Decision details

Strategic Change Programme

Decision Maker: Director of Resources

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


On 7 December 2021, the Policy and Resources Committee approved the Strategic Change Programme that set out the Councils response to the long-term opportunities emerging from COVID-19, transformation and regeneration, with the aim to create efficiencies and bridge the funding gap. Digital transformation is essential to the success of this activity, and we must deliver the solutions and capabilities that the Council needs, to realise its ambitions for the future, delivering effective and efficient services underpinned by resilient digital technology.


The report highlights phase one of this digital transformation which provides the infrastructure to ensure the Council had the foundations to enable the implementation of the Digital Transformation Programme, which sits alongside the Service Reviews as part of the Councils Strategic Change Programme.


Resolved – That


(1)  the commission of services from Microsoft at a cost of £1,378,513.09 on a call off contract for 12 months with an option for a 12- month extension be approved.

(2)  In consultation with the Chief Executive, it be agreed that the decision be excluded from removal of delegation and reconsideration by Policy and Resources Committee.

Reasons for the decision:

The Council has a vision to deliver a highly efficient data-driven authority with an increasing profile of services that are delivered using modern technology. The first stage of this journey requires the Council to invest in digital capability that optimises our operations and infrastructure. This initial investment will deliver operational enhancements which will form the basis of service innovation and transformation by leveraging existing Microsoft technologies and introducing new applications and capabilities to deliver process improvements through digitalisation and automation, a modern reporting platform and a more resilient infrastructure.


The key outcomes delivered through this first phase are set out below:


·  A secure, resilient, cloud-first infrastructure and operating model for Wirral

·  Defined cross-organisation Data Strategy enabling Wirral to become data-driven

·  Roadmap identifying how opportunities for improving the use of Council data, identified during Data Strategy development, could be delivered

·  Capability for Staff to self-serve data and analytical insights through analysing Wirral data across the organisation


The Council does not have the technical infrastructure or internal capabilities to leverage all the opportunities available to us through our commercial relationship with our strategic technology partner - Microsoft. This report proposes optimising our digital operations and infrastructure whilst developing a full business case.


The business will explore how by building on the work in Phase 1, the opportunities for enabling staff, further modernising how our residents engage with the Council, and transforming services through digital transformation.  The business case will set out both the business and cost benefits to undertaking this work.


This decision will enable the effective delivery of the phase 1 digital transformation project, that will support the long-term generation of savings and efficiencies as part of the Strategic Change Programme Service Reviews.


The work in Phase 1 will be purchased under the Crown Commercial Services G-Cloud 12 agreement.  This agreement comes to an end on 27 September 2022 following which prices will increase.  To ensure the Council can purchase under the G-Cloud 12 agreement and mitigate any cost increases under a new agreement this decision is to be excluded from removal of delegation and reconsideration by Policy and Resources Committee.


Alternative options considered:

The Council could decide not to invest in secure, resilient, cloud-first infrastructure, or support the development of the modern data platform but this approach could see the Council increase its vulnerability to future cyber-attack(s), and/or fail to realise the benefits that a modern data platform provides in integrating data from services across the council and partners, including the NHS.


The Council has invested in the Microsoft technologies but does not have the internal resource and capabilities to fully leverage the opportunities of this investment. In order for transformation change to occur so that future years savings can be made, the digital infrastructure foundations need to be in place to maximise the opportunities that digital transformation will bring. The Council could not take these initial opportunities which would result in partial change by piecemeal of services and not generate the savings required to support the Council’s financial sustainability.

Publication date: 26/08/2022

Date of decision: 26/08/2022

Accompanying Documents: