Research & improvement

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, commissioned following advice from 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

Latest news

Insight Briefing 82 - The ICT department: is the end in sight? (October 2015 issue)

The Autumn 2015 edition of ITNOW, the magazine for British Computer Society members, leads with the article ‘Is the IT department dead?’, written by guest editor Phil Pavitt, Global CIO at Specsavers. This is not a new question. Twelve years ago the Harvard Business Review carried Nick Carr’s provocative article entitled IT Doesn’t Matter. More recently, Socitm Insight has consistently argued that there are emergent existential threats to the traditional ICT function that Socitm members must respond to and we touched on some of this again at the Socitm Annual Conference in October under the theme “Reform to revolution”. In this briefing The ICT department: is the end in sight? we highlight: shadow ICT, it's back again; the shift from high margin, proprietary systems to low margin, utility infrastructure; the digital agenda driving ICT - perhaps no real change here after all; a distinct ICT function continues to be necessary, and; responding to all this.

The briefing is free of charge to Socitm Insight subscribers and can be accessed via the Socitm Insight Group on the Knowledge Hub (login required).



  • 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 for 2015 into 2016 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
  • 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 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 individual reports are combined into a compendium report for all Insight subscribers. The 2016 round will follow the same pattern of an initial scoping survey to determine the subsequent deep dive topics.

Technology Challenge is a series of reports focusing upon near term technology horizons and related issues, commissioned following advice from the Technology Board. The board comprises diverse supply-side representatives and cross membership with the Research Steering Group. This board is a new activity started in autumn 2015.

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 (Insight service customers can access the detailed information beyond the public view level). There are Better Connected associated events, namely: Share Digital (usually in July) and Learning from Better Connected (usually in May).


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