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Revolutionising Local Authority Digital Transformation: An Outcomes Approach

In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, it’s crucial for local authorities to pivot from a technology-centric approach to one that prioritises outcomes. This was the central theme of a discussion panel that I chaired at the Connected North conference in April 2024, where the panel underscored the need for technology to serve as a tool to achieve specific, community-oriented goals rather than being an end in itself.

Technology Solutions Searching for Problems

Historically, the cycle of technology adoption has been led by the allure of innovation—every few years, a new wave of technology sweeps in, promising to revolutionise what we do and the way we live. For example, we now have local authorities dabbling in technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, 5G, Open RAN, and Edge Computing, to name a few without necessarily understanding their benefits or realising that alternative solutions might more effectively achieve their desired outcomes.

Although there is no doubt that technology innovation is highly important to demonstrate leadership and to stimulate economic activity, we often have advanced technology solutions searching for problems, creating unnecessary pressure on local authorities to adopt the latest technologies rather than addressing pre-existing needs or outcomes.

The insights from the panel discussion echoed this sentiment and noted a shift in approach moving from being technology-led to outcome-driven that we've also observed at Intelligens Consulting with our clients.

An Outcomes-Led Approach to Digital Transformation

This shift emphasises the importance of understanding the specific needs and challenges of communities before deciding on technology solutions. It’s about identifying local authority objectives and key outcomes and then leveraging technology to meet these objectives. To this end, to maximise their impact local authorities need to adopt an outcomes-led approach to digital transformation.

Intelligens Consulting defines three strategic pillars that need to be considered as part of a local authority's digital transformation as illustrated by the diagram and described below.

Figure 1 - Three strategic pillars that need to be considered as part of a local authority's digital transformation. Source: Intelligens Consulting, 2024.

  1. Operational Excellence: This element focuses on optimising internal operations to enhance fiscal health through cost reduction, revenue enhancement, and improved workforce productivity. Well planned and implemented digital technologies can achieve operational excellence with great effect.

  2. Enhanced Public Services: This captures the direct benefits to businesses and citizens through improved and efficient delivery of essential services like health and social care, education, waste, security, and transportation. It emphasises the role of digital tools in enriching community life and accessibility.

  3. Societal Impact: Lastly, achieving societal goals ties the digital transformation efforts to broader objectives such as environmental sustainability, social, digital and financial equity, and economic impact. By aligning digital strategies with these goals, local authorities can ensure that their technological advancements contribute to significant and meaningful community benefits. This approach not only fosters a positive public perception but also supports long-term community development and resilience.

A Structured Digital Transformation Programme That Delivers Upon Strategic Goals

Recognising that local authorities often lack the necessary knowledge, skills, and breadth of expertise to enhance their digital transformation efforts Intelligens Consulting has launched a structured Digital Transformation Programme. Through active collaboration we pinpoint the unique challenges and priorities of local authorities. This approach allows for the creation of tailored strategies and technology roadmaps that are not only aligned with the client’s specific needs but are also supported by robust business cases and hands-on implementation support.

This approach ensures that the devised solutions are executed effectively and that the clients receive continuous guidance throughout their digital transformation journey. By focusing on practical outcomes and sustainable change, Intelligens Consulting empowers its clients to harness the full potential of digital technologies in a manner that directly contributes to their strategic goals.

Intelligens Consulting has successfully led several high-impact digital transformation projects across various local authorities, demonstrating significant outcomes in terms of multimillion pound investment in digital infrastructure, multi-year costs savings and providing strategic direction.

In closing, the move towards outcome-driven technology marks a pivotal shift for local authorities and public bodies. Embracing this approach is key to ensuring that future innovations are purposeful and impactful. It's time to prioritise outcomes and rethink our approach to technology for the betterment of our communities.

About Intelligens Consulting

Intelligens Consulting is a multiple award-winning digital management consulting firm to investors, operators and the public sector. We provide strategic advice and practical assistance to client to leverage digital technologies to deliver identified outcomes. Contact us on should you wish to find out more about our Digital Transformation Programme or anything else discussed in this article. Find us on You Tube | LinkedIn or on our website.

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