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Croydon Council partners with Rainmaker to shake up its IT

Croydon Council has employed digital transformation specialist Rainmaker to help it change the way it delivers IT over the next three years

Croydon Council has appointed Rainmaker as a strategic partner to help change the way it works and deliver a new ICT model, including implementing new capability and changing the way it procures IT, from a single supplier model to a mixed economy.

In an interview with Computer Weekly earlier this year, Croydon’s CIO Matthew Wallbridge said Croydon is “pretty good at IT”, but that it’s not good enough.

“I want ICT to be better than good, I want it to be great. I want us to deliver changes that makes a difference to people’s lives,” he said at the time.

To help with that, Croydon used the G-Cloud 9 framework to find digital transformation specialist Rainmaker, which will work to deploy the council’s “good to great programme”, which aims to design effective and efficient IT systems and programmes for both staff and local residents.

As previously reported by Computer Weekly, one key strand of this vision is about having the right suppliers in place. In 2017, Wallbridge submitted a report to the council’s cabinet on delivering a new ICT model for the authority – one that enables service change, “providing quick, flexible and cost-effective transformation”.

“We are looking at moving away from long outsourcing deals” he told Computer Weekly in February, explaining that the new model is all about having a “mixed economy, shorter contracts, bringing in specialists where we need specialists, but also moving to more agile delivery”.

The three-year contract with Rainmaker will see the organisation recommissioning the outsourced services and implement new contracts, ensuring capability is brought back in-house.

Commenting on the contract, Wallbridge said it helps “challenging the status quo”, and has “empowered Croydon to push the boundaries further towards delivering great services for the residents of Croydon and enabling technology to make a real difference to people’s lives”.

The council is also in the middle of a big recruitment programme, ensuring it has the right culture and skills on board. Wallbridge previously told Computer Weekly he is particularly keen to recruit women, local residents, ethnic minority groups and those who would not necessarily go after a job in IT.

Croydon is a diverse and happening borough, and the council’s staff need to be able to reflect that to ensure the services they build are fit for its residents, he said.

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