About this strategy

“A truly digital council will be more connected and integrated, using digital to reimagine service delivery that is user-centric and meets users’ needs – with citizens, communities and businesses reaping the benefits.” Council of the Future: A digital guide for councillors – Tech UK 2018

This strategy sets out our ambition to transform from a council that makes good use of technology and provides a subset of services online, to a truly digital council – one which:

  • puts residents at the heart of how we design and deliver services, and prevent problems
  • responds rapidly to changes in technology, society and users’ needs
  • ethically applies user research and data intelligence throughout our decision making
  • engages openly online with the communities we serve
  • maximises the potential for digital innovation to enhance growth, opportunity for all, and quality of life in the borough
  • has a collaborative and creative culture, and operates with ever-increasing efficiency

Digital transformation is not about technology, it’s about changing the way people live and work.

This strategy is about how we will deliver the services and infrastructure our residents need in order to thrive and live happy, healthy lives in Croydon, now and for years to come. It’s about how we as a council can achieve more, with less, to serve our residents better and tailor how we deliver services to meet differing needs in our localities. It’s about creating a modern, sustainable town and borough that is a great place to live, work, play and do business, and about making sure we remain resilient and competitive in a rapidly changing world.

Definition of digital

When we say digital in this strategy, we mean the following widely accepted definition:

“Applying the culture, processes, business models and technologies of the internet era to respond to people’s raised expectations.” Tom Loosemore, Public Digital

Policy context

This digital strategy is an enabling document to the council’s Corporate Plan 2018-2022. Having a responsive, agile and user-centred digital service is key to the successful delivery of the council’s ambitions.

Six themes are discussed in the Corporate Plan which represent the council’s way of operating in the future. Digital contributes meaningfully to each:

  • Evidence is key
  • Preventing issues becoming problems
  • Locality matters
  • Residents drive what we do
By focusing on user needs, we will put residents at the heart of our approach to designing services that they want and need, enabling them to achieve their goals as quickly and efficiently as possible. As we transform our digital services we will create rapid, often real-time feedback loops, enabling services and underlying policy to be continuously improved based on evidence of how well they are meeting users’ needs.

Data science and new data analytics platforms enable evidence from multiple sources to be combined and interpreted in new ways, for better (sometimes automated and predictive) decision making. The council is already making good use of these new capabilities, developing dashboards to provide rich insights, and has plans to embed a culture of business intelligence to support our localities model.

Thirdly, through better use of digital engagement tools and social media, we can increase the scale and openness with which we engage residents in decisions that affect them.

  • A system wide approach
Digital enables collaboration across organisations and sectors to achieve shared outcomes, and collaboration is one of our main themes of this digital strategy.
  • Organisation design
Every part of the council workforce relies upon effective digital tools, and stands to benefit from the adoption of digital culture and ways of working in order to become a more adaptive, connected, mobile and collaborative organisation.