Three men look at a computer at their digital start-up business in the Technology and Social Innovation Lab.

Digital Strategy in-depth

The Digital Strategy aims to enhance multidirectional digital connections among citizens, employees, business, and government.

To keep pace with technology, and minimize risk and maximize value for taxpayers, we:

  • Track our progress using the strategy's digital maturity model
  • Base our decisions and actions on the strategy's pillars, goals, and objectives

Digital maturity

What it is

Digital maturity is when we use digital technology to:

  • Create opportunities to improve service and engage with citizens
  • Meet evolving demands for seamless, high-quality digital experiences across web, mobile, and social media channels
  • Optimize investments in our organization, infrastructure, and open data
  • Strengthen and connect with the local economy

How we measure it

We use four levels of digital maturity to measure our capability in four areas.

Levels of digital maturity

  1. Absent (limited or no capabilities)
  2. Exploring (basic systems and processes in place with some integration)
  3. Enabled (right systems and processes in place with deep internal and external integration)
  4. Connected (everyone can connect through their desired channel, setting an example for other cities to follow)

Capability areas

  1. Online
  2. Mobile
  3. Social
  4. Infrastructure and data

Where we're at

In 2012, PwC evaluated the City of Vancouver as being mostly exploring and enabled. We had the basics in place but there was room for improvement in how we used our digital channels.

Looking ahead to 2016, we are moving towards being in a connected state. Everyone – citizens, business, employees, and government – will connect and get service through their preferred channels.

Diagram of the City's progress on digital maturity from 2012 to 2016 in four capability areas (online, mobile, social, and infrastructure and data).

View a larger diagram

Pillars to advance our digital maturity

Our four pillars focus on citizens, businesses, and government. Each pillar has a unique goal, objectives, and actions that we're completing to advance our digital maturity.

The pillars align with the City's Corporate Business Plan and are inspired by digital strategies from leading cities like New York City and Chicago.

Objectives are distilled from many ideas contributed by businesses, social service providers, citizens, and staff.

1Engagement and access


Citizens and businesses can easily interact with the City through digital channels.


  1. Improve delivery of high demand services through the use of digital tools.
  2. Increase citizen involvement through digital engagement.
  3. Provide access to technology and increase digital literacy for all.
  4. Expand the Vancouver Public Library digital literacy program.
  5. Continue to prepare for and create opportunity for online voting.

2Infrastructure and assets

Photograph by Shuli Hallak [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Vancouver has a robust digital infrastructure built through strategic investments and partnerships.


  1. Implement an agile infrastructure plan that anticipates and promotes digital growth.
  2. Optimize digital infrastructure and physical assets.
  3. Enhance digital infrastructure through creative partnerships.
  4. Continue to evolve the City’s digital infrastructure strategy.

3Digital economy


Vancouver is a global leader in supporting innovation and growth in the digital economy.


  1. Develop, attract and retain talent and business in the digital sector.
  2. Create a favourable regulatory environment that supports digital business opportunities.
  3. Encourage innovation through expanded support for the digital community and open government.
  4. Through VEC, continue to foster digital talent strategy.

4Organizational digital maturity


The City of Vancouver has a mature, citizen-centric digital culture.


  1. Establish digital governance to define services and accountabilities.
  2. Optimize the use of technology to enhance productivity and metrics based decision-making.
  3. Develop a culture that empowers City staff to innovate with digital technologies.
  4. Work towards an enterprise portal.
  5. Develop the City’s digital workforce.


Video of 2015 Digital Strategy update 
Digital Strategy 2015 update to City Council (April 29, 2015)