Wiltshire Council is to use Microsoft technology to become one of the most cutting-edge councils in the country.
The One Microsoft Cloud Navigator plan will see the council offer more secure services to residents online, so they can be accessed at a time that suits them, while staff will also be contactable via official social media channels. The council will also be exploring how a bot may help their 470,000 residents with basic enquiries in a number of languages.
“This exciting programme will provide a convenient and safe way for our customers to interact with us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” said Philip Whitehead, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for finance and digital.
“Wiltshire residents are already using digital tools to access a range of private sector services, and as such we know that many people want their local authority to embrace digital transactions in a user-friendly way. We plan to embrace digital transformation and all the benefits it can bring.”
Wiltshire Council will use Microsoft Dynamics to draw more insights from the data produced by the new system in order to make better and faster decisions. IT processes will be adapted to help the council embrace the cloud and systems are kept secure, while some tasks will be automated to free up staff to help residents with more important issues.
Chris Perkins, Public Sector Lead at Microsoft UK, said: “I’m delighted that Wiltshire Council has chosen Microsoft to support them on their digital transformation journey. Azure has helped companies and organisations from a range of sectors adapt to the needs of their customers, and councils are no different.
“By embracing the cloud, Wiltshire Council will be able to serve the local community securely and efficiently. I’m looking forward to working with them to bring their digital vision to life.”
Research from Microsoft found that nearly half of UK bosses believe they have to embrace digital transformation or see their company fail within the next five years. Despite this, 49% of those surveyed said they feared the change that comes with such a project.
Whitehead said the benefits were obvious.
“As well as offering clear benefits for our customers, the development of more efficient and intuitive digital processes will empower our staff and transform the way we deliver services. The programme will drive significant savings, which will in turn enable us to ease the pressures on essential frontline services.”