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“Who are our users?”


For many years Socitm’s benchmarking services have used the idea of a “service user” to both define the scope of the benchmarking and as a way to standardize metrics to account for the size of an organisation.

While these users were often synonymous with the office-based employees of the council, in recent years some participants have reported a rise in other users, particularly pupils within schools.

Also, as new technologies are adopted, local authority ICT services are interacting with an increasing number of users from both inside and outside their organisation. 

Socitm would like to explore if these additional users place an equivalent strain on the ICT service, and whether these changes may affect their long-established benchmarking services Socitm Improve.

Our Action Plan

Survey exploring service given to pupilsEstablish what types of organisations are currently supporting pupils and the level of service they receive.

This will inform us whether organisations who provide a service to pupils are the exception or the majority.
Hold focus groups Provide more detailed background by exploring which groups of people are currently receiving ICT services from councils, and how similar these groups are.

This will inform us whether these users should be removed from the scope of ICT benchmarking or necessitate a separate product.

Potential Outcomes

After the above actions have been completed, a recommendation will be made on whether to:

  • Amend our definition of “users”
  • Collect additional data about “users”
  • Amend reporting to better express the effect of pupils as “users”
  • Develop a new module focusing on ICT provision to education

How you can help

Member Survey

We would appreciate if you could complete the following short survey regarding the provision of ICT services to one group in particular: school pupils. Even if you do not support any education services, your response will provide valuable context.

Survey: Delivery of ICT services to schools

Focus Groups

Our intention is to hold a minimum of two focus groups over the spring consisting of approx. 6 people from a range of regions and council types, around the theme “Who are our users?”. 

These will explore the questions:

  • What is a user?
    • Exploring our current definition vs who organisations currently support.
  • The approximate proportion of users in different categories.
  • Whether particular groups of users receive a markedly different form of service, either in quality or attention.

If you would like to be involved in these discussions, please contact Aimie Francis.