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Brent Housing Partnership – Digital Transformation

Digital First were commissioned to work with the Brent Housing Partnership to support its digital transformation, improve the overall customer and staff experience and delivery efficiencies through digitisation.

In developing the digital strategy we:

  • Undertook widespread staff and stakeholder engagement via digital transformation workshops
  • Assessed the options for digitising the customer front end and a wider assessment of the back office systems, data and integration opportunities
  • Developed a commercial business case for investment in a programme of digital transformation.
  • Produced a detailed design and specification of over 100 business processes and the including multiple integrations to create an end to end platform

Key outcomes achieved:

  • A clear technical roadmap for incremental digital transformation to create a new customer digital platform
  • Early rationalisation for the business applications portfolio generating over £200,000 per year in savings
  • Agile development of a new housing portal design to drive self-service and a richer customer experience
  • Production of a business case for change for a Dynamics 365 platform and wider savings of £600k annually – delivering an 18 month digital ROI

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Local Government Association – Shared Services and Transformation

ICT and digital strategy development, IT service delivery appraisal and procurement of new Teckal shared service for the Local Government Association. Back office review

  • Annual savings of £4m in back office and IT through new tech and ways of working
  • Success transition of failed outsource to new Teckal commercial shared service for IT
  • Development of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Platform

"Digital First set up and led the IT and back office Change Programme quickly demonstrating strong credibility with senior officers and political stakeholders, whilst delivering in a complex environment. Their energy and commitment drove the programme forward, working through emerging issues and challenges and got things done to deliver on time with financial savings exceeding the original business case and thus helps the LGA to meet its efficiency challenges"

Stephen Hughes, SRO, Local Government Association
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Institution of Mechanical Engineers – Digital Strategy, Design and Delivery

Digital First led the development of the Institution’s digital strategy including designing the programme for a new MS Dynamics Digital Platform, new tech infrastructure, membership service and new commercial digital product development.

The work involved significant staff, trustee and member engagement to build a picture of the priorities that mattered for the Institution.  The resulting strategy and commercial investment case set the basis for the design of a multi-streamed digital transformation programme covering digital platform, new tech infrastructure, people and change management, digital innovation and member inclusion.

In summary Digital First supported the following:

  • Development of strategy, commercial investment case and new tech roadmap
  • Client side support to procure a Dynamics 365 CRM and supporting platform and procure a new tech infrastructure partner
  • Business change call-off framework to support delivery of programme workstreams
  • helping to build and develop the new internal digital team

Key achievements

  • Creating and building momentum to help modernise the Institution
  • Building internal capacity and capability within a governance and delivery structure
  • Achieving early wins and enabling the institution to take full control of programme delivery
  • Digital ROI for the strategy with 3 year payback

Digital First bought energy, momentum and drive to the organisation to help us on our digital journey. Across a complex stakeholder environment they played a pivotal role in getting buy-in and ownership to a significant investment and a programme of digital change, enabling the Institution to become a more relevant organisation in its sector.

Chief Marketing Officer and SRO
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Harrow Council – Monetising My Community ePurse

My CeP

Social Care Marketplace

Commercial Brokerage – Business case

Innovative joint venture with IBM – Project Infinity

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Barnet Council – Efficiency and Transformation Programme

Efficiency & Transformation Programme

Shared Services Registers and Others

Social Care Marketplace

Personal Assistants

Commercialisation of Green Spaces

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Brent Council – Digital Strategy and Investment Case

Digital First supported Brent Council in creating and mobilising a Digital Strategy alongside and investment case to set up a digital transformation programme.

This work was designed to help align a series of existing customer services and other service initiatives, alongside any gaps in its approach, towards building a joined-up approach to taking forward the digital agenda.

We carried out an assessment of existing digital initiatives, developed the digital ROI investment case, engaging across the Council to identify the alignments, gaps, priorities and opportunities to further use digital technology to transform the Council.

We also did early research and strategic support on Digital Place to help the Council shape its thinking on the approaches to support local economic growth, digital skills development, IoT and other areas to help make Brent an attractive place to start-up, work and investment in a digital economy


  • Development of Brent’s Digital Strategy, fully endorsed and supported by the council
  • Set out the investment case for a programme of savings potentially £10m+ setting out immediate priorities for digital change.
  • Set up the skills and capacity needed by the council as part of creating a new Digital Services Team
  • Helped align its key initiatives across the council, shared service and housing services

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Thurrock Council – Commercial Review of IT Services Contract

Review of Outsourced contract

Review of Oracle Implementation

Implementation Plan for Digital Programme

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Northumberland County Council

Digital First led the establishment of an innovative commercial Digital Company (ArchDigital) for Northumberland and led the transition and start-up of the company. We secured £15m of EDRF and DEFRA funding to support SMEs embrace the digital economy potentially creating up to 2000 jobs.

We advised and led the prospectus development and soft market testing for the council’s Partnership of Place PPP, managing specialist resources and defining the procurement strategy for member consideration. We established the corporate programme office for the council’s transformation programmes of change introducing leading edge PPM methodologies and tools.

Northumberland now has one the the best super fast broadband coverage for a rural county across the UK

“DigitalFirst played a pivotal role in defining the digital ambition of the council, ensuring its digital infrastructure and broadband requirements across the county was able to support the promotion of jobs, enhance social inclusion and ensure economic prosperity. This programme of work has enabled Northumberland to extend its fibre broadband coverage, support its SME businesses and tackle issues of digital exclusion.”

Chief Executive. Northumberland County Council
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University of Leeds

The University of Leeds aims to offer a digital end-to-end student experience for new and in-study Under-Graduates and Post Graduates to create a competitive advantage amongst the Russell Group and other universities.  Students more than any want a digital, paperless experience and Leeds’ investment in a programme of change to use enabling digital, mobile and CRM technology to transform and create an integrated and richer customer experience helps achieve this goal.  Its ongoing aim is to built on this and become a more digital campus.

Digital First helped reset the focus of the change programme providing leadership and challenge to ensure its had the best partners and technology, alongside a structure programme of service redesign to move Leeds’ ambitions forward.


“This ambitious programme delivers a fully integrated end-to-end student experience that benefits students, academic colleagues and integrates the work of our student education support staff. In doing so this will protect and grow our revenue streams whilst delivering an important return on investment. This is the biggest and most exciting change programme in the University of Leeds recent history. The challenge and support we received helps us greatly on our journey."

Senior Responsible Officer & Pro Vice Chancellor
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Sunderland City Council

Sunderland is a leading digital council, with its software city concept. The Council needed to innovate and develop a new approach to handling big data. With this objective it created its requirements for an intelligence hub.

"Sunderland is moving towards an exciting new era of digital innovation and new forms of service delivery for our citizens. DigitalFirst have effectively supported us in defining and taking forward new concepts such as the creation of an intelligence hub and new shared service models to help bring new partnerships to the Council. This moves forward our digital agenda."

Mike Poulter, Head of Service Transformation
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