Local government has a lot of data and information at its fingertips and there is much interest in how this can be used to help deliver better local services, and help resources go further.
In many places, that information could be used to make services fit people's needs more effectively and proactively. Technology will never be the answer to everything, but it is likely to be part of the answer for good local services in the future, as long as the priority is delivering for citizens.
But this 'Smart Local' or 'Smart City' sector changes fast, and there isn't yet a well-understood shared language to explain the opportunities. For city leaders and their staff, that can make it very hard to get an unbiased view to help them make informed decisions about new tools and approaches.
The British Standards Institute is therefore developing a set of tools to help guide decision-makers through this. They started with a guide to the terminology, a best practice framework for developing strategies, a concept model for sharing data, and then guidance on planning.
Now they have published an overview to help professionals in local government understand how to use this whole set of documents. While it is described as being for 'smart cities', many of the questions and situations are relevant to the whole range of local organisations.
The overview aims to show how places can take the first steps towards making new approaches work in ways that fit the real local conditions in different places. It also covers the role of technology, data and standards as tools, based on good practice from successful smart city initiatives.
It is based on real experiences. It has been developed from the practices developed in successful local initiatives in Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, and the Royal Borough of Greenwich, among other places.
You can download a free copy here: http://shop.bsigroup.com/forms/PASs/PD-8100-2015-Smart-cities-overview-Guide/