The pandemic has brought many challenges to all organisations across the country, not least the technological ability to support mass remote working. While business continuity plans have long been in place, these related more to the temporary closure of specific sites, as opposed to whole workforces being forced to work from home.
Hardwired to adapt
Humankind is hardwired to adapt, and one of the positives that’s come out of the Covid-19 pandemic is that this defining characteristic remains true. Adaptation and our ability to thrive when circumstances feel out of control shines a positive spotlight on what we’re capable of.
As a result of the extraordinary time we’ve endured since March 2020, we’ve seen the rapid evolvement of organisations to deal with these new and unforeseen pressures, driving a heavier reliance on technology solutions than ever before. Cloud services have played a crucial role during the pandemic enabling organisations scale up their operations efficiently and cost-effectively. They’ve provided the flexibility and capacity to support the fast development of services to meet new demands, in addition to supporting the prolonged homeworking of most employees.
The pandemic has seen some public sector organisations close to bankruptcy, however the digital transformation we’ve seen across the sector is enabling new efficiencies and cost-cutting that hadn’t previously been considered. What we are likely to see is the public sector looking towards a longer-term hybrid way of working. With staff splitting their time between home and office-based working, organisations can reduce their office space, saving huge swathes on rent and running costs. In turn, the work/life balance for employees improves enabling increased productivity as the emphasis shifts from presence in the office to outcomes achieved.
Efficiency through cloud technologies
Add to that the use of cloud technologies, particularly hosted, and the costs of infrastructure and maintenance are eliminated. Capacity can easily be scaled up or down without the costs of staff investment. All these savings are going to be critical for the recovery of many organisations, and by building on the experiences of the last year, a positive, digitally enabled future can be created.
As the leading address data solutions supplier to the public sector, we have seen the interest in cloud based solutions increase significantly since the start of the pandemic. Many of our current customers are making the switch to hosted cloud based solutions, while the majority of new customers are coming straight in with cloud requirements.
Colchester Borough Council
Colchester Borough Council’s ICT strategy has driven their operational systems into the cloud and our hosted cloud-based Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) was procured to complement that.
‘Through our ICT strategy, the drive to go hosted for our LLPG solutions has resulted in a slick and streamlined platform for the many complex processes that require accurate and consistent address data. Not only has this brought about time-efficiencies across all the departments using address data, it’s also contributed to a more cohesive way of working, promoting a greater sense of integration and cooperation.’ Kieran Johnston, Strategic ICT Manager.
South Gloucestershire Council
South Gloucestershire Council are also finding the switch to our hosted cloud solution to be hugely beneficial.
‘This new cloud solution is faster, and more reliable and resilient, saving around half a day in staff time per month. And because it’s hosted, I don’t have to plan and find resources for future upgrades.’ Juliet Mansfield, LLPG Custodian of South Gloucestershire Council.
‘We’ve seen a huge shift towards our hosted cloud-based solutions in the last year, with a staggering 69% of our new customers going this route, in addition to a number of established customers doing the same. And by using data engine Location Manager, the value of that accurate address data can be felt right across the whole council, not just those systems formatted for BS7666 data. That means critical information from systems like Council Tax, Non-Domestic Rates or the Electoral Role can be synchronised with the relevant location data on the gazetteer, generating a more cohesive view of all property data.’ Dinesh Thanigasalam, Commercial Director of Aligned Assets.
This last year has shown that cloud based technology can offer the resilience needed for embracing the unknown. Drop us a line to see how we can integrate our cloud solutions with your ICT strategy.