Page 1 | VOLUME 10.1



Sunderland City Council’s journey into democratic cyberspace

PLUS Nomad update

IT TRAINING – Informal learning and the integration of learning and work

Š Kodak 2010. Kodak is a trademark of Kodak

Dear Reader, 10.1 | Volume

hnol www.governmenttec

Welcome to a new year with Government Technology, which brings you need-toknow features, news and case studies that explain the administrative and commercial issues affecting IT and computing in central and local government.


In this issue, the Association of Geographic Information examines two new geographic information announcements on page 17, and the Institute of IT Training argues that management’s focus should be on working smarter, not harder on page 28. We also preview the most important events this winter, such as Learning Technologies – Europe’s leading showcase of technology supported workplace learning – on page 30, and Data Centre World – the UK’s largest dedicated data centre event – on page 51. Enjoy the issue.


cil’s journey Sunderland City Coun space into democratic cyber S Nomad update


mal learning and the


and work integration of learning

Government Technology Online If you would like to subscribe to Government Technology magazine please contact Public Sector Information Limited, 226 High Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 1ET. Tel: 0208 532 0055, Fax: 0208 532 0066, or visit the Government Technology website at: P NEWS P FEATURES P PROFILES P CASE STUDIES P EVENTS P AND MORE

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07 NEWS 11 ACCESSIBILITY Charity AbilityNet looks at the key role effective procurement strategies can play in the accessibility equation

17 MAPPING TECHNOLOGY Chris Holcroft, director of the Association of Geographic Information, writes on two new geographic information announcements that will benefit the public sector We find out how Cherwell District Council uses mapping technology to target public services in areas in need

23 MOBILE WORKING Ken Eastwood, assistant director at Barnsley MBC, gives an update on Nomad, the local government project promoting mobile and flexible working Sunderland City Council discusses how the imaginative use of technology helps support politicians in managing the democratic process

28 IT TRAINING Wide-spread cost-cutting does not necessarily mean we need to work harder, as long as we’re smart, argues Alan Bellinger from the Institute of IT Training Learning Technologies, co-located with Learning and Skills, is the must attend event for anyone involved in organisational learning

33 IT SERVICE MANAGEMENT We take a look at what made the 2010 itSMF UK Conference a success

39 FINANCE & LEASING It’s now becoming easier for public authorities to get good value from leasing than ever before, explains Julian Rose from the Finance & Leasing Association

41 INFORMATION ASSURANCE We preview Information Assurance in the Age of Austerity, taking place 15-16 February

43 ONLINE INFORMATION We take a look at what happened at Online Information 2010, the meeting place for the global information industry

45 OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE We look at the development of open source software projects in the UK public sector

47 SOFTWARE COMPLIANCE Phil Heap from the Federation Against Software Theft talks about getting your software assets in order in the new year

51 DATA CENTRES Data Centre World Conference & Expo is the perfect environment for the data centre manager to learn about the increasing complexity surrounding data centres

57 DIGITAL INCLUSION Stephen Dodson shares his thoughts on the role of technology in meeting the challenge for local government

59 BETT 2011 We preview BETT, the world’s largest technology in education show

62 GREEN IT Bristol City Council explains its work towards becoming a green digital city



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Government Technology | Volume 10.1

NEWSINBRIEF Rural Scotland to benefit from broadband support

Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire renew Shared Services contract ocal Government Shared Services (LGSS), the joint venture formed in 2006 by Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire County Councils, is to widen its remit in 2011 with the signing of a new seven year deal with supplier Fujitsu, and open up its doors to other interested local authorities. The new contract is expected to save the two councils approximately £7 million, and provide a range of services such as shared application hosting, support, and development services to the venture. The expansion aims to deliver further cost efficiencies and


cost saving benefits over its term. Since widening its doors, over 20 additional local government organisations have expressed an interest in taking part in the Shared Services venture. Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, chair of the LGSS Joint Committee said: “So far we have seen exceptional benefits from this tripartite agreement with Fujitsu. Sharing a single Oracle ERP platform with another like-minded council has proven to be a fantastic way to reduce costs and increase back office efficiencies; ultimately this translates to better services for our customers.”

GPS technology to predict infection spread joint project by Edinburgh Napier University and Imperial College London will test how smart device GPS technology can help investigate the spread of infection. GPS technology via smart phones will record the nature and frequency of interactions between individuals and can track the path of an infected person and their contacts with one metre accuracy. The team has developed software to record and playback location data with high-precision. It uses Susceptible Infectious Recovered (SIR) modelling and contact tracing to predict the spread of a disease through a network of people, taking account of parameters such as transmission and recovery rates. The project will provide important clues about how quickly a pandemic might occur. Professor Bill Buchanan, Institute of


Informatics and Digital Innovation at Edinburgh Napier University said: “Such a system would allow emergency health providers to prioritise who may have come into contact with an individual exposed to a serious airborne illness, such as influenza during an outbreak. Another application might be to trace the source of an infection in a close environment, such as a hospital.”

