Northumberland County’s Digital Strategy 2019 was delivered at this week's county-council meeting as a road map for digital-modernization activities based on meeting the evolving needs and expectations of the community.
The strategy introduced a long-term vision of a more digitally intelligent and innovative community, an ideal being termed a SMARTnorthumberland.
“With the continuous rapid advancements in technology, we have the opportunity to create economic value through innovation and improve our processes to better serve our community,” Acting Warden Bob Crate said in the county's press release.
“The Digital Strategy provides us with a framework from which to determine how best to utilize these advancements to foster an inclusive, prosperous and secure community. This becomes increasingly important as we focus on identifying and implementing processes, infrastructure and services that will contribute to a SMARTnorthumberland.”
The development of this strategy involved consultations with county council, county staff, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, local businesses and residents. The feedback obtained was combined with industry best practices to determine three main areas of focus for digital modernization in Northumberland, along with the action items to deliver on them.
A Workplace Focus aims for the digital transformation at county offices through building up digital infrastructure, modernizing the workplace and transforming lines of business.
A Service Focus strives for digital service delivery for county residents. This will involve expanding community engagement, enhancing digital-service delivery and establishing an open-data initiative.
A Community Focus will encourage tech innovation in the county through addressing broadband challenges, establishing a digital governance framework and pursuing innovation opportunities.
County IT director Tony Paulic commented upon the challenges and opportunities presented by the county's unique blend of urban and rural landscapes.
“The development of a digital strategy helps us identify community needs, and find solutions to fill these gaps that align with our overall mission of becoming an intelligent community, focused on quality service and innovation,” Paulic said.
Looking ahead, the county will be partnering with Eastern Ontario Regional Network on two Sept. 25 information sessions about connecting Northumberland through mobile broadband initiatives as well as the new digital strategy. These sessions will take place from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Codrington Community Centre and from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Baltimore Community Centre.