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Hertfordshire County Council

Digital and technology strategy 2023-27


Rapidly changing technology can help us provide more services digitally.
It allows us to improve how we do things for everyone, for example:


  • automating low value tasks frees staff to focus on bigger things
  • making services easily accessible opens them up to everyone
  • use of real-time data like live web feeds allows people to plan better, saves them time and travel.


For residents

For staff

For businesses and partners


2 women writing on a whiteboard

Customer experience and self-service

  • Usable, accessible, customer-friendly digital services – designed with an evidence-led, user-focussed approach.
  • Improved data sharing to avoid double-handling across different teams.
  • Customers only need to provide information to the council once.
  • Digital inclusion – we recognise not everyone has the skills or interest to engage online. We want people to prefer to use our digital services, but people who cannot get online will always have a non-digital way to contact us.


A woman working on a laptop



Data and decision-making

  • We'll use data to better predict future demand, for example, due to housing growth and population increase.
  • Design decisions are based on evidenced customer needs.
  • Services have easier access to accurate data to help improve.
  • We'll develop our use of data tools like Power BI to improve data quality in our systems, highlighting gaps and improving connections between data.


Technology and integration

  • A reduced / combined / rationalised set of systems and applications. We shouldn't have multiple tools to do the same thing.
  • Better integration between internal systems and with partners so the relevant information is immediately available to those who need it. 
  • Sustainable systems where possible (for example, lower emissions from our websites).
  • Reduce unsupported applications and databases to improve business continuity.
  • Robust systems and technology support from staff to reduce administrative time.
  • Provide high-quality digital infrastructure more quickly in Hertfordshire.
  • Improve how we make decisions around procurement, upgrades and decommissioning of systems. This is based on a better understanding of system capabilities, networks and areas of risk. 
  • Upgrade databases, our document management system, and social care software.


How we reached the themes in this strategy

  • 2 maturity assessment workshops to define areas of focus. This involved a range of stakeholders from web and digital leads in Hertfordshire County Council.
  • 6 vision workshops with service boards and Resources Management Board and 1 county councillor session to discuss:
    • services' strategic vision over 3-5 years
    • service outcomes to achieve over 1-2 years
    • digital opportunities.
  • Analyse the workshop outputs to find themes for the strategy.
  • Compile and prioritise a backlog of actions. Assign ‘Now, Next, Later’ timescales.




Knowledge and collaboration

Increase sharing of best practice and staff collaboration to increase digital knowledge and innovative service design.

Work with services to highlight opportunities for digital transformation and change.

Work with partners to collaborate and re-design services – for example, Herts Essex Digital Innovation Zone, district and borough councils, Local Digital Fund.


Customer experience and self-service

Share best practice across the council, including designing services from a customer perspective.

Encourage greater networking and collaboration between teams on digital projects.

Maintain and encourage best practice web and digital accessibility and usability.

Digital inclusion support and skills development for staff and residents.

Review and transform internal processes where they could be more efficient if done digitally.


Data and decision making

Create Hertfordshire County Council data strategy highlighting organisational and departmental objectives, goals and outcomes.

Establish proportionate internal governance to drive and report on digital activity.


Technology and integration

Continue to review our systems and applications with a view to reducing – we shouldn't have multiple tools to do the same thing.

Wider use of integration and automation –  identify areas to remove administrative effort and improve services through automation.

Introduce new tools and promote existing tools for staff – including enabling frontline workers.



Knowledge and collaboration

  • Communicate user-led service design to the organisation
  • Baseline staff and customer digital skills
  • Create and explain systems strategy
  • Rollout and embed Microsoft 365 products and functionality
  • Wider training to make best use of data tools like Power BI
  • Make better use of the intranet, SharePoint and non-digital comms, making it clear when each should be used
  • Better collaboration between teams and partners
  • Share councils portfolio of projects
  • Set up staff networking opportunities including show and tells and where teams discuss things they're working on with the wider organisation.



Customer experience and self-service

  • We'll update and improve our services based on customer feedback, needs and testing – rollout and embed approach to staff
  • We'll promote digital services first, but each service will have a non-digital equivalent for people who aren't online.
  • Recruit more people to citizen engagement panels to ensure all groups are represented.
  • Co-create digital governance with partners for Hertfordshire as a place
  • Ensure consistent use of 10 steps to running effective digital projects
  • Establish partner forums and regular feedback loop mechanism
  • Deliver joined up services for customers so they only have to provide information once 
  • Ensure duplicate contacts are managed effectively – e.g. complaints across teams, directors' offices and chief executive
  • Prioritise based on insight from performance metrics, customer improvement initiatives.



Data and decision-making

  • Define data ways of working so that the data strategy can be realised
  • Define the requirements for a corporate data sharing approach
  • Define what the organisation wants from its data
  • Corporately understand the importance of data across the lifecycle
  • Create data strategy
  • Embed and adopt data retention policy in all services 
  • Review and update project initiation and governance to include data design, management and governance 
  • Define corporate vs service reporting requirement
  • Independent data maturity assessment
  • Prioritise data to extract and design methodology to access that data
  • Define corporate vs service reporting requirement
  • Review contracts in terms of data ownership, defining opportunities to rationalise and improve governance



Technology and integration

  • Assess viability of moving applications to cloud 
  • Define RPA approach following pilot and subsequent trial cases
  • Standardise use of enterprise architecture within service design
  • Assess integration platform against business requirements – is it fit for purpose?




In the 2017-21 digital strategy, we focussed on these areas and achieved the following:

  1. Customer-facing services
  • Improved website leading to more people doing things online than ever before, for example:
    • blue badge applications rising from 25% to 90% online
    • waste improvements – van permits, opening hours widget, site cameras etc
    • events bookings system launched for adult and family learning
    • supported Adult Care Services Assistive Technology pilots and rollouts.


  1. Applications, processes, data and tools
  • Migrated services to the cloud where it improves business outcomes. 
  • Rolled out Teams to enable effective remote working.
  • Upgraded our Geographical Information Systems to enable smoother linking of data and facilitate better decision-making.
  • Launched a staff-led intranet including revised information and support for staff.
  • Rolled out paperless meetings and remote working.
  • Started rollout of improved reporting software (PowerBI).
  • Enhanced the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) system and introduced an online payment system for DBS check payments.


  1. Staff with the right skills, mindset and culture
  • Training available for staff to upskill to do their role effectively.
  • Launched online advice and awareness service to widen staff skills.
  • Provided staff with flexible and suitable equipment for their roles.
  • More systems, processes and tools for staff were designed and tested with staff input.
  • Use of data and insight to support prediction, prevention and target resources.


  1. Digital citizens
  • Improved connectivity and superfast broadband rollout.
  • Upgraded library networking infrastructure for staff and customers..
  • Libraries wi-fi and PC access supporting people to get online.
  • Libraries staff supporting residents to use online services.
  • Libraries and Step2Skills (adult and family learning) staff and volunteers delivering digital skills support.

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