Autumn 2019 HackIT update

I’m starting with a confession… It’s eleven months since I did my last ‘quarterly’ HackIT update. 🙁

But I’m committing to getting this back on track and my latest update on the work we’re delivering across our team is now available to read here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1loBpAkSQ5B4K8zrY_MmSd6s4A5FGJ_bO350pfKh7D8s.

There’s lots going on and it’s always hard to include everything that different people across the team are working on. Some headlines from recent months include:

  • A small squad of HackIT digital ninjas have successfully delivered the Council’s new website, running on WordPress. This will provide simpler, more user friendly access, at dramatically reduced cost, with design that builds on the work of the Government Digital Service. The new website platform also makes it easy to connect the Council’s online content to mobile apps, Alexa skills, voice-activation technology, chatbots or any other digital product that our residents and businesses prefer to use in future.
  • Our work with colleagues in Housing Needs to respond to the Homelessness Reduction Act has opened up exciting opportunities to go even further in designing services that provide excellent support for vulnerable residents.
  • Work to refresh the Council’s computing equipment is close to completion, providing all of our users with faster, easier to use and more resilient devices. This has included the introduction of a new ‘Grab n Go’ service, making it easy for any officer to access a portable device when they need one. This new service has already been used by c 1,000 users on over 4,400 occasions, with 94% positive satisfaction.
  • Hackney won the Information & Records Management Society Innovation of the Year award for the Council’s work on a digital service for Freedom of Information requests and Subject Access Requests.
  • Our Data & Insight team have been doing great work which includes using data to help develop the Council’s poverty reduction strategy, support our property and asset management work, and provide easier to access insight for managers across the organisation.
  • Hackney’s ‘cloud first’ model for access and security has been highlighted as an example of good practice by the Government Digital Service PSN team: https://www.gov.uk/government/case-studies/hackney-councils-approach-to-moving-to-a-cloud-first-model-from-the-psn.
  • The HackIT digital apprenticeship programme has continued to develop well and further opportunities for apprenticeships (including part-time apprenticeships and work placements) are being explored.
  • And through our work as a founder member of the London Office of Technology & Innovation (LOTI) we are working with other innovative councils across London to dramatically extend digital apprenticeships, provide seamless wifi across our offices, explore the potential for assistive technologies to help people live independently – and much more!
The organising themes for our work in HackIT

As well as delivering new work, it’s also essential to make sure that we are supporting our users well so that they can focus on delivering services for our residents. I’m very pleased to see that our users are continuing to report high levels of satisfaction and this was my favourite piece of user feedback:

I have made several calls over the last few months and have found the entire team to embody the Hackney values and I don’t say that lightly. I wish other teams could respond with similar verve and the obvious directive to resolve even the simplest of issues without making the caller feel small.

There’s much more that we need to do, and the update includes details of some of the challenges that we need to address. I’ll try to make sure that I report back in a more timely fashion next quarter to share details of how we are progressing.

Rob Miller, Director ICT
@robmiller31

Want to find out more about the work we’re doing in HackIT and ways to get involved?

  • Details of the projects that we’re delivering are published on Pipeline
  • Opportunities to sell services to support our projects are published on the Digital Marketplace
  • Career opportunities in our team are published on HackIT.org.uk
  • And you can follow our project weeknotes on our blog and Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.