Socitm to launch local digital data sharing platform


Socitmhas announced it will set up a platform for its 1,650 members to share tools, data and expertise on how to improve local authorities’ use of internet and mobile technologies.

The public sector IT managers’ group has signed a two-year agreement with Knowledge Hub, a free-to-join UK platform for public service collaboration.

Socitm will implement the hub’s ‘Network’ facility, allowing it to set up and manage its own online community, which it said will include senior figures working in local public service IT and digital.

The need to improve digital services in local government is a hot topic at the moment. The budget last month promised Whitehall departments and local government will work together to improve local digital services.

The Labour party has said it will set up “local digital factories” to build and share software among councils.

Earlier this yearSocitm’s policy chief Martin Greenwood warned most councils are struggling to keep up to speed with digital and mobile tools. Councils are often held back by a lack of skills, resources and capability, he told ComputerworldUK.

However Greenwood suggested mindset may have a part to play too, arguing leadership, culture and a relentless focus on citizens are the key factors for successful local authorities.

The new Socitm hub will offer members with a chance “to connect with each other, participate in forums, receive group messages, post ideas and take part in quick polls”, the association said.

It will include a networking forum, regional meeting groups, a policy discussion area, access to research and an area where suppliers can access materials and contact Socitm staff.

Socitm will formally launch its new network at its Spring Conference in London on 23 April. There will be a phased rollout, culminating in the network being fully integrated with Socitm’s new website once it is launched.

"We previously had a number of disparate portals and online collaboration tools that weren't being effectively utilised. Many of our members are already familiar with Knowledge Hub as part of their day job or through its ongoing Web Improvement and Usage Community,” said Ian Singleton, head of member services at Socitm.

“That was a big positive for us, alongside with it being an open standards technology. Through our partnership with Knowledge Hub, we are confident of enhancing our membership offering by providing the digital tools that our members really need.”

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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