Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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Cabinet Decision: 27th September 2007
Title of Item/Report
ICT Strategy
Record of the Decision
Cabinet considered the ICT Strategy and the need for funds required to "pump prime" it.

Cabinet was informed that the Council had delivered its ICT services without having an overall strategy in place. Although this had been successful and achieved national e-government targets, the implementation of major systems, the certification to the international standards and very good performance in national benchmarking, it had meant that investments had been made on a tactical basis as opposed to being part of an overall strategic approach. Therefore, in the main, ICT investments had been made on a departmental projects basis as services promoted their own agendas. Although successful in implementation, this approach had delivered a large programme of predominantly service based ICT systems.

The development of technology was now so integral to the organisation it was time to ensure that a more robust strategic approach to ICT was utilised to drive through and deliver the changes required to meet the challenging agendas which faced the Council. Hence the need for an ICT Strategy.

The strategy would raise the profile and awareness of the importance of ICT investments and the governance which surrounded these, including benefits realisation. The strategy would also provide a robust and reliable technology architecture underpinning the Council which also acted as an enabler and catalyst for service delivery both within the Council and across its partners.

It was explained that the development of an ICT Strategy, external input was used to provide market intelligence and input on best practice in both public and private sectors. Facilitated sessions were held with the key stakeholders of CMT and all Service Group Management Teams. Individual meetings were also held with the Corporate Directors and Chief Executive. These sessions were aimed at gaining a wider understanding of service requirements and existing practice, and provided a challenge to views and processes. Ultimately a vision was extracted and developed, identifying actions for both ICT and the wider governance framework in which it operated. Through facilitation and information sharing with all Service Groups, the ICT Strategy had been developed from the requirements of the Service Improvement Plans, Business Unit Plans and the Council Plan which these ultimately supported. The strategy was endorsed by the Extended Management Team (CMT and Heads of Service)

The Strategy was provided to Members for consideration. In summary, it stated an overall aim of achieving improved strategic ICT investment and maximising the benefits in the following areas:

Secure remote and mobile working technologies at network and client levels

Sound and scalable technical ICT; designed to deliver integration

Robust information management and workflow across the Council and with our partners

Maximising the benefits from strategic ICT investments was both by the service areas themselves, in their drive to deliver service based improvements, and by the Council as a whole as it delivered complex partnering and change agendas. To deliver on these aims the strategy identified key themes for further development:

ICT Service Restructure - As part of the Stockton Darlington Partnership

ICT Governance - Adopting a set of strategic principles which would form the basis of the Council's ICT governance framework

ICT Investment - Funding strategic infrastructure and systems

Business Change Programme - Maximising the use of and exploiting the Council's new infrastructure and systems

Members noted that the ICT Strategy identified a number of initial capital and on-going revenue costs in relation to investments in technologies totalling 11.85m over a ten year period. However, the two areas of Client Technologies and Home Working were anticipated to be cash neutral as they displace existing costs within services. These represented 9.8m of the overall total.

The two remaining areas requiring investment were therefore; Workflow and Mobility Technologies. The business cases when developed for each would examine the detail of these investments, associated service improvements and savings. Currently the costs associated with these two areas had been estimated at 750K capital

RESOLVED that

1. the ICT Strategy be approved.

2. Members consider the funding requirements of the ICT Strategy when
approving the medium term financial plan and during the budget setting
process.
Reasons for the Decision
The need to have an ICT Strategy in place which directs and governs future ICT investments and projects.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
none
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
None
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Not later than midnight on Friday 5th October 2007
Attachment

Date of Publication: 01 October 2007


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