Digital Innovation within Local Government - Collaboration as a Shared Service

Chris Britton - 6 July 2017

Dr Seamus Strong, Objective Connect's Public Sector & Healthcare Industry Value Engineer based in the UK, recently published the following article on LinkedIn.

There will be some tough choices ahead for UK Councils, as with all public services, they will be expected to ‘do more for less’.

The two tiers of local government are responsible for widely varying services, for example; education, transport, development, public safety, social care, waste, tax and housing. Of course, there are also the usual internal operations such as; finance, HR, procurement etc...

Councils must scrutinise all their operations to deliver efficiency savings. While this represents a significant challenge, improved service delivery and efficiency go hand-in-hand with economic growth and good governance.

Critical to all the afore mentioned operations is the need to collaborate and share information. Often there will be wide variation in the collaborative solutions used by councils across business units (Secure email, CD/USB, Courier, Adhoc file sharing tools). This creates inefficiency and often unnecessary cost. It also represents great risk through what is termed ‘shadow IT’, making it impossible to enforce information governance.

I believe key to the prosperity of local government is the ability to showcase successful innovations, learning from others both locally and nationally.

In the spirit of showcasing successful transformation of business operations through digitisation, I want to highlight work that Glasgow City Council recently undertook to provide a collaboration platform as a shared service. Not only did this simplify their IT landscape, it meant that information governance could be applied to all operations. By adopting one platform, IT could provision a collaboration service to every department, allowing each business unit to manage their own environment and users, therefore removing the burden administration places on IT.

Clare Burke, Senior Information Governance Officer- ‘At Glasgow City Council (GCC) we recognised we had a strong need for collaboration with partners outside of our organisation. The Council frequently has to share a variety of information with external organisations often of a sensitive, personal, financial, commercial and political nature.

We required to procure a solution that would provide a platform to support our Data Sharing requirement securely, simply and flexibly. In addition, we established a need for a lightweight solution that would enable ad-hoc data sharing as well as a collaboration feature.

After a detailed market review to investigate the available services that would support this initiative, we chose Objective Connect as our GCC wide solution. Not only is Objective Connect UK hosted and secure (ISO 27001- Official Sensitive), but it’s easy to use and has full auditing tools.

We are Using Connect to manage large complex programmes with our partners outside of GCC and the time saving versus how we used to manage these process before Connect has been enormous.’

Objective Connect is a secure cloud collaboration platform that has transformed public services both locally and internationally within Government. The use cases span every form of collaborative process. Objective Connect can also integrate with document management systems, thus ensuring the strictest adherence to information governance, securely extending collaboration beyond your firewall.

For further information on how Objective Connect is enabling better governance and public service delivery, visit our local government specific webpage.

I would welcome the chance to speak to anyone within the public sector seeking to improve the way they operate through digital innovation. 



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