Laura Sharman 26 March 2014

Councils prioritising shared services to cut costs, survey finds

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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