Edinburgh's vision to become one of the world's smartest capital cities has received a major boost thanks to an agreement between the City of Edinburgh Council and CGI.
Building on the five-year relationship the Council has established with the global ICT services provider, Councillors have agreed that the contract with CGI is to be extended until 2029 (running from 2023).
Providing stability for the Council’s ICT services, the extension will save a further £12m and help the Council look further ahead to the future. It will see CGI working with the Council on further digital transformation of services and continuing to be the Council's primary ICT provider for the next nine years.
It also comes as Edinburgh is listed as Smart City of Year in the Digital 100 shortlist following recent work by the Council, CGI and other providers to enhance connectivity and embrace new technologies.
Depute Council Leader Cammy Day is the City of Edinburgh Council’s Smart Cities lead. He said:
“Becoming a smart city will make Edinburgh a more sustainable and fair city so I'm pleased we've secured CGI's long-term support to help us with our vision. We're already well on our way to transforming the way we deliver many Council services, making them much more efficient and easy to use for residents. We want to develop this further and under the contract we're looking at making digital learning services a lot more accessible and inclusive for all our pupils and residents.
"The work we'll do with CGI will also support our plans for lowering carbon emissions and lowering costs by using smart technology. We realised savings of £45m when our partnership began in 2015, with an additional £11m in 2018 and this extension will save the Council a further £12m at a time when our finances are under pressure."
Adam McVey, Council Leader, added:
"Thanks to the work we've already achieved with CGI to use technology in much smarter ways, we've been able to respond quickly to the challenges of the pandemic and remote working, making sure our services can still be accessed by residents.
"Building on this will be crucial as we adapt to life beyond Covid and we want to create the most connected, efficient and sustainable Capital we can. The contract extension will allow us to make substantial savings without compromising on our ambitious goals for the City or on the progress we’re making improving core and lifeline services for our residents. I’m looking forward to seeing Edinburgh evolve into a genuinely Smart City and our partnership with CGI will sit at the heart of that work."
The ambitious plans which the contract extension will help push forward will include:
- Responding to the needs of a post-Covid Capital city by driving forward digital transformation
- Bridging the digital divide between Edinburgh’s most and least affluent areas, providing schools with the most advanced networks and kit
- A smart city operations centre to deliver transformative digital services using the likes of AI, the 'Internet of Things' and Advanced Analytics
- ‘Smart city’ systems such as intelligent traffic signals, smart streetlights that can control their own luminosity, street bins that can signal when they’re full and smart sensors in Council homes to predict, manage and prevent damage to properties such as damp
- Increasing digital security to protect the Council's network and data
- Reducing the Council's carbon footprint by reducing paper and print, reducing waste, and reusing or recycling equipment
- Enhancing options for remote working for Council employees
- Taking advantage of global trends such as moving to cloud-based services to reduce costs.
Tara McGeehan, CGI President for the UK and Australia, said:
“This extension of our strategic partnership is excellent news. Edinburgh is a vibrant and diverse Capital city that is home to more than 518,000 citizens and is growing at twice the national Scottish average. This volume of people brings huge challenges, but also huge opportunities – especially when it comes to developing a modern, digital infrastructure that meets the demands of 21st century living.
“CGI, as the primary provider of transformational ICT services to the City of Edinburgh Council, has already helped modernise end-to-end digital services for both citizens and Council employees. Our hard work together has helped make the process of living and working in Edinburgh more transparent, more collaborative and more dynamic, delivering significant benefits to the city.
“This contract extension will now help us work with the Council so it can become one of the world’s ‘smartest’ capital cities. By using the latest digital technology, we aim to grow our relationship with the Council, and in turn help the Council grow its relationship with its citizens so they live and work in a dynamic, digitally-advanced Smart City.”