City of London progresses transformation plans

The Corporation of London is set to approve details of a four-pronged approach to technological transformation as part of plans to save £1.5m.

The authority has identified priorities as renewing our end user devices, creating a shared network across the corporation and police and modernising telephony and communications systems.

It is now working on a fourth strand, which will aim to consolidate and rationalise corporate systems. Gateway reports on all of the priorities are set to go before the corporation in the first quarter of 2016, according to a meeting of the information technology sub-committee.

A report by corporation officers said: “Through these projects, we will provide staff with a consistent user experience across all parts of the organisation, a set of modern IT equipment fit for the role being performed a supported by a renewed communications system, which connects every part of the organisation and enables collaboration and joint working.”

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The end user device initiative is aimed at replacing all devices used by staff during 2016, along with the redesign of supporting systems.

The shared network strand will be based on a “wireless first” principle, and will aim to manage the access for users to datasets based upon role and location.

A separate secret report considered by the committee also approved a pilot for the work to modernise telephony and communications systems.

Separately, the authority has reviewed its current arrangements for application support and has concluded that outsourcing these teams is not commercially viable.

It is now working on a plan to pass a number of standard functions to its ICT partner Agilisys and consolidate the remaining retained function under a single team.

Early next year, the corporation will also make a decision as to whether to extend its existing contract with Agilisys, which is aimed at saving £1.5m, for an extra two years.

In October, a two-year review of the contract found that contractual obligations have largely been met.

However, this month, officers warned: “There is a cost pressure in the Agilisys contract around growth in the usage of the utility priced aspects of the service, storage and server resource. This risk of growth was highlighted at the start of the contract and the cost pressure has been noted in recent committee reports.

“We are seeking to contain the current pressure within the local risk budget this year and will report the progress made in containing these costs to IT sub-committee in March.”

Colin Marrs

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