Digital transformation strategy

Making it easier for you to complete tasks, find information, ask for help, and share your thoughts with us at any time, from anywhere.

On this page:

  1. Overview
  2. Get involved
  3. What's a digital strategy?
  4. Strategy scope
  5. Our priorities
  6. Work in progress 
  7. Recent successes


The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do business, as more and more District residents and business owners go online to complete transactions, find information, ask for help, and share their views with us.

But even before the pandemic, citizens' expectations for how much they should be able to accomplish online, and how quickly and easily they should be able to accomplish it, were already evolving, due to the influence of 'digital first' organizations such as Expedia, Google, Facebook, Netflix, and AirBnB.

Yet, like many local, provincial, and even federal public sector organizations, we haven't always met those expectations.

A number of organizational challenges — from reliance on older technologies, to outmoded paper-based processes, to constrained budgets, and beyond — stand in our way.

A digital strategy will help us eliminate these barriers that prevent us from meeting citizen expectations, enabling us to provide the information, help, services, and transactions you want, whenever and however you want to access them. 

    Help us build tools and services that work for you

    To meet the needs of the public online, we're taking a 'citizen centric' approach to all of the digital tools, services, and transactions we develop.

    This means involving you, our user, at every step, from understanding your needs and challenges, to testing potential solutions with you, to continuing to gather your feedback after new tools have been released, so we can constantly improve.

    If you'd like to be a member of our informal panel of testers — and help create online experiences that are useful, useable, and desirable — complete the form at the bottom of this page.

    As a member of our testing panel, we'll occasionally contact you to complete a brief survey, give us your opinion on a new product we're working on, or test out a work in progress to let us know how it works. 

    What's a digital strategy?

    A digital strategy is a framework for making decisions about technology, a tool for managing the change necessary for, and associated with, digital transformation, and a roadmap for building better online services.

    A digital strategy considers how customers expect to be able to interact with an organization online, evaluates how well they can do it currently, and identifies any gaps between those expectations and reality.

    The strategy then proposes a broad range of solutions for bridging any gaps, enabling an organization to more effectively meet their customers’ needs online.

    A robust digital strategy will help us:

    • set the overall direction for digital, and enable more strategic decisions about technology investments
    • meet our users’ expectations online, by offering the right tools and services at the right time
    • improve efficiency, by adopting business processes that are more compatible with digital service delivery
    • position ourselves to more nimbly respond to emerging technologies
    • reduce organizational risk, by ensuring all digital work is being done consistently and to a high standard 

    Scope of the strategy

    While some larger government agencies have digital strategies that cover large-scale, high budget initiatives such as installing digital infrastructure, supporting a digital economy, or developing digital innovation hubs, this first version of our strategy is more modest in scope and budget.

    Our strategy is focussed on transforming how we interact with our residents and business owners.

    Through this strategy, we're improving access to information, to services, and to transactions. This includes the tools that the public uses directly (our website, apps, social media accounts) as well as the tools District staff use to support the public. It also includes any changes we need to make to processes, staffing, leadership, governance, or customer service approaches in order to facilitate our digital transformation.

    In future iterations of this strategy, we may consider expanding the scope to include such things as connected infrastructure (especially for town and business centres) as well as ways to help local businesses succeed. 

    Our strategic priorities

    This strategy is the product of 18 months of research, consultation, and engagement with industry leaders, staff, and the public.

    Guided by our mission, vision, and principals, we identified dozens of impediments to digital excellence, and then established a robust set of 19 actions, grouped within four areas of focus, to overcome them.

    Priority: Digital public service

    We will ensure that access to District Hall is easy, open, and available to everyone, by helping the public access services, ask for help, find information, and express their views whenever they want, and through their preferred channel.

    Area of focus Action
    Digital governance Implement processes, policies, and standards that guide the quality and consistency of our digital work, and dictate how/when the work is done
    User experience Adopt an approach to designing, building, and supporting online services that focuses on the needs of our users, to ensure we’re providing the help that they want, when, where, and how they want it
    External communications Tell our story more effectively through all digital channels to increase awareness of, and access to, our digital services and information
    Data Improve how we collect and use data, allowing us to continually improve our services, and the ways the public accesses information
    Technology Ensure our technology decisions are based on the needs of our users

    Priority: Organizational readiness

    We will improve the public’s access to services, help, information, and even staff, by making a seismic shift in our approach to business in general, away from paper-based systems, outdated processes, and cumbersome legacy software systems.

