Chapter 5

How to create your digital foundation

A digital foundation is not one thing, or another.

It’s a culmination of approaches coming together to enable the best outcome for the people you support.

You will need:

  • A unified technology approach, to enable collaboration.
  • Easy to use tools, to enable personalisation.
  • A cloud architecture, to underpin applications.

And what it looks like is largely dictated by two things:

  • Where you are today
  • Where you want to be tomorrow

Does this mean that by deploying productivity software like Microsoft 365 you have a digital foundation? Well, yes, and no. It’s certainly part of the digital equation…

Running productivity software for the organisation in the cloud – making it easier to scale up, or down – is sensible.

During the pandemic, it enabled many local authorities to scale up collaboration and service delivery, despite sending everyone to work from home. But it’s only one part.

Take Dorset Council for example…

In 2020, they set a target of saving £18million by 2024.

This they aim to achieve by following a four year, 38 project, transformation plan.

The 38 projects focus on removing effort, cost, and process duplication, and on delivering a modern omni-channel experience via a new digital platform.

This will enable Dorset to improve efficiency and delivery of frontline services to 380,000 residents.

“We've changed models and systems and processes to be customer focused, rather than implementing monolithic systems that meant the organisation or customers had to adapt to them.”

This transformation will allow Dorset to save and redirect budget and focus on other critical challenges.

Challenges such as reducing cost and carbon footprint. Or using evidence intelligence to direct decisions and deliver value. Or tackling digital exclusion to reduce social disadvantage.

“There is a chance for us to be commercial with a social purpose.”

With the right approach, building on a digital foundation can not only limit the impact of budgetary constraints, but also allow you to address key issues as they arise.