Five local action groups in Scotland have been chosen to benefit from a cut of e1 million from the LEADER Broadband Challenge Fund, Scotland’s rural secretary, Richard Lochhead, has announced. The Fund, part of the Scotland Rural Development Programme, was launched in July 2010 as a way to achieve local development objectives. The five groups, Forth Valley and Lomond, the Outer Hebrides, Orkney, South Lanarkshire, and the Borders, will use the money to support everything from local Wi-Fi access for residents, through to providing broadband access to not-spot areas of the rural communities. Lochhead said: “The estimate is that around 88 businesses will be supported from these bids. In Lomond Valley alone the estimate is that 100 new jobs will be created.”

Councils create waste and recycling website Four south London councils have set up a website to give residents information on how they dispose of the thousands of tonnes of rubbish collected daily. Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton councils set up the website so that citizens can view clear and detailed information about how waste from 335,000 households is managed. The local authorities are all part of the South London Waste Management Partnership, which aims to provide better and cheaper ways of dealing with waste through collaborative working.

Government ‘barrier busting’ website launched The government has designed a new website aimed at helping volunteers, community groups and social enterprises overcome bureaucracy and get things done in their neighbourhood. Many people have ingenious and innovative ideas for how they could make their street, town or village a better place to live. In some cases, however, they feel that bureaucracy holds them back. While discussion with the council can resolve problems locally, in some cases the only way is for central government to take action. Now councils, community groups, local institutions and individuals who need central government’s help to get rid of barriers can submit a request through the website, Everyone who submits a query will be given an individual number to track the progress of their request and the contact details of a named person they can talk to from a dedicated team of ‘barrier busters’ – senior civil servants in the government who will help find ways to let local people take control.





Government Technology | Volume 10.1

Manchester unveils web-based service for deaf residents anchester City Council has launched a service that will enable deaf residents to contact council staff through the council’s website. People who have hearing difficulties will be able to communicate with council staff via video phones or personal web cameras by clicking onto the council’s website. The service, called SignVideo BSL Live, can be accessed from any laptop or PC that has a web camera. Residents who are deaf will be instantly connected with “qualified and experienced” British sign language interpreters working from a remote call centre, the council has said. The authority has installed a video phone in the new city library and will shortly be installing one


at its customer contact centre alongside the internet interpreting service. Manchester is the second local authority in the country to use the system, which has been set up by the deaf and sign language-led social business Significan’t.

NEWSINBRIEF Bill to scrap ID cards gains Royal Assent

A bill abolishing Britain’s identity card scheme has been granted Royal Assent, resulting in the end of the ID cards and National Identity Register. Home Office minister Damian Green said the Identity Documents Act “scraps the ability of the state to gather volumes of personal biographical and biometric information from citizens without the data serving any specific purpose or benefit”. Green said the government would work to securely destroy data collected under the scheme in coming months. It is hoped the cancellation will save £86m over the next four years and avoid the Labour government’s commitment to invest £835m in the scheme over the next ten years. Around £292 million had been spent on the scheme to date.

Government simplifies patent application process

Website to capture views on Olympics launched

he government has put in place arrangements to make the process for filing patents in Europe easier. As from 1 January, patent attorneys making applications to the European Patent Office (EPO) now have to supply fewer documents than required in the past. “These new arrangements will make it cheaper and easier for UK firms to obtain patent protection as they look to expand into other European countries,” intellectual property minister Baroness

A new website has been launched to collect people’s opinions and reactions to London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The website aims to make sure all voices are heard by creating a record of the impact of the London 2012 Games on people across the nation. The website captures celebrations as well as controversies to record the national mood and gather together opinions and reactions to showcase them to global audience. The People’s Record, initiated by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) in 2008, encourages museums, libraries and archives around the UK to support community groups to have their say and tell their stories.


Wilcox said. “Cutting duplication is key to dealing with the worldwide backlog of patent applications.” Previously, attorneys who made patent applications to the EPO, which helps protect patents across 40 European countries, would have to supply the EPO with results of patent searches already done by the UK IPO. From 1 January the IPO will supply the EPO with this information directly. This is expected to benefit around 5,000 patent applications per year.

