How Can Local Authorities Use Enterprise Architecture To Work Better Together?

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In a recent presentation I attended by the London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI), the positive work being done to bring the best of digital, data and innovation to and across different London boroughs was very clear. The scale of the challenge and some of the pain points that have been experienced in the journey were also very apparent.

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Ben Beeching, EMEA Marketing Manager, MEGA International
MEGA International will be sponsoring the Virtual Enterprise Architecture and Business Process Management Conference 11-14 October 2021.

In this article, we look at the main priorities and workstreams involved in LOTI’s work, and examine how EA could benefit its objectives.

What is LOTI’s work all about?

The centrepiece of the project is City Tools: London, a report and interactive dashboard that maps technologies, contracts and skills across London’s boroughs. The objective is that by making this information transparent and easily accessible, boroughs will be able to identify new opportunities to collaborate and re-shape the government technology market and improve public service delivery for constituents.

City Tools: London showcases the various technologies used across London boroughs to deliver services to residents. The report outlines key findings and trends, describes several case studies and provides recommendations for the local, municipal and national government. This comprehensive mapping includes 809 IT systems and their respective contracts and identifies skill levels for peer training opportunities at each borough. This research is a starting point to enable possible collaborations between local authorities, identify opportunities for new entrants and innovators into the government technology market, and drive cost savings by coordinating contracts and leveraging borough’s collective bargaining power.

How is it split out?

The workstreams have been split into Digital Leadership, Sharing and Reusing, Better Partnerships, Embedding Standards, Data Collaboration, and Shared Experiments.

Digital Leadership – helping senior managers and political leaders develop their understanding and skills to make the most of digital, and building the digital skills pipeline.

Sharing and Reusing – this aims to facilitate better peer-to-peer sharing of needs, ideas, evidence, tools, patterns and code to build boroughs’ collective knowledge.

Better Partnerships – encouraging more effective collaboration, relationships and networks with suppliers, GovTech, TechforGood, universities and nonprofits.

Embedding Standards – supporting the adoption of useful technical standards and common approaches and practices.

Data Collaboration – supporting the adoption of useful technical standards and common approaches and practices.

Shared Experiments – Helping boroughs spread the risk, reduce the cost and accelerate their learning about new innovations.

What have been the challenges?

In compiling the data and research, LOTI have noticed common frustrations and pain points across several different boroughs that have not been resolved. One of the main issues is a lack of a solid, centralised evidence base on which to base decisions, with the result being that many decisions are taken anecdotally and in isolation.

One of the objectives of the project has therefore been to compile a database of all applications that the different boroughs are using for different functions and tasks, and to understand what technologies and cloud hosting providers are powering key service delivery functions and internal departments such as human resources and finance. Visibility of overlaps in functionality and when applications are going end of life has proven useful data upon which to base much more rigorous conversations within and between boroughs and within the broader public sector.

Where could Enterprise Architecture help?

With EA, LOTI could build a digital representation of the London boroughs by connecting business functions, IT, data, and risk perspectives in a single platform. It could select which connections need to be integrated and analysed immediately, while having the option to build upon this knowledge and scale over time on a single source of truth. 

The output would be actionable insights to facilitate collaboration with all stakeholders to on your each borough’s operating objectives.

Founded in 1991, MEGA International have been a global market leader for over ten years. We partner with customers to improve governance and accelerate transformation by leveraging technology. Rooted in our values, we believe that innovation, performance, agility and people are the keys to success – and together accelerate the creation of value.

Copyright Ben Beeching, EMEA Marketing Manager, MEGA International

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