Having worked in, with and alongside the public sector on digital projects for over 15 years I have seen some of the best and some of the worst examples of ‘how to do it’ when it comes to all things digital. Austerity has come along and offers up both a challenge and an opportunity to the sector. We’re all used to hearing the words: "It's about transforming the way we do things," and "We need to share and collaborate more." But here's a thing. Doing digital well, ensuring it's robust, secure, fit for purpose, integrated, usable, engaging, and transformative - well that's often expensive. Profound change, delivered via professional, reliable and effective digital technology does not come cheap. It doesn't happen via a hackathon on a Saturday afternoon.
But there isn't enough money to go around to do it properly.
Well that's not quite true. There isn't enough money to go around for us all to do the same things, marginally differently from our colleagues elsewhere in local government, housing and health. But does a digital team in the South West have the ability to build a solution that works for more than one organisation? Does a housing association in Manchester have what it takes to develop a platform that other HA's could benefit from using? Does an SME in London with a brilliant idea for transforming health have the skills to execute? Of course they do - but in order to do so we need to pool the funds required to make it happen. What we need to do is crowdfund on a corporate scale.
We then need to work together to co-design and co-produce the right outcome. That's right - we need to collaborate. And by doing so, the innovator can harvest the funds required to do the job properly and see a service delivered that others in the sector can re-use themselves.
Does it work? For sure, it does. I’ve been responsible for doing this at LookingLocal (which is owned by Kirklees Council) for over 12 years now. The model works - we just need a catalyst to make it happen at scale.
And so CC2i is born.
Any digital team out there, whether within an SME, public organisation or third sector can use the site to post their idea. CC2i will then do the work to ensure that all like-minded organisations in the sector are made aware of it, and invite them to pledge a percentage of the cost. In return they get the technology or service they need at a fraction of the cost if they did it themselves. Each idea will have a clear business case, along with contracts and service level agreements that they would expect when commissioning a service or product of this nature. Better than that though - they get to help shape it rather than doing what we often do with digital products in the public sector: we procure a square peg to fit into a round hole. It's no big surprise that disappointment so often follows.
So this is our call to arms. CC2i provides a platform for co-funding great ideas, collaborating on their development and enabling digital innovation to actually happen. We're a new business, looking to disrupt, and ultimately transform the way in which digital gets done in the public sector across the UK. We look forward to working with you to make this happen.
Founder & Managing Director