European Commission launches eGovernment Action Plan he European Commission (EC) aims to see 80 per cent of businesses using e-government services by 2015. To this effect, it has set up a European eGovernment Action Plan to drive help drive forward this target. Neelie Kroes, commission vice president for the Digital Agenda, said: “This Plan will help public authorities use information and communication technologies to offer better services at lower cost, while making life easier and better for businesses in terms of improved access to public services.” The programme intends to ensure that key public services are available online so that entrepreneurs can set up and run a business from anywhere in the EU, regardless of their original location. The initiative aims to implement a once-only secure registration of data with authorities and an EU-wide


national electronic company identity (eID), making cross-border business procedures easier to manage. Further to this, the EU plans to make data available for re-use by third parties so that new public services and applications can be developed, such as maps for navigation systems, or travel information applications.

PASC to investigate government ICT strategy The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) has announced it will be conducting an inquiry into the way the UK Government develops its ICT strategies. PASC confirmed it is looking for written evidence on issues “relating to the inquiry,” and will investigate the government’s overall strategy for ICT – including how it identifies “business needs, the effectiveness of governance arrangements, and procurement policy and practice”. Previous government CIO John Suffolk released an ICT Strategy at the start of 2010, but with the coalition government coming to power in May, a new strategy is expected to be published shortly. Evidence sessions on the inquiry are expected to launch sometime in the New Year.



Unleash Dragon for a more productive 2011 For years, many industries have depended on desktop speech recognition products like Dragon NaturallySpeaking to ramp up productivity and drive cost savings. The next generation of speech recognition has now landed in the public sector. “The ability to quickly generate e-mails, reports and even spreadsheets has been an enormous benefit. I am always looking for new ways to use Dragon NaturallySpeaking to enhance the way I work. Dragon is a fantastic piece of software which I use with confidence on a daily basis and to great effect.� John Proud, Hambleton District Council.

Productivity, efficiency and driving value are going to be the judgement criteria for public sector organisations in 2011. To help achieve this, Nuance is offering public sector organisations product trials and special introductory offers on Dragon and its PDF software. For more information on these offers, valid up to 31st March 2011, please email

Government Technology | Volume 10.1


BUYING EQUIPMENT FOR NON-STANDARD NEEDS When procuring ICT systems and services, is accessibility on your agenda, asks Jo Greenwell, head of Public Access Services at national disability and computing charity, AbilityNet MENTION THE WORD “accessible” and most people immediately think of buildings, ramps and wheelchairs. To make reasonable adjustments for those with special needs is an obligation enshrined within the law both on the part of employers (who need to make adequate provision for their employees), and for organisations providing services to the public, be they state, private or voluntary sector. However, accessibility extends far beyond mere physical access and ensuring that your ICT systems are inclusive is just as vital. Let’s find out why and look at the key role that effective procurement strategies can play in the accessibility equation. DUTY OF CARE The spirit of the law is much clearer than the detail. We have been required to make “reasonable adjustments” to avoid discriminating against disabled people since the inception of the current law in 1999. Since 2006 additional legislation in the form of the Disability Equality Duty (DED) has added to the critical mass of regulation in this context. Framed specifically to cover public sector organisations, such as the health service, local government and education, the DED augments the original Act to actively promote disability equality. Thus public sector employers and service providers are asked to incorporate an inclusive approach into all their activities as a duty of care. In this way, the needs of disabled people are on the agenda from the beginning (i.e. at the procurement stage), and not factored in as an after thought or retro-fitted as so often has been the case historically. WHAT IS REASONABLE? A reasonable interpretation of DDA compliance in the context of IT is to ask: Does the system allow the needs of the user to be catered for through reasonable adjustment? Procurement of a system or application that does not support reasonable adjustment will be no defence in court or at a tribunal, and importantly may well involve you in making expensive alternative adjustments. Remember, retro-fitting accessibility is usually a lot more costly and sometimes just plain impossible. Make accessibility a cornerstone of your ICT purchasing criteria. BUILD IN ACCESSIBILITY Building in accessibility sounds simple, but when procurement is outsourced to a third party, how can we be sure that the chosen

There are over 9.8 million disabled people in the UK and we have a growing representation of older employees in the workforce, for whom associated conditions such as failing eyesight and dexterity problems like arthritis may occur service providers understand the needs of disabled users and staff and make the right recommendations on their behalf? There are over 9.8 million disabled people in the UK and we have a growing representation of older employees in the workforce, for whom associated conditions such as failing eyesight and dexterity problems like arthritis may occur. We have an ageing population with over 40 per cent of the population over 45 – the age at which the incidence of disability begins to increase. Whilst 9 per cent of adults aged 16-24 are disabled, this increases to about 44 per cent in the 50 to retirement age category. In addition, the Health and Safety Executive reports that upper limb disorder (or repetitive strain injury) is responsible for over 4.2 million lost working days a year, affecting over half a million employees. A recent study also estimates that over half of us could benefit from adjusting our computer set-up to improve our

comfort or efficiency due to physical or vision impairment impacting negatively on our PC use. ESTABLISHING NEED The individual user will know their own needs better than any IT department or support service. Needs may change over time, however, especially with degenerative conditions and as a result of the ageing process itself. By carrying out a mini-audit of each new end-user, you can get some idea of what their requirements are. Perhaps a follow up questionnaire through appropriate channels (depending on who the end user groups are), will help to assess changing requirements and encourage more consultation to ensure computers are modified appropriate to need. A FLEXIBLE TOOL The computer is a highly flexible tool and although the standard keyboard,



