Porirua City Council has gone live with Datascape, Datacom's smart council and community cloud-based system, the first in New Zealand to do so.
Roy Baker, general manager corporate services and CFO at Porirua City Council, says the decision to go with Datascape is part of the council’s goal to become more customer centric and connected with the community.
“Our customer focus journey started two years ago and since then we’ve been working to make it easier for people to do business with us, and put the customer at the heart of everything we do,” says Baker.
We will be using Datascape and Antenno to move our systems and interactions with customers to a new level
“We started this journey with the launch of the council’s various websites. We will be using Datascape and Antenno to move our systems and interactions with customers to a new level."
He says Antenno’s go live has been seamless and the council has been getting great feedback from customers and staff. The app provides alerts on places and topics people care about, and allows people to report things directly to council.
“Online Services, particularly for building and resource consents, will address key issues for us, and Datascape’s functionality in these and other areas has meant we will be able to provide these services in a timeframe that was not possible with other approaches we considered,” says Baker, in a statement.
Mark Matijevic, director of local government solutions at Datacom, says Porirua City Council is the first customer in New Zealand to take up the entire Datascape suite.
The new system will include new online and intuitive ways to make payments using the new New Zealand open banking standards, as well as debit and credit card payments.
The opportunities presented by digitisation for bringing communities and councils closer together are massive, with the potential for great efficiencies and improvements in local government operations
Matijevic says an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system sits at the heart of Datascape, and will provide a far more complete view of the customer, enabling better service.
Designed for cloud computing, Datascape can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, and can be scaled up as needed.
Datascape is delivered via a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, making it very cost effective, says Matijevic.
He says the team at Porirua sees an opportunity in using Datascape to improve and evolve processes used by local governments in New Zealand.
At the same time, Matijevic points out the important role of business technology and digital leaders in ensuring the success of similar transformation programmes.
“Digital transformation at councils can be a challenge, and I think some aspects of this is due to the organisational structure of councils,” says Matijevic.
“The person responsible for the digital transformation of a council is usually the CIO, but this person is often a third or fourth-tier manager.
“I think this role needs to be elevated so they have the ability to see what is happening across multiple departments, and have the power to drive change across the whole council.
“It is a crucial digital transformation role and needs a strong voice on the council executive,” says Matijevic.
“The opportunities presented by digitisation for bringing communities and councils closer together are massive, with the potential for great efficiencies and improvements in local government operations.
“To make these happen we need to make a concerted effort to raise the profile, status and rank of CIOs within local government.”
Get the latest on digital transformation: Sign up for CIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, career tips, views and events. Follow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz
Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.