formal blueprinting process within the 2001 Best Value Review of ICT, pragmatic implementation
choices forced by budgetary pressures and the impact of staff changes in the past few years.
There is scope for improvement within the existing organisational structures and processes. The
IS&T Service is addressing the need to improve through its Continuous Service Improvement
Plan, starting with the implementation of disciplines from the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) – the
global standard for best practice in IT Service Management.
Outcome Action Owner Priority Related Business
Drivers and
Objectives
Outcome 16: The IS&T Service Action 16: Change structures Head Improved Customer focus
has the right structures and roles and roles of the IS&T Service of ICT Service Continuous
to deliver the services required by where necessary to meet change
the council, its partners and customer requirements, improve
citizens of Bristol. quality and deliver value for Value for money
money.

Particular attention will be paid to capacity; the merits of locating roles near the business vs.
establishing a critical mass of common practice in the centre; shared culture and joint ownership of
problems and their solutions. Any organisational changes arising from the CYPS Review of
Management Information Systems will be addressed as part of this structural review of the IS&T
Service.
The experience of outsourcing infrastructure support will be carefully reviewed, in the light of
recent mixed experience in other councils. Research by the Society of IT Managers (Socitm) has

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IS&T Strategy Final 1.0 17 May 2007

shown that overall, expectations of lower costs are not borne out, and customer satisfaction with
an outsourced IT service is often low.
The clear common sense advice from this research is that you cannot outsource a problem and
expect it to be solved. Bristol must therefore establish a firm and stable foundation of technical
service delivery, effective governance and good supplier management skills before it can assess
the potential benefits of outsourcing significant elements of the IS&T Service. It must also decide
whether the main objective of outsourcing is to control and externalise costs, or to improve or
transform service quality and flexibility, as the two are usually mutually exclusive.

2.5.4 Keep IS&T Professional Skills up to date


The impact on IS&T staff of these major changes to existing roles and the introduction of new
specialisms must be managed well. The IS&T Service is committed to improving people's skills
and knowledge through a structured Career Progression Scheme (CPS). IS&T managers will
design a knowledge and skills development programme that ensures the service has the
professional competences required by the council.
Bristol City Council should also align its CPS with the development of the national “IT Profession”
arising from the Transformational Government Strategy, led by Central Government, and involving
the British Computer Society, National Computer Centre, e-Skills UK and Intellect (the UK high-
tech industry trade association).
Outcome Action Owner Priority Related Business
Drivers and
Objectives
Outcome 17: The IS&T Service Action 17: Implement a Head Improved Value for money
is staffed by professionals, with learning and development of ICT Service Effective
skills that meet national programme for the IS&T Workforce
competence standards. Service to meet national
competence standards.

2.5.5 Strategic Principles for Internal Organisation and Staff


➔ All Bristol staff must be competent in the use of ICT.
➔ All Bristol Managers must be competent in harnessing the use of technology to achieve
service objectives.
➔ The IS&T Service will operate through the right mixture of in-house and external sources, to
meet the council’s quality and cost expectations.
➔ The IS&T Service works to the ITIL framework for best practice in Service Management.
➔ The IS&T Service works to the industry standards for professionalism and competence set
by the British Computer Society and the Government IT Profession initiative.

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3 Delivering and Measuring the Impact of the IS&T Strategy


This IS&T Strategy will have no impact unless it is effectively delivered. Most of the outcomes and
actions have dependencies on others, so we need to take a Programme Management approach,
and ensure that benefits are realised from projects and activities in the service development plans
of the different groups responsible for IS&T services and other groups within Central Support
Services.
The IS&T Service will define a Programme Plan that sets several milestones within the next three
years, that will deliver benefits in phases. Each phase will be measurable against a set of
performance indicators, enabling the council to assess progress and direct any required changes.
• Critical to these measures are the Key Performance Indicators from the SOCITM UK2
benchmarking group of authorities, which assess the overall performance of the IS&T service
• Other external measures used will be citizen and client satisfaction surveys where IS&T
elements are significant in the results obtained
• Internal measures will include ICT performance against its SLA's, the annual employee survey,
competence measures for staff and managers, and other Financial or HR reports.
A roadmap for the actions in the Programme Plan that have been identified so far is attached as
Appendix 2

