Fife Council has joined with Capgemini to overhaul its business process systems, in a framework deal worth up to £26 million.
The outsourcing deal is aimed at creating cost savings and efficiencies for the council by speeding up the delivery of IT system underpinning local services, beginning with the introduction of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
Previously the council had procured from a variety of sources, Charlie Anderson, Fife Council's head of ICT, told Computerworld UK, which meant using a variety of individual solutions for an ERP system covering financial, HR, payroll and procurement. This included software such as JD Edwards' OneWorld and MidlandsHR iTrent, and was brought together by different suppliers in deals that were individually tendered.
Work will now begin this month on selecting and implementing a new ERP system, coordinated entirely by Capgemini. However the council will still have the freedom to procure elsewhere in future if necessary. The entire project will be overseen by a joint Partnership Management Board, comprising three staff from both Fife Council and Capgemini.
Anderson said that part of the deal will also focus around the training of staff at the council, with a view to creating an in-house IT workforce in future, enabling further long term savings.
"There is an element of the contract which is around Capgemini working along with us to 'skill up' the remaining in-house resource, so that in areas like enterprise architecture and project and programme management we are developing skills for the future," he said. "I was keen to put that into the framework arrangement."
Anderson said that further projects could include the role out of Microsoft Sharepoint, though he did not rule out the use of SME collaboration vendors such as Huddle, available through the G-Cloud.
Other potential changes ways to improve efficiency is to support remote working, and mobility.
"We are also, like many councils, in the process of looking at mobile flexible working arrangements. There is a significant amount of technology implication in that, developing mobile ways of working."
"BYOD is one aspect, but that has got its own challenges, but we are looking at smartphone and tablet technology for mobile workers."
Last year Fife Council announced that it would put in place self-service IT functions in order to reduce costs, as it seeks to innovate its IT systems in order to mitigate the effects of budget cuts within the authority.