Advocating for and Supporting the Role of Chief Digital Officer in London
Bloomberg Associates worked with the City of London to create a new senior position within city government, the Chief Digital Officer, to help the City improve productivity and efficiency through digital technologies.
The role of a CDO is to provide better services and greater transparency in addition to better communication from government with its various departments, the private sector and the public.
Todd Asher, Bloomberg Associates
London’s population is rising and will reach 10 million by the mid-2030s, if not sooner. As the city continues to grow, the Mayor’s Office wanted to explore how digital transformation and the use of new technology (e.g. data analytics, mobile and embedded devices) can help the government better manage some of its growth challenges, improve efficiency, and support economic development.
Local governments across the world increasingly responded to the opportunity of digital transformation by appointing Chief Digital Officers (CDO), or an equivalent, to improve outcomes and expand opportunities for residents through the use of technology. This helped inspire the creation of the first-ever municipal CDO in New York City during the Bloomberg Administration. With these precedents, London sought the advice of Bloomberg Associates to look in more detail at how a CDO might support growth and innovation.
Bloomberg Associates strongly advocated for the creation of a Chief Digital Officer in London, helping shape the position with Mayor Khan, his team, and representatives from non-profit, government, and business communities. With Bloomberg Associate’s guidance the Khan Administration appointed its first Chief Digital Officer of London in 2017.
With Bloomberg Associates support, the newly appointed CDO commenced the role by conducting a comprehensive listening tour to engage a diverse range of stakeholders from the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors to understand common needs and establish his priorities as London’s Chief Digital Officer. The listening tour informed the creation of ‘Smarter London Together’, a digital roadmap for the city released at London Tech Week in 2018. The roadmap is organized by five missions: design, data sharing, connectivity, skills and collaboration. Following its release, Bloomberg Associates brought together the business community and the tech sector in London for a roundtable discussion to provide feedback and ideas to advance the goals of the roadmap.
Bloomberg Associates is also working with the CDO and the national government’s Local Digital Office on how to better collaborate and promote innovative ideas across cities in the United Kingdom and to develop shared practices.