Cardiff City Council to move core IT systems to the cloud

Cardiff City Council hopes moving its core IT systems to the cloud will make it easier for its 15,000 staff to collaborate, conduct data analysis to better understand demand, and thus save money.

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Cardiff City Council has announced plans to move its core IT systems to the cloud over the next three years.

The authority’s existing partner SAP will move its core ERP system and other business software from the council’s on-premise servers to its HANA cloud platform. Cardiff will also scrap its 15-year-old in-house CRM in favour of a cloud version, SAP's Cloud for Customer .

The authority hopes linking up its disparate systems will provide a ‘single version of the truth’ across the council, making it easier for its 15,000 staff across different agencies to collaborate, conduct data analysis to better understand demand and thus save money.

“We have to work with lots of agencies and it can be hard to connect directly with partner networks. By creating a space accessible to all, folks can get access to the same data, therefore collaborate and deliver more joined-up services,” Cardiff City Council’s senior enterprise architect Ross Maude told ComputerworldUK.

The council will also use the Cloud for Customer software to improve the digital services it provides to its 352,000 citizens.

It plans to launch a ‘citizen portal’ in October this year, which will make it easier for residents to transact with the council, submit queries or make requests.

Almost half (43 percent) of online interactions with the council came from mobile devices last year, up six percent from the year before, so the site will be designed with mobile users at the top of the  agenda, Maude said.

“It’s no longer enough to just put stuff out on a website. We need to provide a slick, simple user experience, enable digital transactions, updated statuses on requests, and make life as easy as possible for citizens,” he said.

The council is facing budget cuts of £124 million over the next three years, on top of five years of cuts already, Maude explained.

“All the low hanging and even high hanging fruit has been taken. We have significant cuts to make. In and of itself, this won’t deliver that. But it will enable us to deliver more joined up services and more collaboration internally and externally,” he said.

Another benefit is that once the “underlying cabling” between different systems has been sorted out, it will be much easier for the council to conduct data analysis, according to Maude.

“We’ll be able to use that to be much more proactive in designing and managing services. For me the exciting part is that strategic view, figuring out where demand is coming from and being able to anticipate that,” he said.

Maude described G-Cloud as a “great tool for local government to have access to” thanks to its pre-agreed terms and conditions with suppliers. However “in this case given our history with SAP and everything else, it was not really a procurement route for us”, he said.  

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