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Draft Corporate Improvement Objective 2

We will ensure a more connected Mid Ulster where new technologies and ways of working, empower citizens to get the best services that matter to them.

Consultation Outcome

This objective links to theme one in Mid Ulster’s Community Plan, Economic Growth.

The outcomes aligned to this objective are:

  • we prosper in a stronger and more competitive economy
  • we will develop a framework/roadmap to optimise how the Council uses digital design and technology to work efficiently, collaborate, make informed decisions, adapt and innovate our service provision

Why We Are Doing It?

Since the start of the global pandemic, digital technologies has been the driving force for change in how we connect across the globe and with each other. COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on the lives and fortunes of every consumer. It has impacted on the way people live, work, study, have fun, connect, transact and communicate. We are a long way from business as usual these days, as many of us juggle work and home responsibilities, having video conferences interrupted by children, dogs barking and kitchen appliances whirring in the background.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also brought about a renewed focus on enhancing citizen and customer experiences, especially as more services must be delivered remotely. Customer experience is especially important for industries such as banking and finance, retail, supply chain, logistics, healthcare as well as local council service delivery and there is now an enhanced need to transform how these organisations engage with customers through digital platforms.

This increasing use of digital channels is here to stay. Citizens now have higher expectations of online council services and want a digital customer experience similar to that provided by retailers.

We want to harness the potential of digital design, data and technology to work efficiently, transform the relationship between residents and the Council, and make Mid Ulster a leading destination for sustainable growth, opportunity and quality of life. To embrace such opportunities we are developing a roadmap to define how our future use of technology and human resources will be optimised to enable the efficient delivery of our business and community priorities to the businesses and citizens of Mid Ulster.

Technology is only an enabler, transformation involves changing how we work, how we organise ourselves and how we serve our citizens. We will have real opportunities to radically rethink, and redesign our services, as we are move towards being a more agile and flexible organisation, as we make more efficient use of physical space and mobile technology.

We can and will learn lessons from innovative digital practice utilised as a response to the Pandemic. More of our high volume, low contacts that we deal with, should be completed at our customer’s convenience, enabling Council staff to focus on more completed and sensitive enquiries that benefit from the human touch. All of this can help us manage the rising cost and demand pressures the Council is facing.

Whist we want everyone to become digital citizens, we recognise that not all residents have the means or skills to take up digital. The council aims to grow and develop its digital inclusion work to provide skills and confidence in this area for staff, and our customers will always be able to speak to a person when they need to, and the person they speak to will be able to provide improved customer service. We will not leave anyone behind, however, we must continue to maximise technology to drive better services and lower delivery costs.

As a Council, we already offer online access in a number of areas, however we need to push further, faster with our digital approaches, data and technology, to ensure the district thrives through the fourth industrial revolution. The Council in order to make the right choices post-pandemic will need to think differently and crucially put citizens, data, insight, and technology at the heart of change.

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