    Area of focus Action
    Business processes Evaluate and update internal business processes to ensure they can be adapted to new technologies
    Organizational structure Eliminate departmental silos, which often lead to customer service issues due to misinformation, conflicting advice, or misaligned processes
    Change management Incorporate a robust program of change management to ensure staff are comfortably able to adapt to new ways of doing business with a minimal amount of conflict
    Date Improve all areas of data (how we collect, handle, and store it; how we use it; how we integrate it; how we make it available to the public; its quality) in order to support data-based decision making

    Priority: Empowered and enabled workforce

    We will serve the public more efficiently and effectively by supporting a more digitally enabled workforce. This means developing a greater trust in and respect for technology and data amongst staff and management, and equipping them with appropriate tools and skills.

    Area of focus Action
    Organizational culture Foster a digital work culture, encouraging staff to embrace technology and change
    Education, training, support Provide practical support to staff to ensure the transition to, and continued use of, new technologies and processes is successful
    Accountability and empowerment Ensure that guidelines and policies are established and observed, so that staff feel confident making decisions around the use of digital tools
    Recruiting and hiring Develop a digitally literate workforce by supporting current staff in their digital work, working to retain existing staff with digital competencies, and recruiting new staff who have the aptitude and desire to work with technology and embrace change
    Access to technology Ensure that staff have the tools they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively, from the office or in the field

    Priority: Open and transparent government

    We will ensure that all residents and business owners feel included and empowered, by working to become a more open and transparent government.

    Area of focus Action
    Information Ensure that the public have easy access to information about the projects and initiatives that we’re working on, so they have a clear picture of how this work can impact them
    Process Help the public understand our more complex statutory and other processes, so they know how things work, and feel confident getting involve
    Opportunities for involvement Work continuously to provide the public with more opportunities to express their views through their preferred channel, and make sure those opportunities are widely known
    Progress and metrics Use data to keep the public informed of the work we’re doing, through dashboards and other forms of data visualization, and make our data available to others 

    Work in progress

    While a digital strategy is more about people, processes, and culture than technology, there are some key technology projects identified that will help us meet our objectives. Here's what we're working on now.

    Making our website and online services accessible for all

    In late 2022, we completed a full accessibility audit of this website, to understand how accessible it was currently, and identify areas for improvement. The goal? To bring the site up to the internationally recognized “Level AA” accessibility standard provided by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative.

    To achieve Level AA status, 53 different accessibility criteria must be met, ensuring that the site and its content are perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.

    Led by Digital Service’s user experience designer and accessibility expert, the audit looked at a full range of functionality and types of content, from web forms to images, graphics to maps, and so on.  

    While the audit revealed a number of areas where excelled accessibility-wise, it revealed that 31 of the criteria to achieve Level AA were not met consistently.

    Work is now underway to address these areas, and by the end of 2023, we hope to have a fully accessible site.

    To achieve this, we are:

    • Moving to new software for managing the site, which will help address the technical issues that are contributing to reduced accessibility
    • Creating web form accessibility standards, and transitioning our PDF application forms to online forms using these new standards to guide the work
    • Completing formal guidelines for creating accessible digital content, to be included in an official digital content policy, and made available to all staff
    • Developing an accessibility course so staff can learn more about accessibility issues online, and see how accessible digital content is created

    Resident requests, transactions, and information in a single account

    We're working to transform into a ‘one-stop shop’ for all transactions, service requests, help, and information, which you will access from a single log-in account, similar to online banking.

    This is a large and complex project, which we’ll be undertaking in phases. We are actively working on this project now, and expect to have a preliminary version ready by late 2023.

    A prototype of the District's new web accounts
    An early prototype of how a user account could look 

    Recent success: Report a Problem

    We recently developed and launched a new digital service for that allows you to quickly and easily report dozens of problems — fallen trees, graffiti, burned out streetlights, litter, and so on — simply by dropping a pin on a map to show the location, and uploading a photo. You also have the option of getting notified by text or email when the issue has been resolved.

    Take a look at Report a Problem 

    A prototype of the District's new report a problem feature

    Complete this quick form to become a member of our testing panel

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