01 Executive summary
This document sets out the 2018-2021 Digital and Technology Strategy (the Strategy) for supporting both the overall Programme (the Programme) that will implement the 11 benefits being transferred from the UK Department for Work and Pensions ( DWP), as well as the new Agency (the Agency) for Social Security in Scotland which is based in Dundee.
The initial focus of the Strategy is to develop the high level architecture and solution design to support the programme in the delivery of wave one and subsequent deliverables, in particular the Low Income Benefits ( LIB) phase of work.
Building on the Agile Discovery engagements in late 2016 and early 2017 with the support from the Scottish Government Procurement and Digital Directorates, the Chief Digital Officer Division was established and has commenced detailed technical analysis with programme, digital, and policy colleagues to explore the most achievable solution outcomes to meet Ministerial commitments and ensure that transfer of powers is smooth and not detrimental to the people of Scotland.
Through the engagement of experienced market resources and extensive dialogue with the Department of Work and Pensions ( DWP), significant work has been undertaken to determine the complexity of the legacy UK welfare systems that stems back decades, and consider potential solutions to deliver the 11 benefits to the citizens of Scotland based on a user focused approach and with dignity and respect embedded into our delivery model.
As we embark on this digital and technology journey we have the opportunity to benefit from a better starting place, not a blank canvas, but an opportunity to adopt approaches such as user research, user need, usability, accessibility, safe and secure by design into the very fabric of our architecture, from the outset and not as an afterthought.
This is a multi-year journey that we cannot underestimate in terms of scale and complexity, but also the real impact we will have on citizens if we deliver poor solutions or fail to pay people on time, every time.
We cannot, and will not, do this alone or become too reliant on the commercial sector to deliver and sustain a technology estate for the Social Security Agency. We will be mindful of the legacy of people and systems costs as we move through programme delivery into long term agency operations.
Our own digital and technology staff will learn from both suppliers and technology specialists who will be with us only for as long as necessary. To achieve this we have to recognise the competitive digital skills market, particularly in Scotland and we will create an environment which encourages innovative and enthusiastic professionals to spend part of their career in the most challenging and exciting area of government transformation for many years.
Finally, we will create an overall architecture which will have loosely coupled components that can be interchanged as technology evolves with the involvement of multiple solutions and suppliers, reducing vendor control which could restrict our future platform and product choices.