London launches new dashboard to “re-shape” government technology

14th November 2019 Jonathan Andrews

The London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI) has released a new dashboard that maps technologies, contracts and skills across the UK capital’s 32 boroughs.

Called City Tools: London, the dashboard has been developed by Eden Smith, a local London tech company. It maps 809 IT systems and their contracts and aims to identify opportunities to collaborate and improve service delivery for Londoners. It is the first major project to come out of the newly-formed office.

A report by Bloomberg Associates was released that coincides with the dashboard identifies key findings and trends, describes several case studies, and provides recommendations for local, municipal and national government.

Although financial savings are an important goal of the project, Todd Asher, Deputy Principal of Media & Technology at Bloomberg Associates, told Cities Today that there are additional opportunities to improve service from existing vendors and increase local government buying power.

“City Tools: London also helps identify technology skills strengths at each borough in order to enable skills sharing between boroughs and to help expedite the transition to new technology solutions,” he said. “Sharing ideas and best practices will not only increase the speed of delivery but also the quality of product as tried-and-tested methods can be employed even by boroughs who have not done it before themselves.”

Further insights from the report and dashboard–which is publicly available to access and free to use–reveal that only 10 vendors account for more than 50 percent of the technology contracts acquired by participating boroughs. There was also a negative correlation between the number of suppliers and the level of satisfaction that boroughs reported.

“These findings highlight the need to expand the government technology marketplace and as Mary McKenna, serial entrepreneur, said on tonight’s Big Data LDN panel, ‘It’s the SMEs that are innovating in this space’,” said Asher. “Our hope is that the dashboard will facilitate more entrants into this important market segment.”

LOTI will maintain and keep the dashboard up-to-date and will develop it further as a service for London’s boroughs. The office’s members will be provided with additional information including how boroughs rate certain vendors and suppliers, as well as information regarding how they rate their internal IT skills capabilities.

Asher added that interest has already been shown by the UK government to consider expanding the use of the project to local authorities across the UK and that it equally could be a model for other local governments around the world.

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