Infrastructure > Cloud

Cardiff makes strategic move into the Cloud

David Bicknell Published 30 April 2015

SAP Cloud digital transformation project intended to help council manage budget pressures, improve business processes and improve customer services

 

Cardiff Council has made a strategic move to the Cloud in a digital transformation project intended to dramatically improve customer services, streamline council processes and deliver significant cost savings.

The three-year project, which is primarily implemented by SAP, will support the council's 15,000-strong workforce across almost all functions helping to enhance council services by modernising IT infrastructure and ultimately delivering better customer experiences.

The catalyst for adopting a Cloud-based approach was an initial plan to upgrade the city council's customer relationship management (CRM) system against a backdrop of several other factors. Cardiff is the fastest growing city in the UK outside of London and is expected to expand by 26 per cent within the next 20 years.

With over 40,000 students, it is also Europe's youngest capital while also attracting nearly 80,000 commuters on a daily basis. These trends have placed ever-increasing demands on services. At the same time, the council is facing £124m in budget cuts over the next three years and sees technology solutions as an important component of its efforts to manage costs, reduce expenditure and meet the needs of a growing, youthful population.

One of the main challenges faced by the council is that its legacy on-premise IT system does not allow for collaboration across council services and functions, leading to inefficiencies and duplications.

It decided that adopting a Cloud based approach would ensure that everyone involved in servicing citizens' needs, including council users accessing council services, increasingly from mobile devices, were working in the same "workspace".

By working with SAP, the council was able to identify the factors that would generate cost efficiencies, such as improve integration and deliver better services to residents and partners, through online access and greater flexibility.

The council investigated its Cloud options earlier in 2014 and then made a decision to adopt the Cloud based approach, with work starting early in 2015. By October this year, a digital self-service customer portal is expected to be up and running, followed by specific applications.

Using SAP's Cloud for Customer solutions together with the HANA Cloud Platform, the council hopes the portal will drive a shift to cheaper online interaction channels, rather than in person, greatly reducing administrative costs.

The council also hopes a user interface that mirrors modern e-commerce experiences will appeal to an increasingly young population in Cardiff.

"The public service mandate of 'do more with less' is not going away, but for us, it's an opportunity to bring our thriving city into the digital age in a way that will bring us long-term financial savings" said Ross Maude, senior enterprise architect, Cardiff Council. "The services we provide are important for everyone from the elderly, to university students and public sector workers, and ensuring we're still able to maintain the level and quality of service we have today despite our financial pressures is crucial. Our relationship with SAP means that together we're able to implement an integrated cloud-based solution that brings all of our systems together allows us to focus on the growing needs of Cardiff residents."

The council anticipates that a fully integrated solution will enable the council to gain a far deeper understanding of the community's needs through enhanced data analytics, resulting in better and more informed business decisions. By accessing this neighbourhood data the platform will provide more effective reporting systems for staff, which will help to drive further efficiencies across the organisation. It also believes the Cloud environment will offer a more standardised, less bespoke but more swiftly updatable approach which better suits the council's business needs.

 








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