Digital Transformation Helps Community in Pandemic

Birmingham City Council started a digital transformation program in 2016. While organizations across the world are suffering, it seems to be flourishing in the pandemic. The credit goes to the digitization efforts. In this article at I-CIO, James Lawrence shares how digital transformation is helping the community in the epidemic.

COVID-19 and Digital Transformation

Birmingham City Council, the largest European local authority, is to finish its digital transformation program by 2021. Due to the initiative, citizens feel empowered with modern technologies, streamlined services, and smarter access to cloud-based databases. Director of digital and customer services, Peter Bishop remarked that the city’s 1.1 million inhabitants would have otherwise faced an economic meltdown. Here’s how digital transformation is helping Birmingham City Council to remain operational:

Increased Mobility

Council’s 11,000 employees can provide services from anywhere, thanks to the digitization program. They started shifting the necessary operations to an agile model in 2019. The rest of the shift was completed to address the social distancing rule. Workers are coordinating using collaborative tools. They can access previously restricted apps on their phones to productively cater to the citizens from home.

Letting Go of the Old

When lockdown started in the UK, the pace of the digital transformation increased. Bishop does not believe that Birmingham City Council would go back to the old ways of working. Since all workers are mobile, they are shutting down one of their administrative buildings. Employees can even post letters related to council tax, revenues, and benefits online. While Bishop wants ‘a truly digital council’ and has six urgencies to take care of, his office has challenges, like poverty, unemployment, and budget cuts. It is not possible to address all of them with one solution, so it is necessary to tie all the activities to align with specific standards.

The workers need proper supervision and data to work efficiently. The shift to integrable cloud-based ERP and HCM solutions has allowed top executives to seamlessly manage HR and finance data.

Use of Cloud-Based Services

The majority of the digital transformation was moving to cloud-based platforms like Microsoft and Oracle. However, the councilmen are still going to leverage 460 odd legacy apps. A hybrid model seems sensible since not all the apps can migrate to the cloud platforms. Now, it is the onus of the cloud service provider to upgrade, schedule, and handle the infrastructure and support the council employees.

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