6 reasons why Local Authorities are consolidating their core business systems
- Published: 11 May 2016
In the last few months, over 80 councils throughout the United Kingdom have chosen Idox for system integration and consolidation. Amongst the recent migrations are Medway Council, Dumfries & Galloway Council, Isle of Wight Council and Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council.
Many of the projects undertaken by Idox have resulted from a desire to integrate services across an authority, provide a common shared service delivery platform with other councils, to reduce costs by using solutions which work well together or simply to increase effectiveness by improving customer self-service.
In this article, we highlight some of the reasons why councils are considering consolidating their core business systems.
Many local authorities employ a variety of solutions to manage core areas of their business. Such a mixture of products may not provide the most cost-effective way of delivering the required outcomes by virtue of the need to implement potentially expensive integrations and duplication of IT infrastructure, training and data.
Implementing one consolidated solution such as Idox, can remove the duplication, improve efficiency across the council and save money.
When faced with tough budget cuts and an increasingly heavy workload, councils look for solutions that save time, money and offer improved functionality.
By consolidating and selecting one single vendor for specific solutions can deliver impactful benefits such as increased buying power by leveraging that organisation to supply the council with more for less, saving time by implementing just one solution, increases efficiency by spending less time on administration and vendor meetings and reduces risk associated with multiple solutions whilst one consolidated solution is designed to work seamlessly.
Over the last few years, the public sector has experienced major cost-cutting measures and reform which has seen many councils undergo dramatic structural change with widespread job cuts and redundancies which has resulted in staffing gaps and skills shortages. Leaving councils concerned as to how they can continue to meet all of the service expectations of staff, citizens and stakeholders. For example, IT skills are hard to find and come at a premium and councils rarely have the resources to devote the optimal amount of time to system monitoring and maintenance.
Councils who choose Idox to provide them with a single consolidated solution know that they are ably supported by Idox’s dedicated team of technical experts to provide maintenance and support across a whole range of solutions and technologies.
Whilst austerity measures continue to impact on local government budgets, councils are investing in technology that will increase the take-up of digital services by making it easier and simpler for citizens to interact and conduct transactions with the council online. One such example is Idox’s Public and Consultee Access which is enabling consultees to receive consultation requests and respond directly through a web portal whilst providing citizens and stakeholders with online access to track applications and to receive automated updates.
Single outsourcing or Multi-sourcing
In a single supplier model, the customer looks to the supplier to deliver the whole range of services under the agreement. More often than not, the supplier doesn’t have all the skills to deliver the range of services from its own employee base and must therefore rely on third parties.
Historically, such outsourcing deals have spanned many years and have led to concerns over vendor lock-in and lack of transparency.
Multi-sourcing offers the customer greater flexibility and less dependency on a single vendor, as they enter into separate agreements with different suppliers who have the expertise and knowledge to carry out the elements of the service that they do not have the bandwidth to support internally.
In the software development business, we are all very much aware that nothing stands still and change is inevitable. At Idox, we design systems which are adaptable and can easily be updated to ensure that the software will still be usable with new technologies that look to change the way we work and live.
Many councils are investing in technologies that are compatible with their existing back office systems. One such new solution is iApply: Idox’s national online planning and building control application service. This new service is changing the way we interact with government by providing a single place for common transaction across all local authorities. With iApply, local authorities can receive and manage submissions for both planning and building control applications through a single online source which can be loaded directly into Idox Uniform and Idox DMS enabling data to be shared across the authority.
Conclusion – Why Idox?
With our in-depth knowledge, our people and their experience of working in and with local government, as well as our technology and the flexibility with which it can be applied to meet the changing needs of our customers, we believe that we offer the best solutions to deliver the outcomes you need and the knowledge to complement your current skills and capabilities.