Serving You Better

San Francisco Digital Services Strategy

Imagine a city where a teenager in the Bayview could log on and search for a summer internship from his cell phone, allowing him to gain valuable job training for a future career. Or a family in the Mission could apply for affordable housing from a computer at their local library. Or even an aspiring café owner could apply for and track every permit for her business online on a City website.

In San Francisco, we’re making a dramatic shift in how we deliver services – to focus on you, our residents, visitors, and the businesses in the city we love. Digital services can make each of these scenarios a reality, but we recognize there's a lot of work to do! Our first step in transforming the City starts with the hiring of our new Chief Digital Services Officer, a senior technology leader for this Citywide initiative.

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  • Put Residents First: Resident needs should define the design of City services.
  • Digital By Default: Services should be delivered digitally whenever possible.
  • Integrated Service: Digital services should be managed by the core business, and not siloed in IT.
  • Build Expertise: The City should establish a team with modern skills and support an agile development culture.
  • Collaborative Process: Development of City service standards should be collaborative and contribute to a shared strategy.

San Francisco’s new Digital Services Strategy is about transforming the customer experience of City services, making our services accessible and easy to use for everyone. With each new digital service we build, we must redesign it from the ground up, making it simpler and faster. We want you to feel confident that when you need something from the City, you can get it in an easy, seamless way.


A strong, experienced central leader who is empowered to guide our service design effort.

A modern, expert product development team to build new digital products and create citywide standards & guidelines.

Product quality oversight to ensure the adoption of modern, user-centered design and engineering practices, and standards for all services.

A consistent and unified city brand & experience.

A new strategy and governance body to make sure that we are on the right path, as well as a working group of digital service experts.

Full Report (PDF)

"The front door to the city is now digital, and we need to make sure residents can get the services the easiest way possible. The Digital Services Team will transform how residents interact with the City, making our services faster, simpler, and more accessible.”

– Mayor Ed Lee

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