How the City of Mississauga uses mobile technology to engage workers and citizens alike


Calling the Town of Mississauga a cellular technology-ready municipality is a sarcasm.

For the previous two years, 90 in keeping with cent of town workers were given a digital personal community (VPN)-connected pc, smartphone, and locker instead of a table; conferences are carried out thru WebX; town’s IT division has applied cloud-based answers SAP SuccessFactors and Concur which, as an example, have decreased 22 other recruitment processes to 2; and its leaders have undertaken a virtual transformation challenge to make certain that each and every one in all their voters have waiting get entry to to cellular expertise as smartly.

Town’s number one reason why for pursuing a cellular technique, in step with CIO Shawn Slack, is one you don’t listen very ceaselessly within the public sector: pageant.

“We need to be aggressive,” Slack tells IT International Canada. “The operating global is reworking, and if we need to keep related, and draw in the millennials who now make up nearly all of the team of workers, we need to be cellular.”

The transition from places of work to cellular units has been tough for lots of older employees, Slack recognizes, noting that transitioning from a table to the backpack that holds his pc used to be an “fascinating” enjoy for him as smartly.

“Should you’ve been with town for 20 years, it’s a sexy difficult exchange to be a cellular employee, as a result of you haven’t any stuff,” he says. “There are not any photos of your circle of relatives for your table, and also you lose all the papers you had mendacity round. However the millennial entering that house goes to move, ‘that is cool!’ and need to paintings there. And we wish other people to come back to Mississauga and need to paintings there.”

But even so, Slack says, going cellular removes the “paper bomb” that accumulates at a table.

“You probably have an place of business, you gather issues,” he says.

How embracing mobility has modified management

Thus far, Slack says, embracing cellular does seem to be making the Town of Mississauga a extra horny employer for millennials, with the collection of cellular workers emerging incessantly over the last two years. However it’s created different advantages too.

“Going cellular has in reality pushed transformation at our management degree as smartly,” he says, with town supervisor, commissioners, and administrators all buying and selling desktops for cellular units.

Embracing cellular expertise has additionally shifted town’s company tradition, he says, with administrators together with himself adjusting their expectancies of workers and adopting new metrics to measure productiveness.

The IT division, as an example, measures reaction occasions for its provider request and assist table gadget, and growth made on its challenge portfolio.

“We needed to ensure we have been measuring whether or not we become kind of efficient on account of the transition,” Slack explains.

It is helping, he says, that SAP Successfactors and Concur each advertise worker mobility, and being cloud-based answers, may also be simply accessed from any place.

“Should you give any individual an place of business, and also you give them a pc, they’re going to make use of the place of business to fasten up their pc at evening, and that’s no longer good fortune,” Slack says. “This fashion, whilst you flip your gadget on, you’re at paintings… and also you get to benefit from the skill to transport round and paintings anywhere you need. ”

Bringing cellular to citizens

After all, there’s little or no receive advantages to the Town of Mississauga’s include of cellular expertise if its citizens can’t take benefit too – if what Slack calls town’s “social resilience” is low.

Slack says that whilst town is conscious that more than 30 million Canadians and counting are on cellular units, any other metric has performed a better position in its include of cellular expertise: A 2015 United Way report which discovered that source of revenue inequality within the Better Toronto Space has higher via 31 in keeping with cent since 1980,

“So what you’ve got there’s a double whammy,” Slack says. “A horny important phase that doesn’t have high quality of existence or high quality of labor. So we checked out mobility and we’ve checked out that high quality of existence factor, and married them in combination to resolve for social resilience.”

The Town’s plan, which it’s creating in partnership with the United Means, Area of Peel, College of Toronto Mississauga, Sheridan Faculty, and its BIAs (Trade Growth Spaces), is to construct out a mobile-friendly ecosystem around the town, with the purpose of handing over products and services and virtual expertise to all the group.

Its four-pronged way starts via dividing Mississauga into 23 outlined communities, with town construction a minimum of one Hub centre, and the United Means and Mississauga Library Gadget handing over 500 mobility kits to voters enrolled in social reinforce systems, in every one.

“A equipment is mainly a pc that’s linked, and in keeping with group we’ll have 500 kits [for a total of 11,500],” Slack explains. “As a result of let’s face it – it’s no longer affordable to have web. And laptops are dear.”

The Hubs, in the meantime, will likely be co-working areas, advanced in partnership with a number of of the tech giants whose Canadian headquarters are in Mississauga, which workers from around the town – whether or not they’re hired via the likes of Microsoft and Sony or the Town of Mississauga itself – will be capable of designate as their number one “place of business.”

“So if we’ve 23 Hubs inside of Mississauga, and any individual involves paintings for Microsoft or Sony, we wish the ones workers to grasp there’s 23 places throughout the town their corporate considers house,” Slack says. “And whilst you cross to the Hub, it’s such as you’re at Sony or Microsoft.”

Sooner or later, he says, town plans to construct 100 Hubs, every one serving a rather equivalent collection of other people.

However the Town of Mississauga’s cellular reinforce for its voters isn’t finishing at Hubs or Kits: Town additionally plans on construction 500 “Connects” throughout its 23 communities: indoor and out of doors areas with voice-supported, augmented reality-compatible virtual displays that may supply group data and unfastened get entry to to Wi-Fi.

Instance of a Attach station. Courtesy Town of Mississauga.

“So a Attach may well be beside a bus forestall, in a park, inside of a mall… and also you’ll get unfastened wireless, a spot to take a seat, and get entry to to products and services and systems,” Slack says.

And because get entry to issues are unnecessary except you realize the place to seek out them, the Town of Mississauga’s cellular app tells citizens precisely the place Hubs and Connects are positioned, and which amentities or workstations are to be had for reservation.

The overall part is as soon as once more a low-tech answer you don’t listen about in virtual transformation tasks very ceaselessly: public transit.

“Between those 23 communities, we’re going to present the buses precedence with our complex visitors control gadget,” Slack says. “And we’re going to position wireless in each and every a kind of buses, in order that your virtual enjoy is maintained whilst you’re travelling from location to location.”

And because no data-driven virtual transformation challenge may also be finished with out controversy over how the information accrued is used, he provides, the Town plans to post its data as nameless open records.

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Updated: May 7, 2018 — 1:21 pm
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