Laura Sharman 26 March 2014

Councils prioritising shared services to cut costs, survey finds

Councils prioritising shared services to cut costs, survey finds image

The shift towards shared services is the most popular strategy for saving money, according to a survey of local government managers.

New Ways of ICT Working, conducted by UNIT4 Business Software, reveals that 63% of managers said shared services was a priority for reducing costs, with 83% also saying they were important or very important for improving services.

More than half the respondents (53%) are already working for a authority that participates in a shared service arrangement, with a further 25% in the process of implementing one.

Of those surveyed, only 29% were prioritising frameworks such as G-Cloud to help balance budgets. While 37% said they already use cloud computing services, 16% said they had no plans to deploy cloud services in the next 12 months. Nearly half (47%) also said they no plans to use the G-Cloud, the Government’s framework for procuring cloud-based services.

‘Some of the findings around cloud were particularly surprising,” said Anwen Robinson, managing director of UNIT4 Business Software Ltd. ‘Without large ongoing capital costs of on-premises software deployments, we see cloud as an advantage during a time of swingeing cuts.

‘We work closely with prospects and partners on Return on Investment and our calculations invariably point to cloud as the most efficient deployment option. I believe vendors and the Government must continue to create awareness and interest in the benefits of a cloud-first policy.’

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