Will Cornwall’s Digital Strategy Encourage Community Collaboration?
Cornwall Council has adopted a new digital strategy which includes plans for an open data portal, more automation, cloud migration, a payment portal and a ‘people’s platform’. Housing Industry Leaders explores the strategy and looks at how it will encourage community collaboration.

The strategy involves seven themes around familiar trends in the digital public sector, these include an increase in online self-service capabilities for the public, breaking down data siloes to provide a single view of the customer and building internal digital skills and adopting tools.

It also includes the digitalisation of processes, increasing the use of cloud infrastructure, building IT resilience and security, and encouraging a culture of innovation.

Plans for its delivery have been categorised into ambitions with three horizon periods, with the first being covered in the next year.

Encouraging Community Collaboration In Cornwall Is Essential

One feature of Cornwall’s strategy is the closure of the council’s data centres and decommissioning of some legacy systems as more services are moved to the Azure cloud, this is expected to strengthen operational resilience and help to reduce the council’s carbon footprint.

In addition to this, another feature that will encourage community collaboration is customer service, with measures such as the adoption of a new identity platform based on Microsoft Azure, a new resident portal, an authenticated webchat process, an enquiries portal for councillors’ casework and a review of the process that sit on the legacy Lagan systems.

Within the first horizon, it will also see the launch of an open data portal, the development of standardised offerings to support hybrid working, a process automation framework, the wider adoption of chatbots and an increase in technology-enabled care.

Technology Will Be Used To Build Digital Capability Of The Council

Running after 12-14 months, the second horizon will see further work on the single view of the resident, the launch of a payment portal, increased use of Microsoft tools including Sharepoint and Power BI, and the establishment of an academy to build the digital and data capability of the council.

After this, the third horizon involves the development of a people’s platform for communities to solve their problems through collaboration, and increased data modelling and forecasting.

Also, there will be wider use of the IoT, with the development of a supporting strategy and architecture and the deployment of a technology platform. Due to this, work on proof of concepts in the care sector and for environmental purposes will be seen.

Currently, Cornwall is assessing options for the relevant commercial approach, it is said that this approach will have to invest to achieve its ambitions and outlines options for increasing internal budgets, developing a mixed economy of internal capacity and external contractors, finding a prime supplier, or taking on a strategic partner.