Chief digital officers will be crucial for Scottish councils’ future, says PwC

22 Jun 16

Scottish councils will increasingly look to chief digital officers to ensure they are connecting with citizens, according to a new report.  

Research published today by Strategy&, PwC's strategy consulting business, suggests that issues such as agile working, data privacy and hosting, and cyber-security will become increasingly pressing for councils. 

Stewart Wilson, PwC in Scotland partner for digital transformation and Software as a Service (SaaS), said that digital is “an area that touches all departments”.

As such, a chief digital officer with the right mindset will be crucial in navigating this new landscape, he said. But choosing an appropriate person for the organisation may be difficult because different sectors face different digital challenges.

According to Wilson, this is particularly relevant for Scottish councils, 25 of which are currently searching for their first nationwide CDO to lead a ‘digital transformation partnership’. Applications for the role closed last week.

The report, titled The Right CDO for Your Company’s Future, proposes five “archetypes” of a chief digital officer, and who should hire them.

For example, ‘The Universalist’ would be suitable for organisations requiring a complete digital transformation that find themselves behind the curve in their efforts to adapt to the digital world.

Wilson also pointed to the results of another PwC report The Local State We’re In 2015, which he said “highlighted the public’s increasing desire for real-time digital engagement with councils”.

According to this research, only 23% of the public feel their council embraces digital opportunities and only 30% of people trust local government with their personal data.

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