Manchester City Council is set to launch a new Digital and ICT Strategy focused on growing the city’s economy and establishing a secure new Digital Front Door for Council services.
As the city continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and react to the increasingly volatile current economic climate, digital technologies will be key to the city’s continued success.
For the next four years the Manchester Digital and ICT Strategy will focus on smarter use of technology and data to create a sustainable and resilient city with new and important opportunities for businesses, residents, the City Council and its partners.
As Mancunians have increasingly incorporated smart devices into their day to day lives the Council will harness these new behaviours to deliver a modern customer experience in dynamic and innovative ways, with improvements also felt by those using traditional methods of access.
A new focus on digital-first and cloud-first will underpin the need to do more with fewer resources, whilst continuing to tackle climate emergency and deliver social value. The strategy is already driving the replacement of end-of-life kit, saving over 63 tonnes of CO2 per year, with old equipment recycled to HMP Forest Bank (Salford) for teaching new engineering skills to prisoners ready for re-entry to work.
The Council will upskill its own workforce to ensure staff have the necessary skills to leverage new technologies and deliver digital services – emphasis will also be placed on how the Council can incorporate digital services across neighbourhoods, businesses and communities.
The use of data will also be prioritised, enabling directorates across the Council to access the information which will not only improve their services but deliver best value for money to residents.
Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, Executive Member for Finance and Resources said: “It is incredibly important that our digital offering keeps pace with the changing world. In Manchester we want to be a forward-facing city and make it easy and accessible for people to engage digitally with us and access our services.
“It is also important that as we continue through an incredibly difficult economic period, the Council adapts its services to be more efficient and to get more from ultimately fewer resources.”
Councillor Greg Stanton, Deputy Executive Member for Finance and Resources (Lead Member for ICT & Digital) said: “Digital will play a huge part in the future growth of Manchester. Not only is it essential in terms of our future economy and job creation, but it will also allow us, as a Council, to provide better and more efficient services to our residents through our Digital Front Door.
“We will also be focused on digital inclusivity and ensuring no one is left behind – this is about making technology and Council services more accessible. Our progressive ambitions will not only allow us to be better and more secure as a council, but by moving towards smarter technologies such as cloud-based systems we will also meet our ambitions to become a zero-carbon city.”