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Power of technology in the public sector

Presented by Cate Takemori
in Technology
June, 2024

Sponsored by Microsoft Canada

Expectations around service delivery models are shifting. It is essential now more than ever for municipalities to embrace digital transformation to meet the changing needs of residents, businesses, and employees.

Peel Region is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and remains committed to creating a healthy, safe, and connected community for life. As part of the region’s digital transformation strategy, the IT division uses a suite of technologies to meet the evolving needs of its 1.5 million residents and over 200,000 businesses across Brampton, Mississauga, and Caledon.

Municipalities possess and maintain huge amounts of sensitive data connected to both the personal information of their residents and the infrastructure they operate. As a result, cybersecurity is a top priority.

Safe Practices for Hybrid Work

To ensure the security of sensitive data, Peel Region’s IT team implemented robust security measures for threat prevention and response. In the last 12 months, the IT team has detected and prevented more than 10,000 cyber security threats. Approximately 18.4 million emails received by Peel Region were unsolicited and blocked by the protection controls.

The region has consolidated all its productivity tools and standardized mobile device management to ensure today’s hybrid and remote work practices are seamless for its 6,800 employees. Peter Parsan, the region’s chief information officer, said this change has made the shift to remote work seamless. Now, employees across various departments can communicate effectively, all within one user-friendly system.

Peel Region’s recent employee productivity and collaboration survey shows that 90 per cent of employees say they understand how to use technology to be productive in their roles, and 85 per cent say they are equally or more productive than they were before shifting to remote work.

Digitizing Essential Services

Central to Peel Region’s digital journey is the Digital Peel program, aimed at digitizing 32 essential services to the community. User-friendly, digital forms have streamlined processes, offering residents quick, secure access to vital information and services.

One area of the region’s digital transformation that illustrates its commitment to innovation is its network of “digital champions.” With over 136 champions driving technological adoption, Peel fosters a culture of change and continuous improvement.

Looking ahead, initiatives such as the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) highlight Peel Region’s ongoing dedication to meeting future demands while prioritizing resident needs.

“We will continue to advance in a thoughtful, planned, and purposeful way to evolve the use of emerging technologies such as AI throughout our organization,” said Parsan. “Our north star has always been about what is best for our residents, and we will continue using this as a guiding principle as we move forward as a modern, digital government.”

As the pace of digital transformation continues to accelerate, Peel Region is well positioned to continue to enhance service delivery, streamline operations, and create better connectivity within the community, now and into the future.  MW

Municipal World Executive and Essentials Plus Members: You might also be interested in Sawan Dhaliwal’s article: Generative AI: How municipalities can capitalize to deliver stronger services.

Cate Takemori is public sector lead for Microsoft Canada.

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