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Solace highlights digital leadership debate

21/04/16

Society for Local Authority Chief Executives gets behind Digital Authority Forum

An increasing number of chief executives and senior managers in local government are taking the digital service agenda more seriously, according to the digital lead for the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (Solace).

DAF-logoCoventry chief executive, Martin Reeves, said that digital issues are now being seen as crucial in responding to the challenges of austerity and the opportunities in devolution – which is why the organisation is supporting the Digital Authority Forum, to be staged by the MJ and UKAuthority with the support of Solace and IEG4 in London next month.

“People used to think it was basically about technology, but they're now seeing that it is part of the mainstream,” he said.

“We survey chief executives and senior managers every year. If you ask a direct question 'Is digital driving what you do every day?' the answer would be no. But if you ask about embracing digital and data to deal with the challenges facing organisations, about going through austerity and developing more modern services, the answer will be yes.

“It's not about the technology, systems or platforms for the sake of it, but about harnessing it all to meet the challenges in everyday services, social care, economic growth.”

Data discussions

Reeves said the potential to find new uses for data in dealing with the demands is often the crucial feature for leaders, and that much of the discussion over the next couple of years will focus on issues such as who owns data and the appropriate frameworks for its use.

He added that Solace sees the Digital Authority Forum as a platform for discussions on how data and digital technology relates to the leadership of local authorities.

“It's a platform for robust exchanges not just within local government, but across central government, agencies, academics and the commercial sector,” he said.

The Digital Authority Forum takes place at 15Hatfields, close to Waterloo in London on 26 May. It will be an interactive, day-long conference that will help to shape the future of digital leadership across local government. More information and registration details can be found here.

 

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