In the coming year Kent County Council’s (KCC) IT group aims to expand its role within the organisation from a purely support service to a more visionary remit, showing how technology can be used to do things quicker, slicker and cheaper.

KCC aims to deliver tailor-made services for its customers, which will mean ensuring that the diversity of service provision is maintained and extended. Increasing the profile and accessibility of services via electronic channels to individual citizens, business, public and private sector partners and voluntary agencies will be a key step towards meeting this aim. Last year the council provided a number of technology-based services to the community including a social care service self-assessment website, a webcast of a full county council meeting, and a monitoring service, Telecare, which is linked to a response centre offering immediate help when needed. It is also testing a new way of providing fully functional services in a shopping centre environment. KCC has developed the Ashford Gateway project with key partners to ensure that it provides something for everyone. The Council believes the future of KCC services lies in the intelligent application of technology to create a quality customer experience, and enrich its relationship with Kent’s citizens. IT allows it to make the right use of technology to support staff in creating flexible customer-driven services. “The IT group has moved from a supportive, reactionary unit, to being a service leader and dynamic service provider,” says David Cockburn, the Council's director of business solutions and policy.