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4 Appendix 1 – High Level Action Plan


This Action Plan refers throughout to the “IS&T Service” which is intended to encompass all council staff providing specialist IS or IT services to
council staff and the public. Although staff are currently organised in a variety of separate central and departmental units, they have to work jointly to
deliver service to our customers, who should not have to understand or even be aware of our organisational structures – in the same way that
citizens should not have to understand the council to access public services.
Where the Strategy commits the IS&T Service to an outcome it should be understood that accountability for that outcome lies with the Head of ICT,
as the head of profession, but with collaborative support from IS Managers across the council. Specific responsibilities for the actions involved in
delivering the outcome will be agreed and distributed between the appropriate specialist teams as part of the detailed IS&T Strategy Action Plan.

4.1 Consolidated Table of Outcomes and High Level Actions


Outcome Action Owner Priority Related Business Drivers
and Objectives
Leadership & Governance
Outcome 1: The council has a clear point of Action 1: Continue to develop a reliable, effective, and Head of Major Value for money
accountability for the reliability and performance of it’s value for money technology platform, and extend the ICT Change One Council
technology infrastructure. internal shared services model to Children and Young
Peoples Services (CYPS) and schools.
Outcome 2: The council has a clear focus of Action 2: Establish leadership and governance for CMT Major Customer Focus
leadership for the use of IS&T to exploit opportunities information management. Change Continuous change
and deliver service improvements.
New ways of working
Value for money
One Council
Outcome 3: Council-wide strategic thinking and plans Action 3: Establish a senior officers group to direct CMT Major Customer focus
for IS&T are actively championed and driven from the and monitor the IS&T Strategy programme, under the Change Value for money
top of the organisation, ensuring that they align with overall direction of the Corporate Management Team.
the vision for Bristol. One Council

IT Commissioning & Financing


Outcome 4: Financial barriers to deploying the tools to Action 4: Develop a more joined up approach to Head of Major Value for money
support effective change are removed, and the overall investment in technology which provides capacity for Finance Change One Council
cost of procuring them is reduced. both scheduled upgrades/refresh and more innovative
Council wide new technology investment which will
support change and enable efficiency savings

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IS&T Strategy Draft 7 9 May 2007

Outcome Action Owner Priority Related Business Drivers


and Objectives
Outcome 5: The most important service outcomes are Action 5: Develop and adopt mechanisms to Senior Improved Customer focus
delivered first, making best use of available resources. determine relative priorities between projects, to guide Officers Service Value for money
Priorities are set by strategic managers, not resource allocation. Group
technicians. (Action 3) One Council

Knowledge, Information & Data Management


Outcome 6: Information is shared more easily and at Action 6: Implement the CAPITA improvement plan Senior Major Multi-disciplinary working
lower cost, both within the council and with partners. for CYPS Information Systems, as a key component of Officers Change Value for money
a Corporate Information Management Strategy and Group
develop a comprehensive Information Management (Action 3)
Strategy, including customer, finance, HR,
geographical and performance information.
Outcome 7: Citizens’ interactions with the council are Action 7: Enable front-line staff to resolve a higher Head of Major Customer Focus
handled effectively, and accurately, in the minimum percentage of calls by providing them with a single A2B Change Value for Money
number of contacts. view of the citizen, their entitlements and interactions
with the council and develop a new channels strategy One Council
Effective Workforce
Outcome 8: Knowledge of processes, standards, Action 8: Strengthen the council's Intranet, including Head of Improved Continuous change
methods and skills is captured, shared and can be implementing a range of appropriate knowledge ICT Service Multi-disciplinary working
found easily and quickly, when required. management tools.
New ways of working
Effective Workforce
Technology Architecture
Outcome 9: Change projects are able to deploy Action 9: Specify, procure and implement the Head of Major Customer focus
standard tools to enable efficient working practices, components of a business transformation toolkit, ICT Change Continuous change
more flexibility in time and place of service provision, available Council-wide.
and reduced unit costs. Multi-disciplinary working
New ways of working
Value for money
Effective Workforce

