This Note is part of a series of Notes on key City issues to update City Council at the start of its 2018 – 2022 term.

Issue description


The use of technology, wireless devices, social media and collaboration tools for communication and information sharing by cities and their residents is growing. These changes are driving public expectation for services anytime, anywhere, on any channel and any device. There are opportunities for the City to use big data to improve efficiency and effectiveness across a broad range of government programs and a need to modernize systems to improve cost effectiveness and usability.

With tremendous expectations on City government, the City is working to improve how it deploys new capabilities and solutions.

Status


To ensure the City is well positioned to meet future needs, the Information and Technology (I&T) division is developing a technology strategy and roadmap. The roadmap will modernize and transform the City’s information technology environment, and set milestones and performance measures to assess progress in meeting the City’s short-term and long-term information technology goals.

Information and Technology has set the following priorities:

  • Driving City business transformation and innovation to improve the experience associated with the delivery of City programs and services
  • Improving the City’s business processes and systems with a focus on opportunities to streamline, integrate and deliver business value to City divisions
  • Ensuring a secure, reliable and high performing technology environment that is modernized and well-positioned to respond to growing business needs and resident demands

Background


As part of a City-wide 2018-2027 IT Portfolio Integrated Plan, key business programs and projects have been established including over 200 projects (active and future year) and a 10-year capital investment of over $580 million with an estimated $123 million return on investment.

The City’s IT governance and portfolio process assesses current and future year investments in technology on business value, return on investment, and cost-benefit, to address key modernization priorities across City programs and services.

The City’s key IT modernization programs and projects are large in scope and complexity and include:

  • 850 enterprise and business solutions and applications supported across the City
  • Over 17 million annual visits to the City website with access to City services online
  • 33,000 annual business application service requests
  • 29,000 users and 200,000 annual service desk calls and emails
  • 22,000 desktops & notebook computers, 4,000 multi-function printers
  • 700 City facilities networked, 3 data centres and 2,700 servers

Actions or Plans


Key actions to address the City’s short-term and long-term information technology needs include:

  1. Driving City business transformation and innovation to improve the service experience associated with the delivery of City programs and services
    • Online Service Delivery: Improving customer service by increasing online self-serve functions and more services through lower cost, readily available channels.
    • Case Management: Implementing enterprise solutions to better manage contact and interactions with residents and partners, supporting integrated customer service that improves ease of access to City information and services.
    • Employee Productivity: Transforming the digital employee work experience by introducing new capabilities that support office modernization and a more open and collaborative work environment.
  2. Improving the City’s business processes and systems with a focus on opportunities to streamline, integrate and deliver business value to clients
    • Work & Asset Management: Integrated enterprise work and asset management improving service levels, automating cross-divisional process integration, optimizing asset utilization and reducing costs across various categories including procurement of supplies, service coordination/delivery, asset maintenance, resource utilization.
    • Procurement & Supply Chain Transformation: To deliver fully online and warehouse ordering capabilities and category management.
    • Information Management & Business Intelligence: Providing readily accessible information and analytics to support enterprise-wide, decision making and meaningful reporting. Increasing capacity to conduct an in-depth analysis of data and extract root causes, hypothesis testing, trends, predictive forecasting.
    • Finance Transformation: Providing timely, simplified access to accurate financial management capabilities and relevant data that drives measurable strategic planning and quantified performance management across the City.
    • Time & Attendance and Payroll Transformation: Integrated staff scheduling with electronic time reporting and automated payroll processing functionality.
    • Open Data: Driving openness and transparency in government, the City has over 275 datasets and 1,300 data files published in Open Data, and launched a new Open Data Portal in 2018 with greater accessibility and transparency.
    • Civic Innovation Office: Providing citizen and resident-centric approaches to solutions through additional channels, this office created through the Bloomberg Philanthropies, delivers projects that create a more responsive government.
  1. Ensuring a secure, reliable and high performing technology environment that is modernized and well-positioned to respond to growing business needs and resident demands
    • Cloud Computing: The City is adopting cloud computing to enable the scalability and agility for business solutions to leverage cloud infrastructure and solutions. Cloud services provide flexibility and adaptability to respond to evolving business needs and citizen demands while ensuring a secure, reliable and high performing IT infrastructure.
    • Emerging Opportunities: Driving innovative initiatives such as expanding citizen internet connectivity, exploring opportunities around emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and Blockchain, and working with academia and other Canadian cities to drive expanded opportunities to apply the effective use of data to address City issues.
    • Cyber Security: Continue to ensure effective protection of the City’s digital information and service delivery with a strong cybersecurity program.
    • Smart City: I&T is driving strategic leadership in Smart City to realize opportunities for technology and data to optimize resources and enhance service quality and performance. Smart City efforts focus on addressing City issues such as poverty reduction, resiliency, bridging the digital divide, economic investment in Toronto and broadly addressing social, environmental and economic needs while ensuring digital technologies modernize and improve service delivery.

An agile and responsive IT Strategic Framework will drive value-added outcomes and modernization initiatives. Through the strategy, the City will be recognized as innovative, competitive, and vibrant, and supporting a high quality of life.

 

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