Data and information

Insight research programme


The Insight service undertakes research into topical issues related to ICT policy and management in the local public sector. We produce publications, briefings and events, all aiming to provide up-to-date guidance and help in planning for the future. 

Annually renewable, the service can be started at any time in the year for immediate access to all reports and briefings that have been produced in the year to date and in the archive. The service includes includes the Better Connected web surveys and reports.

Reports and briefings are supplied via the Insight Knowledge Hub Group and on the Better Connected website.

Please note that access is available to any employees with a corporate email address from a paying organisation.

Our research is guided by the Research Steering Group and the Technology Board:

  • Insight reports  Substantial pieces of research work commissioned following advice from the Research Steering Group
  • Insight briefings  ‘Need to know’ topical monthly briefing notes
  • IT Trends  Surveys of members’ own views upon technology priorities and issues
  • Technology Challenge   Near term horizon scanning - leading supplier inputs to Insight research and the Technology Board
  • Better connected  Identifying best practice and helping councils improve the quality of the online experience for those who visit council websites

Individuals need a Socitm account on this website to use the fast access facility from your logged in dashboard. Create an account

If necessary, you can check that your organisation has the Insight service by going to the list of up-to-date Socitm Insight subscribers.

Latest news

September Briefing: Right Here Right Now 21 September 2016

By blending culture change, structure reorganisation and digital technology together, Aylesbury Vale DC has achieved an impressive transformation, building a platform for the future of its district. Councils across the country are wrestling with digital approaches to address austerity, so in this month’s Briefing we explore the Aylesbury Vale approach in detail, setting out how its team has achieved an impressive £4m of savings over a five-year period. 

Read the full briefing here



  • Authoritative commentary and well-informed advice
  • Quick access into best practice of all aspects of ICT management
  • Practical approaches for dealing with new issues
  • Key message presented simply and clearly for busy managers
  • Material that can be quickly used for meetings, workshops and seminars


Please note that the prices below are for organisations with at least one member. Any organisations without members will pay around 30% more. Public sector membership of Socitm costs just £110 for an individual.

The service fee covers one calendar year. You can start to take the service at any time in the year and immediately get access to the back catalogue.

Prices shown below are exclusive of VAT. They are banded based upon the net current revenue expenditure for public and third sector organisations or the number of employees for private sector organisations.

Corporate members One or more members All others
Public or Third Sector Band 1 - under £20m £0.00 £670.00 £871.00
Public or Third Sector Band 2 - £20m or over £0.00 £890.00 £1157.00
Public or Third Sector Band 3 - £100m or over £0.00 £1110.00 £1443.00
Public or Third Sector Band 4 - £200m or over £0.00 £1330.00 £1729.00
Public or Third Sector Band 5 - £400m or over £0.00 £1550.00 £2015.00
Public or Third Sector Band 6 - £1000m or over £0.00 £1770.00 £2301.00
Private Sector Band 1 - 10 or fewer employees £0.00 £670.00 £1273.00
Private Sector Band 2 - 11 to 50 employees £0.00 £1110.00 £2109.00
Private Sector Band 3 - over 50 employees £0.00 £1770.00 £3363.00


Insight reports are substantial pieces of research work commissioned following advice from the Research Steering Group while Insight briefings are ‘need to know’ topical monthly briefing notes. Follow the links to the respective pages detailing recent publications and cross-links to the Knowledge Hub archive.

The current priorities are:

  • The Internet of things and big data
  • More on cloud services/XaaS
  • More on enabling a mobile and flexible workforce
  • Place/government as a platform offerings
  • Trusted digital services for employees, citizens and businesses - see Socitm Insight Cyber Guide (July 2016)
  • More on open standards and APIs – moving towards open systems.

As well as the business-as-usual of IT management practice, we will be examining how developments in these areas can support members in delivering more and better digital public services and health and social care integration at less cost, more flexibly and with more changeability designed in.

IT Trends reports are rolling surveys of members’ views upon technology priorities and issues. 

  • In 2015 there was an initial Scoping Survey followed by deep dives into Cloud Services, Information Management, ICT Sharing, Corporate Infrastructure/ Desktop Refresh and Mobile Access for Employees and Citizen Engagement. The reports were combined into a 2015 Compendium for all Insight subscribers. 
  • In 2016 we've been following the same pattern. The scoping study outcome was reported in Insight Briefing 84 in January. Guided by that, this year's deep dives are on Cost Savings and Investment Priorities (completed July), Skills and organisational capability issues (survey running July-August), Doing Simplify-Standardise-Share (survey Aug-Sept). If time permits, we may do a fourth deep dive (topic TBA) before making the 2016 Compendium of survey results and running the next annual priorities and issues scoping survey in November-December to set us up for 2017.

Technology Challenge - Socitm Supplier Partner Programme participants are leaders in their respective fields of business in our sector. They are well placed to share their insights and knowledge of industry trends, looming issues and, ultimately, the new products and services aimed at meeting Socitm members' needs. This sharing and understanding of Socitm members' needs can be through discussion meetings with Socitm representatives - the Technology Board, attending/sponsoring Socitm regional group meetings - and through targeted participation in Insight research projects and expert contributions to Insight briefings and reports. 

Better connected is Socitm’s long established project that helps councils improve the quality of the online experience for those who visit council websites. To see how your council or another’s has performed, visit the dedicated, separate Better connected website


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Find out more

Please contact the Socitm office if you have any questions about the Insight service and how to access it.