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Outcome Action Owner Priority Related Business Drivers


and Objectives
Outcome 10: Introducing new systems, connecting Action 10: Design and implement a new technology Head of Improved Customer focus
systems together and changing the way services are architecture and infrastructure, based on open industry ICT Service Continuous change
physically delivered is easier, and costs less to standards and stable “commodity” components.
implement. Multi-disciplinary working
New ways of working
Value for money
One Council
Effective Workforce
Outcome 11: Users have access to a standard set of Action 11: Consolidate desktop applications into a Head of Improved Value for money
desktop tools, that meet their needs, and provide value standard set of core products. ICT Service One Council
for money.
Effective Workforce
Outcome 12: The way Councillors work and interact Action 12: Implement technologies to enable home Head of Major Customer Focus
with constituents is transformed, enabling them to and mobile working, and wireless access to ICT Change Value for money
access information where they need it, and improving information systems for elected members and the
the use of IS&T for conducting the processes of public in central Council buildings, the City Centre and New Ways of Working
governing Bristol. a range of key localities. Continuous Change
Outcome 13: The way staff work and interact with Action 13: Implement technologies to enable home Head of Major Customer Focus
citizens is transformed, enabling them to access and mobile working, and wireless access to ICT Change Value for money
information where they need it, allowing delivery of information systems for staff.
services where the citizen requires them, and One Council
supporting more efficient use of Council office Effective Workforce
accommodation. Continuous Change
Internal Organisation & Staff
Outcome 14: Council staff are more efficient using Action 14: Achieve agreed minimum IS&T user Head of Major New ways of working
office systems, doing more of their existing work in competencies by 2010. HR Change Value for money
less time, making more time available for delivering
services to citizens. Effective Workforce

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Outcome Action Owner Priority Related Business Drivers


and Objectives
Outcome 15: Business change projects use skilled Action 15: Establish a Council-wide capacity for Head of Major Customer focus
process redesign and change management business and systems analysis. ICT Change Continuous change
specialists, making them more effective and increasing
successful delivery of service outcomes. New ways of working
Value for money
Outcome 16: The IS&T Service has the right Action 16: Change structures and roles of the IS&T Head of Improved Customer focus
structures and roles to deliver the services required by Service where necessary to meet customer ICT Service Continuous change
the council, its partners and citizens of Bristol. requirements, improve quality and deliver value for
money. Value for money

Outcome 17: The IS&T Service is staffed by Action 17: Implement a learning and development Head of Improved Value for money
professionals, with skills that meet national programme for the IS&T Service to meet national ICT Service Effective Workforce
competence standards. competence standards.

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4.2 Action Plan Status as at April 2007


This section gives a summary of current and planned actions under each key action area. It will be reviewed and updated regularly.
Leadership & Governance
Action Current status Responsible Progress
Action 1: Continue to develop a reliable, effective, and value for money Ongoing Head of ICT Stewart Long directing Novell Infrastructure and
technology platform, and extend the internal shared services model to Managed Desktop project, planned to complete in April
Children and Young Peoples Services (CYPS) and schools. 2007.
Action 2: Establish leadership and governance for information Not started CMT
management.
Action 3: Establish a senior officers group to direct and monitor the IS&T Ongoing CMT Business Transformation group established in Q3
Strategy programme, under the overall direction of the Corporate 2006, chaired by Ian Crawley. Proposal for Business
Management Team. Transformation Programme Board created in January
2007 to be taken forward by IC.
IT Commissioning and Finance
Action Current status Responsible Progress
Action 4: Develop a more joined up approach to investment in Not started Head of
technology which provides capacity for both scheduled upgrades/refresh Finance
and more innovative Council wide new technology investment which will
support change and enable efficiency savings.
Action 5: Develop and adopt mechanisms to determine relative priorities Not started Senior
between projects, to guide resource allocation. Officers group
Knowledge, Information and Data Management
Action Current status Responsible Progress
Action 6: Implement the CAPITA improvement plan for CYPS Not started Senior
Information Systems, as a key component of a Corporate Information Officers group
Management Strategy and develop a comprehensive Information
Management Strategy, including customer, finance, HR, geographical
and performance information.
Action 7: Enable front-line staff to resolve a higher percentage of calls by Not started Head of A2B
providing them with a single view of the citizen, their entitlements and
interactions with the council and develop a new channels strategy

