Essex County Council Digital Strategy
Jason Kitcat, the executive director of Essex county council’s corporate development, has broken with digital convention.
22:10 15 April 2019
Jason Kitcat has introduced a radical approach to digital delivery in local government. Instead of investing too much in digital strategies and digital teams, he proposes the integration of a range of disciplines into a single function focused on change.
He said: “Having a digital team or strategy, or innovation team, and all that stuff, essentially gets the rest of the organisation off the hook. It makes them think it’s not their job. Special people will deal with it. So my inclination was to mainstream it as much as possible.”
Kitcat’s team consists of 180 staff members that deliver user research, content and service design. The technology service team runs an IT service desk while its delivery team is responsible for programme and agile delivery management. The team’s strategic insight team covers data analytics, strategy, communication and partnerships.
“Across those capabilities and professions, we believe we have what you need to work on reimagining local government services for the internet age,” says Kitcat.
“Any organisation in the private or public sector needs to have sufficient in-house capability to own and lead its strategic intent, and technology is a core part of that,” he says. “You cannot be beholden to external forces for your core capabilities. We will obviously buy things in and use suppliers, but in a way that retains the agency, capability and strategic ownness in-house.”
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