The views of senior managers from Scottish local authorities have been challenged this week during a pioneering event focusing on digital technologies.

The ‘Delivering on Digital’ event, organised by the Digital Office for Scottish Local Government and Scotland Excel, and supported by business technology company DXC, explored the power of new technologies and how they can be applied to truly transform the way Scotland’s local authorities deliver their services. It was described by one of the organisers as intended to demonstrate the ‘art of the possible’.

Martyn Wallace, chief digital officer for Scottish Local Government, said: “Scotland’s local authorities are on a digital journey that will fundamentally change the way they provide services to their citizens and it is vital that our partners continually learn and benefit from each other’s digital transformation.

“Local authorities must embrace the fast-paced technological changes that are happening all around us and create an environment which supports the development of digital solutions to make a difference to people’s lives. Working with Scotland Excel and with support from DXC in hosting us, we’ve brought together key stakeholders from across local government to explore the ‘art of the possible’ and I look forward to seeing the projects and initiatives that come to light after this event.”

Delegates took part in interactive sessions and heard from keynote speakers from the sector and industry experts exploring the power of new technologies in three key areas and discussed their application in a local government environment. These areas included:

-How information from multiple sources can be brought together in real-time to support short-term tactical responses and long-term strategic decision making to increase efficiency and improve service delivery;

-How a citizen’s identity can be verified remotely, in a secure online environment, enabling councils to improve the efficiency of their processes and provide convenient access to services for citizens and;

-How the effectiveness and efficiency of mobile staff working with citizens in the community, can be improved through remote access to case work files and the ability to record and upload new data during visits.

The Digital Office for Scottish Local Government works in partnership with Scotland’s local authorities and other public-sector partners to drive digital transformation and execute a portfolio of collaborative initiatives and projects that exploit digital technologies.

Scotland Excel, the centre of procurement expertise for local government, supports these initiatives by helping councils source the goods and services they need through national collaborative frameworks, and harnessing the power of procurement to deliver economic and social impact across the country.

Hugh Carr, Scotland Excel’s head of strategic procurement, said: “Digital transformation is now fundamental to local government because of the advantages it will bring citizens. It’s not a ‘bolt on’, but something which is integral to how councils work across all service areas.

“New approaches can accelerate the pace of change. So can making better use of collaborative frameworks, innovative routes to market, and sharing knowledge among all council ICT teams to learn and benefit from each other. It was a pleasure to come together with our partners at the Digital Office to deliver our extremely worthwhile Delivering on Digital event.”

Delivering on Digital was supported by technology company DXC, who hosted a number of demos aiming to help delegates visualise and accelerate their organisation’s digital transformation journey.