Solving Local Government ICT Challenges with Interim Executives
- Deliver on community expectations of a consistent UX
- Keep pace with the fast-moving digital environment
- Streamline the complexity of service offerings
- Mitigate rapidly obsolete and costly solutions
- Combat increasing cyber security threats
- Break away from rigid ICT organisation models
- Take advantage of cloud-based computing opportunities
- Accelerate business units’ IT knowledge and capacity
- Fast-track delivery on data and analytics and information needs
In a rapidly evolving digital world, local governments need and want to react to community demand. The expectation of the community is that their local government will provide a consistent experience, whether it relates to library visits, rate payments, infant health, or pet registration. Similarly, once the community has provided their base information on identity, they expect that the council will recognise their past interactions and retrieve their history. The community is living in an interconnected world, where organisations are becoming digitally frictionless and have vast customer management solutions in place. Accordingly, community expectation is that their local government will deliver a seamlessly connected level of service.
Does your community expect seamless IT delivery from your council?
The challenge for most Local Government Associations (LGAs) is that while aging technology solutions may have been modified, they were not built from the ground up to efficiently navigate an evolving digital world. Council systems often operate in silos, mapped to individual business units, rather than a centralised ICT department to manage and operate across the organisation. The solution may have been built to meet segmented department needs without leveraging a holistic approach due to the time and cost savings involved in procuring and operating a solution without waiting for ICT. Seeking rapid results, it’s easy to interpret ICT as an impairment rather than a vehicle to facilitate efficient solutions.
How can we bring together the specialist knowledge of ICT with the speed demanded by evolving customer needs?
ICT departments have their own challenges. As the solutions they operate become obsolete, the cost and time to maintain a reasonable level of service escalate. Cyber security risks are increasing day by day, with the very real threat of community information being compromised or even the entire ICT solution being shut down by malicious viruses. In this environment, ICT departments seek to limit the possibility of any new services while they deal with the immediate challenges, which exacerbates the need for business units to introduce their own solutions, which in turn sees ICT departments becoming frustrated with a case of ‘Shadow IT’.
In most LGA’s the ICT department has been set up to operate in a command-and-control mindset, believing they are uniquely positioned to provide ICT solutions and protect the business areas from themselves.
Staff members in business units outside of ICT are increasingly IT literate. Further, in an increasingly cloud-based solution world, the need to have ICT departments involved in setting up and running solutions has diminished. IT vendors often bypass IT departments and ‘sell’ directly to business units. Solutions can be, and are, quickly implemented. This creates further silos in the organisation. Additionally, the valuable ‘data’ in those solutions can become isolated and often have integrity issues. e.g., address information for constituents can differ between disconnected solutions. Consequently, data mining to understand community needs and the ability to respond is diminished. Data that should be owned by the organisation is uncoordinated. Data and Analytics, vital in understanding and predicting community needs, becomes ineffective. Attempts further down the track to securely democratise (make available) all the data to the organisation will be expensive and will require extensive data manipulation and cleansing to realign.
What can Gig Executive do for your organisation?
Our senior consultant can help you assess your organisation ICT maturity and the steps involved to move to an enabling ICT organisation focused on achieving your organisational strategy. It can be difficult to initiate a change management initiative from within IT. Resistance to change, loss of control, silos and politics are all pre-existing barriers to change. In addition, change fatigue, lack of resources, and narrow perspectives can be blockers to solution-building.
A Gig Executive who specialises in IT systems and has experience in local government change management initiatives can quickly sidestep many challenges and effectively break down cultural barriers to focus the teams on the collective light on the hill.
Ultimately, ICT must redesign itself for loss of control, beginning with a change of mission. This is a hard task for leaders already entwined in the current ‘way of working’. The IT department and its employees must shift their thinking, so they don’t so much “own IT as “enable” the use of ICT for people to better do their jobs.
A significant cultural change within ICT will be required, and ultimately the organisation must be convinced and fully trust that there is a change. It must be more than a simple reworking of an organisational model. An external change manager can provide a neutral position for meeting external best practice standards.
The reinvention of ICT as an enabling arm of the organisation will include a review of all the functions and support needed in a modern LGA environment rather than the functions performed by ICT today. Many of the services currently provided by ICT will be carved out and reinvented or cast away. Often this will include a services optimisation review. The ICT roadmap (if it exists) should include a view of all critical functions and when they will be refreshed. This review would identify solution overlaps with the objective of eliminating superfluous solutions. This exercise requires significant business involvement to engineer solutions with a strong focus on the end customer/community. Stage gates will need to be identified and decision-making responsibilities must be aligned for agility.
The eventual model should be determined on the basis of cost, control, flexibility and speed for the entire organisation and with a prime focus on achieving the organisational strategy. This future state is much like the Gig Executive operating model. Our talent pool of interim specialists is the enabler of a scalable, seamless, and interconnected future when it comes to accessing talent.
Reach out for a conversation today: email@example.com