Agenda item

Integrated Digital Services (IDS) Service Desk - Update

To consider a report from the Chief Digital and Information Officeron the Integrated Digital Services (IDS) service desk which supports staff with IT related issues and supports the wider delivery of services to citizens, patients, visitors and businesses by the Council, Health and other partners.


A report was considered from the Chief Digital and Information Officer on the Integrated Digital Services (IDS) service desk which supports staff with IT related issues and supports the wider delivery of services to citizens, patients, visitors and businesses by the Council, Health and other partners.


In attendance for this item were:


·  Cllr Debra Coupar, Executive Member for Resources

·  Mariana Pexton, Director of Strategy and Resources

·  Andrew Byrom, Chief Digital & Information Officer

·  Ben Tunnicliffe, Service Centre Team Leader


To support this item the Board received a presentation from the Service Centre Team Leader setting out the key issues in the report, this covered:


·  A summary of performance between 2021 and 2023, covering call volumes, calls answered and the number of service tickets raised

·  The measures taken to deliver service improvements including new approaches to recruitment, automation and restructuring of the service

·  Customer satisfaction and the different ways that the service can be contacted

·  Plans for the future including a new phone system, virtual technology and further automation and usage of Power BI


Responding to comments and questions from the Board the following areas were discussed:


·  The Board wanted to know more about call volumes and why the service now seems to be answering less calls when compared to 2021. In response the Board were informed that some of the data from 2021 will have been impacted by the pandemic and the different ways of working, largely remotely, that needed additional support from the service desk, use of zoom and other new platforms were listed as examples. In addition, it was noted that staffing shortages have been an issue in terms of answering calls along with a need to train staff with a four week lead in time. The latest position in 2024 with a near full staffing complement has improved from the position presented with 97% answered. It was also noted that channel shift to self-service methods will have impacted and helped to reduce call volumes.

·  The Board asked about roles being targeted at unemployed residents and what they were. By way of response the Board heard that work is ongoing with a company called Generation that trains people through a 12 week skills academy which targets people who want to have a career in tech and there are a number of examples where this work has led to really positive career changes. It was also noted that employment through the service desk can lead to career advancement and can be the starting point of a career with Integrated Digital Services and the Council.

·  The Board also queried the use of SEN Internships as opposed to apprenticeships or traineeships. The Board heard that the three or four internships will be introduced in 2024 for a whole academic year, supported by coaching which will benefit both the interns and enable the council to learn and adapt processes to support the interns and deliver positive outcomes by applying for roles and having support to do that, it was noted that the internships do not provide a guarantee of a role. The Board believed that any application processes arising should take account of the needs of the applicants as they can act as a barrier if not done appropriately.

·  Members added that on internships it would be positive to see this supported by accreditation which would be provided by a traineeship or apprenticeship, which would not guarantee a job either but would provide level 1 and level 2 qualifications potentially. The Board were supportive of the commitment to internships and asked that a follow up item be brought back that tracks the progress of the individuals starting the internship in September 2024, this will be factored into future work programming discussions.

·  The Board also heard about surveys and the processes in place to learn from feedback that is not positive, the service is committed to following up on negative feedback to understand the reasons and look to improve but in general terms survey feedback has been positive.

·  The Executive Member for Resources welcomed the comments on accreditation for the internships and that the Board will receive further information on this in the future. In addition, the Executive Member noted the positive progress that has been made on performance since 2020/21and thanked the officers and their teams for the work they have done to improve the service. Future tech improvements were also noted as a possible opportunity for the Council that could deliver more efficiency and lead to further service improvements across the Council.




The Board:


a)  noted the positive assurances on service desk performance set out in this report.

b)  Identified an update on internships and this work more generally to form part of the Work Programme in 2024/25.



Supporting documents: