ICT Strategic Implementation Plan Update
- Meeting of Policy and Performance - Transformation and Resources Committee, Wednesday, 4th February 2015 6.00 p.m. (Item 21.)
The Chief Information Officer introduced a report which provided an update on the implementation of the Council’s ICT Strategic Implementation Plan which was last presented to the committee on 23 September 2013 (minute 13 refers).
The increased reliance on technology to enable significant service transformation and the general expectation that digital services (e.g. web and email) would be available around the clock seven days a week, would increase the risk to the complete delivery of the strategy as pressure to deliver savings in the back office reduced the number of staff directly supporting front line services and the Council’s Transformation Strategy. A new focus, within the ICT Service, on increased automation and customer self-service would mitigate this risk somewhat. The risks posed by obsolete equipment were being mitigated by the roll out of new desktop and laptop computers, the replacement of all windows servers and the corporate central disk storage.
The report gave details of the programme of works which had been initiated and their current status. The work was funded through a capital programme of £4m which had been used to procure major assets including, desktop and laptop PCs, Servers, Storage and Network equipment. As at the end of December 2014, £2.6m had been spent and a further £850,000 had been committed. In addition, £1.36m of revenue had been spent and a further £500,000 had been committed for items such as: software licences, cabling, network services, security and accessories.
The report gave details of the two items in the table rated with a current status of ‘red’, the re-procurement of fixed line call tariffs and the improvement of business continuity and then described the work being undertaken to address this.
A redrafted ICT Strategy would be presented to the Committee in the new municipal year so that Members’ views were taken into consideration prior to seeking final approval for the strategy.
Responding to comments from Members, the Chief Information Officer stated that progress had been less than ideal in improving business continuity. The risk had diminished because of the significant investment programme. A lot of hardware had already or was in the process of being replaced and the central hardware such as servers and storage was now much more robust than 12 months ago. An options appraisal was being prepared around moving data centre facilities to significantly separate buildings: the options being considered were council owned locations, co-location with other public sector bodies, commercial co-location and commercial cloud services. The CIO assured Members that the problems which occurred during the power outage in 2013 should not recur and the Disaster Recovery capabilities were now more robust. Work was ongoing on a service by service basis to ensure business continuity was in place.
The Head of Financial Services commented that Mark Camborne, Senior Manager – Health, Safety and Resilience, and his team were working with Directorates to review and update Business Continuity plans for the key services. In relation to work on developing Council systems discussions were ongoing regarding the compatibility of systems across the Council and with neighbouring authorities.
Resolved – That the report be noted.