Glasgow aims to transform digital services with seven-year CGI deal

Scottish city announces big plans to ramp up online transactions, bring analytics into healthcare, and issue all children aged nine and over with tablets

Glasgow residents will benefit from investments including training 100 long-term unemployed people a year in software development  Credit: Oliver Clarke

Glasgow City Council has claimed its seven-year contract with CGI provides “an opportunity to completely redesign how we use technology to improve the lives of all Glaswegians”.

The systems integrator will work with the council to both support its internal IT systems and help it revamp infrastructure and deliver new and improved digital services. The council’s goal is to “dramatically increase the number of customer transactions that can be completed online”. 

The education space is one sector where the council expects the deal to have a big impact, including the creation of a Digital Learning team designed to create “the best technological learning environment in the country”. The programme will also see the creation of coding clubs and other tech-focused learning schemes.

Meanwhile all pupils from P6 – year 5 in England and Wales – and upwards will be issued with their own tablet device. CGI will also be delivering “major network improvements, to maximise digital access” for pupils.

The council said that the deal will also bring benefits to the city’s economy and jobs market, with 100 long-term unemployed citizens to be given software-development training each year. CGI and Glasgow will also work to “maximise the opportunity for local SMEs to benefit from contract spending”.

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In the healthcare space, the engagement will focus on boosting support for data analytics, and increasing the availability of technologies that could allow people to administer and receive care in their own homes.

The deal will also see a local social enterprise given computing devices that the council no longer needs and tasked with providing them to citizens who currently lack access to technology.  The city’s libraries will also be kitted out with improved high-speed wireless internet.

Glasgow City Council’s digital champion, councillor Angus Millar, 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.”

The council’s deal with CGI was theoretically approved in April, subject to the Canadian IT company completing a satisfactory full business case. This has now been achieved.

In the intervening seven months, Millar said that the council has worked 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”. A Workforce Board – chaired by Millar – has been created to oversee the project’s impact on staff.

CGI is already a significant player in the Scottish public sector, delivering services to local authorities in Edinburgh and the Scottish borders, as well as to the Scottish Government.


Sam Trendall

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