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City of Edinburgh announces digital strategy

07/10/20

Mark Say Managing Editor

City of Edinburgh Council has confirmed the adoption of its new digital strategy with an emphasis on its development as a smart city.

View of Edinburgh

The council’s policy and sustainability committee has approved the strategy, pointing to a focus on cloud based technologies and its smart city ambitions.

Prime elements of the strategy, which covers the period 2020-23, include using existing capabilities as much as possible under a ‘re-use before buy before build’ approach. It comes with a simplification of systems with an emphasis on cloud and subscription services, the development of a technology roadmap, placing data at the core, embedding security and supporting the council’s Adaption and Renewal programme

The smart city element refers to the use of internet of things sensors for managing assets, resources and services, with the development of a smart city operations centre.

Edinburgh intends to create a portfolio of smart city projects balancing impacts on the long and short term. These include the development of a structured innovation management framework and innovation toolkit, supporting incubator projects and developing the appropriate governance.

Other elements include making mobile and flexible working the standard rather than an option, maximising the council’s Microsoft platform for low code development, and exploiting the use of Teams for collaboration.

World leader ambition

Deputy Leader Cammy Day said: “We want to become a digital council and a world leading smart city, and this plan will help to get us there.

“At home and at work, we’re all increasing our use of technology to make our day to day lives simpler, greener and more connected. Likewise, digital is playing a major role in the way we operate as a council and we need to keep refreshing our approach so that we stay on top.

“We know that smarter technology helps us to provide even more user-friendly council services and better value for residents. This strategy will help us to keep advancing so that we can continue to meet the demands of a growing capital city like Edinburgh.”

The thinking behind the strategy was outlined by Day and the council’s director resources Stephen Moir in a UKAuthority interview last month, and the approval comes soon after Edinburgh agreed to extend its ICT services contract with CIC until 2029.

Image: Princes Street from Calton Hill, Edinburgh by Kevin Rae/Geograph.org.uk

 

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