Innovation

London To Get ‘Office Of Technology And Innovation’

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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The centralised body is intended to coordinate digital programmes across the city and promote a culture of technology preparedness

London’s governing authorities are planning to set up a centralised body to coordinate technology projects and reduce duplication, and are currently looking for a supplier to carry out an initial ‘scoping exercise’ for the project.

The London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI) is intended to build on existing efforts and create new areas of joint working in the digital transformation of public services, city authorities said in a tender notice.

Business case

Representatives from the Greater London Authority (GLA), London councils and participating London boroughs are forming a project steering group and are looking for a supplier to establish the business case and potential operating model for LOTI.

“LOTI should increase sharing of good practice,” the notice states. “It should encourage the development and adoption of common standards and approaches from data to service design… As new and disruptive business models emerge, London’s public services need to be able to anticipate and be ready for future technology developments.”
london streets
The supplier should provide expertise in strategy, digital capability assessments and organisational change, the notice says.

LOTI is likely to be a “virtual organisation” rather than a physical space, with requirements including the reduction of duplicated efforts across councils and the promotion of “technology preparedness”, said GLA assistant director Andrew Collinge in a blog post.

“It seems increasingly pressing that public services adopt and share an anticipatory approach to the disruptive potential… of new business models emerging from the data and platform economies,” he wrote. “On-demand and sharing services, and the arrival of automation all need to be considered in the context of organisational change in public services and adoption by customers.”

Digital transformation

In many cases authorities are successfully working together in areas such as procurement, but “it feels that there is more potential to be unlocked,” he wrote.

On the other hand, he said a lack of overall coordination had led numerous bodies to replicate efforts over issues such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, “which have universal application and consequences”.

He noted collaborative efforts such as a London Office of Data Analytics pilot being carried out by the GLA and six boroughs, which could become part of LOTI’s broader focus.

“There is a sense that much greater things can be achieved, if we put our collective, collaborative, minds to it,” he wrote. “Far from being ‘digital dinosaurs’, among local councillors there is a growing appreciation of the transformative effect of all of data, digital and technology on the quality and efficiency of public services.”

data centreThe scoping exercise is intended to shape LOTI’s propositions, define a programme of work and develop the operating and governance models that could strengthen London’s public technology hand, Collinge said.

The deadline for suppliers to ask questions is this Wednesday, 10 May, with applications due the next week on 17 May.

Last week London mayor Sadiq Khan began soliciting for the city’s first Chief Digital Officer to help make London “the world’s leading ‘smart city’“, with a salary of £106,952 per annum and an interest-free bicycle loan, amongst other perks.

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