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Action 8: Strengthen the council's Intranet, including implementing a Not started Head of ICT
range of appropriate knowledge management tools.
Technology Architecture
Action Current status Responsible Progress
Action 9: Specify, procure and implement the components of a business Started Head of ICT RSe surveyed key authorities in December 2006, ICT
transformation toolkit, available Council-wide. Strategy team have drafted a working paper that
develops the proposal in more detail. Work on e-
Forms, Enterprise Application Integration tools and
Workflow projects is at planning stage.
Action 10: Design and implement a new technology architecture and Started Head of ICT RSe surveyed key authorities in December 2006, ICT
infrastructure, based on open industry standards and stable “commodity” Strategy team researching industry analysts and high-
components. performing Government organisations implementing
new technology architectures. Strategic relationships
established with National Open Centre, Open Forum
Europe, and Deloittes. Key suppliers (IBM and Sun
initially) have been invited to offer guidance to the
council on open standards architectures.
Action 11: Consolidate desktop applications into a standard set of core Not started Head of ICT
products.
Action 12: Implement technologies to enable home and mobile working, Not started Head of ICT
and wireless access to information systems for elected members and the
public in central Council buildings, the City Centre and a range of key
localities.
Action 13: Implement technologies to enable home and mobile working, In progress Head of ICT
and wireless access to information systems for staff.
Internal Organisation and Staff
Action Current status Responsible Progress
Action 14: Achieve agreed minimum IS&T user competencies by 2010. Started Head of ICT Business case drafted.
Action 15: Establish a Council-wide capacity for business and systems Started Head of ICT Initial workshop held in January 2007, established
analysis. baseline situation, issues and vision. Identified a variety
of outline options for change.

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Action 16: Change structures and roles of the IS&T Service where Started Head of ICT Overall customer satisfaction measured using annual
necessary to meet customer requirements, improve quality and deliver Socitm survey in 2006, plus ongoing monthly surveys
value for money. of Service Desk performance. Benchmarked service
against Socitm national indicators in late 2006. ITIL
assessment done in 2006 and training programme
implemented. Continous service improvement
programme designed to improve performance against
customer priorities. CSS ICT SDPs for 2007 written to
align with CSIP.
Action 17: Implement a learning and development programme for the Not started Head of ICT
IS&T Service to meet national competence standards.
Not started = no work or planning has begun.
Started = first steps and planning begun.
In progress = planned work, well advanced.
Complete = outcome achieved.

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5 Appendix 2 - IS&T Strategy Programme Roadmap


IS&T Strategy 2007 2008 2009 2010
Programme

Steering
Leadership & Group
Governance
Establish
CIO Role

Business Corporate
IT Commissioning case Investment
& Financing Standards
Project prioritisation process

Information Management
Information Management Programme of work
needs established

Knowledge, CRM system Enable a single view of the citizen


Information &
Data Management New contact channels
CYPS review
CYPS improvement plan

Enterprise Strengthened Intranet


Reporting
Knowledge management tools

Technology Specify / Procure / Implement components of


Standard
Architecture Business Transformation Toolkit
Desktop
Flexible working capability and technology options

Core Consolidate desktop applications


Servers
Open technology architecture

User competencies programme


Internal IS&T
Organisation competence IS&T structure changes and staff development
and Staff standards Establish BA
capacity

Key: Current Capacity Priority 1 Priority 2


Acronyms: BA = Business Analysis
CIO = Chief Information Officer
CRM = Customer Relationship Management
CYPS = Children and Young People's Services
IS&T = Information Systems & Technology

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