Glasgow Set to Revolutionise Digital Services with CGI Deal

A new deal struck with digital services firm CGI is expected to revolutionise Glasgow’s digital services, expanding them exponentially.

Less than two weeks after it was announced that Glasgow’s IoT infrastructure would be strengthened by another gateway, the city is looking to secure its position as Scotland’s smartest city by transforming its digital services.

Glasgow City Council has announced that it will enter a seven-year deal with consulting firm CGI – which already provides services for the City of Edinburgh and Scottish Borders Councils, as well as the Scottish Government.

Glasgow City Council has claimed that the deal will support its current systems, but also provide a foundation for future developments. One council spokesperson claimed that the new deal will “kick-start a step change in digital services required to support jobs, education, innovation and health for decades to come.”

Councillor Angus Millar, Glasgow City Council’s Digital Champion, said: “We have an opportunity to completely redesign how we use technology to improve the lives of all Glaswegians. From world-class digital learning in our schools, to protecting the health of our most vulnerable citizens – we need to innovate and be ready to embrace opportunities to use technology creatively to deliver for the city.

“Since approval of the outline business case in April, we have focused a great deal of attention on developing and refining the staffing model, to ensure the deal is right for the workforce and puts them right at the heart of driving forward change in our city.

“That includes establishing a Workforce Board, which I will chair, as a key part of the governance arrangements for the contract.”

The new deal covers multiple critical fields of local infrastructure. Areas slated to be improved include:

Education

  • Digital access will be improved through ‘major’ network improvements
  • A Digital Learning team will work to ensure that Glasgow’s pupils benefit from ‘world-class’ facilities and the best digital environment in Scotland
  • All pupils from P6 onwards will be given their own tablet device
  • New infrastructure will ensure that these tablets can be used at schools to learn
  • ‘Classrooms of the future’ will be introduced, ‘constantly evolving’ to meet the latest technological trends
  • Code clubs and other learning programmes will be introduced

Jobs & Business

  • Sponsoring software development training for 100 long-term unemployed persons every year, covering up to at least 700 Glaswegians
  • Delivering more connectivity to Glasgow’s incubators
  • Maximising the opportunities for local SMEs to benefit from contract spending

Health & Care

  • Increased support for data analysis will improve success rates in early intervention and better identify where assistive technology can help patients
  • Improved access to tech will mean more access for patients to delivery care services in their own home

Customer Service

  • By ‘dramatically’ improving the number of customer transactions processed online, it is hoped that customers’ demands will be better-met and costs reduced
  • Improved high-speed and wireless connectivity for the city’s libraries will allow ‘digitally-deprived’ citizens to access services and other residents to use their personal devices

Inclusion

  • Social enterprises will seek to ‘tackle the digital divide’ by putting decommissioned devices in the hands of those with diminished access to technology

Steve Thorn, President of CGI UK Operations, said: “This is a very exciting award for CGI and we are delighted to partner with Glasgow City Council on this journey to enable the digital transformation of public services throughout Glasgow.”

CGI already has a strong presence in the city, operating a centre of excellence for open source software development at Inovo Building in George Street. The firm is also looking to develop a ‘skilled city workforce’ in the longer-term, by offering employment and teaching classes to local young people, including a degree at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Glasgow Council has also confirmed that current staffing arrangements will ensure that current jobs, pay and pensions are protected. On top of this, CGI has added that it is willing to re-locate other staff should they wish.



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