Smart leadership key to delivering innovative smart city services to citizens

Ohio, 9 July 2019: Introducing smart city initiatives in local government can be a challenge for leaders who are trying to drive digital transformation within their departments, reveals Civica’s recently published Changing Landscapes Report: How does local government prepare for innovation?

The report highlights the experience of three smart city industry leaders—Mike Stevens, Chief Innovation Officer, City of Columbus, Lance Salyers, President 5x5 Advisory Founder, Award Winning Prosecuting Attorney, Forbes Magazine Contributing Writer and Ralph Greco, Executive Director, Nationwide Center for Advanced, Customer Insights and Senior Lecturer, Department of Management Sciences with Ohio State University. The report also states that:

  • Digital transformation requires buy-in from all parties within local government and is critical to a successful outcome.
  • Proactively finding solutions to problems as opposed to providing solutions that do not have an impact on the city’s administration or citizens needs to be championed and rewarded. 
  • Use of data analytics to understand your department’s capabilities before embarking on a digital transformation. 

Inspiring innovation 

Inspiring innovation is a common theme within the report and all three leaders give practical advice on how to achieve this. Mike Stevens, Chief Innovation Officer, City of Columbus said: “Beyond the smart city initiatives, we need to develop an ‘Office of Innovation’ that integrates the work being done in the city departments, making city operations more efficient in order to deliver results for residents.” 

Lin Malott, CEO and Managing Director at Civica US, a division of Civica North America Inc., added that innovation is at the heart of all our partnerships with our customers and together we work towards a common goal of delivering the best technology experience for all our citizens. Outlining the example of Civica’s partnership with Cincinnati, she said, “An example of this is our partnership with Cincinnati where we have worked together to make incredible gains for the City in terms of increased tax revenue while ensuring that taxpayers are given the best service and options available for their situation. A win for everyone.”

Importance of innovation within local government 

Budget cuts, constantly-changing regulations and citizen’s ever-changing needs are the most common forces driving innovation in local government the report reveals.” The currents of life are moving on around us, whether we like it or not. Local government needs to understand that it lives in the same world, where citizens are accustom to continual innovations in technology to meet their daily needs”, said Lance Salyers.

Which projects will deliver the best results for your City? 

According to Ralph Greco, Executive Director, Nationwide Center for Advanced Customer Insights and senior Lecturer, Ohio State University believes using data analytics is critical when trying to understand how successful any project will be. “It is important to measure and document the value and insights associated with a piloted project. However, before an organization goes into data analytics, it must be prepared to provide accurate and consistent data called clean data”, Mr Greco concluded. 

Customers can use the report to assess their readiness for digital transformation using the checklists provided in the report. The report is available for download here.