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Digital Strategy published

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Isle of Man Government has today published its digital strategy at outlining plans to increase the use of digital services over the next two to five years. This strategy is  on June’s Tynwald Order paper for consideration. 

In summary:

  • The strategy has been prepared following input from a wide range of Government and external sources including champions from across Government, a public survey, 35 focus groups, industry input and external benchmarking;
  • The strategy  includes a vision for the use of digital services in Isle of Man Government – both in online services and in front line services, and lays down four measurable targets to be achieved over the next two to five years; 

  • Three core digital principles are proposed to sit across Government – “Thinking Digitally”, “Working Together” and “Learning Intelligently”. These are  underpinned by thirty actions across nine themes that will be delivered in the next 12-18 months. This work will be overseen by the Cabinet Office to support the vision and the acceleration of digital services; 

  • The final element represents nine digital programmes - programmes of change - six across the main Government areas and three enabling programmes that together set out the direction, defines the current projects and identifies potential candidates for acceleration. 

Minister for Policy and Reform, John Shimmin MHK, said:

“Today marks the end of this phase of our journey – the construction of the strategy, and the start of the next as we move into implementation.  We have clearly confirmed that there is both demand and opportunity.  Demand for more digital services from those who would choose to use them and a real opportunity for further cost savings, service improvements and improved outcomes using modern technology.  We must accelerate and the strategy presents the broad framework to do so.’ 

Mr Shimmin concluded:

‘Government cannot and should not do this alone.  The strategy includes specific initiatives that will involve a wide range of Government staff, industry and the public as we deliver the next generation of digital services and drive Government to being smaller and smarter.” 

Director of Government Technology Services, Mark Lewin said:

‘When we started to develop the strategy in January, we had a perception that we had some good services but needed to do more.  This has been undeniably confirmed through all the input – the huge demand for more and the significant potential that exists.   We need to accelerate faster and faster in our desire to reduce cost, improve services and target outcomes – all supported by modern technology.  The strategy will require investment but this will be made against clearly defined benefits. Benefits directly to Government through cost savings and efficiencies, to citizens and businesses from improved services and to us all from improved outcomes.’ 

Mr Lewin added:

‘The digital principles and actions are there to ensure we continue to maintain that positive momentum and they are foundations to support the acceleration and adoption of digital services.  The digital programmes have been brought together, in one place, for the first time to give a general direction and priority for each area to progress.   By doing this we should be able to work together better to  progress through the detail,  understand and deliver  our priorities and maintain the broad direction and pace of travel.’ 

Mr Lewin added:

‘In a world where technology is not only constantly changing, but doing so at an amazing rate, we have not tried to aim for perfection in finalising the strategy. Some actions in the strategy may not be delivered, some of the journeys outlined may not be progressed and new ones will undoubtedly appear but it’s a start.  We now need to work up the actions to the next level of detail, start to implement the specific proposals and consider how we accelerate some of the priority programmes that need to happen.’ 

Mr Lewin concluded:

‘Over the summer months we will refine the proposals to the next level of detail continuing to working across Government as well as outside, with our partners, with industry and increasingly with our customers.” 

Kurt Roosen, Chief Executive of the Manx ICT Association said:

“MICTA has supported the concept of having a digital strategy from day one and we have been closely involved as it has developed over the last few months.  We recognise and support the need to accelerate and expand the range of digital services.  There is a solid foundation to build on but we must do more.  Given the current point of maturity of Government’s systems, we see this as an opportunity, not only to learn from our peers but innovate past them. We have an opportunity to present the Isle of Man in a very positive and progressive light.’   

Mr Roosen continued:

‘Working together is a key principle and as a small Island we can harness real power working collectively.  We are particularly keen to continue to be involved through the partnership initiatives highlighted in the strategy including the social inclusion partnership, and the Island Shield cyber security initiative as well as more generally on improving sourcing capabilities to harness the local capability and capacity to help Government continue to transform and unlock the potential from digital services.   Our formal submission confirms our five priority areas including electronic ID which we will now work closely Government on.’ 

Mr Roosen concluded:

‘This marks the end of the start – there is a vision and a rough set of plans – now we have to develop the detail and MICTA fully support the way forward and the need to accelerate and our members are looking forward to doing this together.” 

Deb Byron, Chair of the Chamber of Commerce ICT Committee said:

“The need for more digital services and better ways of working using technology in public services has been a frequent topic in our committee discussions over the years and our members recognise the power that technology has to improve services and transform businesses.  Government is no different and we support the strategy as a general framework to accelerate.  To accelerate the removal of bureaucracy, to accelerate more simple, convenient and compelling services and to accelerate cost savings and importantly also service improvements that will benefit us all.’ 

Ms Byron continued:

‘As representatives of businesses active in growing the economy and attracting new businesses here, we especially welcome the actions to establish a business focused customer board, of working with customers in designing new services such as the business portal and the general acceleration of digital services supporting businesses as a priority.’ 

Ms Byron concluded:

‘We’ve watched with interest the strategy’s construction and have provided input and now support the general direction outlined.  Now we are looking forward to continuing this journey together as Government accelerates and expands the use of digital services.” 

The digital strategy including the background, research, vision, strategic objectives, digital principles and digital programmes can all be found online at and paper copies are available from the Tynwald library.  

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