The City has developed its first Digital Strategy, which establishes an organization-wide commitment and clear accountability and actions to pave the way for a modern and connected City where everyone feels valued and supported.

We are committed to providing accessible, trustworthy, and convenient digital services that support Pickering’s diverse population and growth, and have set the proposed foundation for future enhanced digital service delivery. View the draft Digital Strategy.

So what’s next? We’re upgrading our website (pickering.ca) and will be inviting staff, community members, businesses, and external stakeholders to provide feedback along the way – stay tuned! As the City’s primary, most trusted, owned communication channel, pickering.ca offers a variety of important information and updates related to the services, projects, and programs that touch the everyday lives of Pickering residents.

Next Steps – Website Enhancement Project

The first phase of implementing the Digital Strategy includes a focus on upgrading the City’s website (pickering.ca) to ensure a user-friendly experience, with attention to content, design, and navigation, and optimum performance using the latest web technologies.

The City has retained GHD Digital for this project. Please stay tuned for opportunities to provide feedback on the City’s website enhancement project.

Future phases of the City’s digital transformation journey will include exploring an online tax portal, ecommerce platform and systems integration, a Citizen Portal that provides a secure and personalized resident experience, and an improved multi-channel communications solution for Customer Care.


Digital Strategy

Community Engagement – What we Learned! (related to the City's website)

MNP Digital Inc. and the City’s Corporate Communications team facilitated a number of engagement opportunities to collect feedback from Members of Council, project Steering Committee, staff, and members of the public.

  • Digital communications was rated as the top focus area for what the City should be prioritizing when it came to digital services. This includes streamlining the way in which information is shared through digital means, including an easy to navigate and accessible website as a top digital service priority.
  • The website, along with email, is one of the top preferred ways for members of the public to access information from the City of Pickering.
  • Users want technology that is user-friendly and accessible for both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Users are looking for intuitive search functions and clear website navigation enables enhanced access to information.
  • 27 per cent of survey respondents noted that their current website experience was excellent or very good. 35 per cent reported that it was fair or poor, and 38 per cent noted good.
  • From the Adult 55+ community, there is frustration with time consuming navigation on the City’s website.
  • From staff, we heard a need to modernize the current website so employees and citizens can navigate more efficiently and increase user-friendliness.

Recommendations

MNP’s recommendations follow a Municipal Technology and Innovation Framework, which uses leading practices for leveraging modern technology to continuously improve municipal services.

The three main focus areas are:

  1. Digital Transformation – This involves replacing manual processes with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology.
  2. Technology Governance – This involves organizational change management of how technology is selected, managed and maintained.
  3. Data and Analytics – This involves data architecture, privacy and cyber security.

Project Timeline & Important Documents

  • September 6, 2022: Council approves proposal submitted by MNP Digital Inc. dated April 13, 2022 in response to RFP 2022-2, regarding the selection of a consultant to provide a Corporate Digital Readiness Assessment and Strategy (Read Report CAO 14-22)
  • February 5, 2024: Staff present Digital Strategy to Executive Committee (Read Report CAO 01-24)
  • February 26, 2024: Staff to present the Digital Strategy at the Council Meeting

Relationship to the Pickering Strategic Plan

The recommendations in this report respond to the Pickering Strategic Plan Priorities of Advance Innovation & Responsible Planning to Support a Connected, Well-Serviced Community - with a strategic focus on promoting community connectivity and accessibility; and Foster an Engaged & Informed Community – with a strategic focus on making information and services readily accessible and available to all community members. It also supports the Corporate Key of Good Governance/Customer Service Excellence, with a strategic focus on promoting the organizational efficiency and effectiveness, along with exceptional customer service.