It was great meeting so many people dedicated to driving digital transformation under one roof.

In the keynote address, Ben Cheetham gave a very honest account of how hard it actually is to make change happen, and offered some valuable insights from his experience working in various different local government organisations over the last 12 years:

  1. Councils have a lot of managers (around 360) to convince that change is good
  2. Networking is vital to make the drivers for change properly understood
  3. Be clear on the outcome because words are often misunderstood
  4. Make sure there is a clear narrative across teams

Ben is part of the local digital declaration team which is a collaboration unit of 15 people and over 180 councils with £7.5M of funding to:

  • design services that best meet the needs of citizens
  • challenge the technology market to offer the flexible tools and services we need
  • protect citizens’ privacy and security
  • deliver better value for money

During the panel session; Improving cost effectiveness: Successfully utilising ICT to save money, Cllr Amanda De Ryk, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources from Lewisham Council also mirrored some of Ben’s experiences of ways to ensure their digital strategy delivers across services.

Cllr Amanda De Ryk said good governance and excellent communicators who can explain complex subjects and be very truthful about expectations versus reality are critical to success. She also talked about the new challenge of revenue rather than capital funding of projects, and understanding the importance of the cycles of budgets, technology and elections when designing solutions.

We were keen to attend this summit to understand more about how we can aid in driving digital transformation within local government, a sector where as we learnt, adapts to change at a slower pace. If you're looking to empower your workforce with digital meetings and drive collaboration, contact us here.  

Gemma Walford

Written by Gemma Walford

Customer Success and Senior Product Consultant at Azeus Convene Europe

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