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they need to make decisions about their license agreements. Using a solution like SoftwareMetering for Decision Makers also gives organisations the upper hand when negotiating license agreements with software vendors, because it presents them – and software vendors – with unequivocal evidence of their software license status. It is also evidence that can be used internally, to communicate with the business and make better informed decisions about whether to remove or redeploy assets that are not delivering value back to the organisation. There are further benefits to enjoy too. The ROI following the deployment of SoftwareMetering for Decision Makers can be measured within 12 months, providing a powerful proof point of the effectiveness of the measures introduced to save money. Change needn’t be just for optimists, but as SoftwareMetering for Decision Makers proves, it’s for realists too.

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Government Technology | Volume 10.1


screen and mouse set-up cannot be used with ease by everyone, there are many simple adaptations and modifications that can improve access for the many “nonstandard” end-users amongst us. The moral, legislative and financial arguments for factoring in accessibility are indeed compelling, but how can they be achieved? AbilityNet frequently comes across organisations where despite user ID log on, end users cannot even make simple changes to the system such as larger fonts for silver surfers, alternative screen colours or access to built-in features like windows magnifier. ICT systems and networks are often lockeddown – this means that they offer a standard desktop to all users whether or not they wish to modify their computer. There are, for example, many useful features available for free within Windows to change the appearance of the screen or the reaction of the keyboard and mouse. New drivers and/or software may be required to enable a member of staff or a visitor to use a recommended adaptive solution – an impossible feat if security protocols have imposed a technological lock-out. Where PCs are essentially providing a hotdesking environment (such as in a library or school for example) with multiple users who have differing needs, you need to ensure that such settings can be stored as a user profile and accessed at log on for immediate effect. If the end-user cannot implement his own changes, he becomes very dependent on the availability of – usually – very busy front-line staff who have a plethora of other responsibilities to manage at the same time. THIRD PARTY SOLUTION Such issues need to be discussed before committing to a service contract. What might first seem to be a cost effective agreement will prove the converse if the service provider charges individually each time the system has to be un-locked to facilitate basic changes to be made for an end-user, be it an employee or a visitor. When a new third party solution is installed, staff should still be able to customise the interface and software for a wide range of end-users with differing requirements. These changes may include mouse, keyboard or display settings or the use of keyboard shortcuts instead of a mouse. If your systems prevent these changes being made, you are accommodating neither staff nor visitors adequately. USB DRIVES Many software solutions are now available on a USB drive that can be lent to the end-user in question, rather than installed. All the staff member has to do is plug in the device loaded with the appropriate programmes and personal preferences and the software can be accessed immediately. However, this presupposes that the system allows pen drives to be used.

Using pen drives, nothing has to be modified on the main computer. This means that individual needs can be met without running the risk of being unable to turn off an AT solution that other users do not need. HOW CAN YOU TELL? Most suppliers will tell you that their solutions will support disabled people. The question is to what extent and at what cost? Ultimately, how accessible is accessible? To elicit a reasoned response it is important to ask the potential suppliers to answer a checklist detailing the reasonable adjustments that can be made. A simple range of tests can check important factors such as responsiveness to keyboard shortcuts, ability to change display settings, use a USB pen or in checking that the navigation layout of an application makes sense when accessed without a mouse. HOW ACCESSIBLE IS ACCESSIBLE? A potential checklist might include a wide range of questions such as:

whilst simultaneously introducing new Lenovo X61 laptops to the majority of employees. Working closely with Defra and its technology partners, Microsoft and IBM, AbilityNet ensured that all special needs users were supported through the transition – the first phase of which involved some 3,000 members of staff. With the ultimate objective of facilitating a changeover that was as seamless as possible, AbilityNet ensured that neither access, productivity nor comfort, were compromised during the process. The adoption of a new system can be stressful for those using non-standard equipment. Many end-users are completely dependent upon the effective operation of their hardware and/or software solution, if it malfunctions or ceases to perform, they cannot work at all. UNFORESEEN IMPLICATIONS Early intervention was strategically important as there were unforeseen implications and unprecedented areas of risk such as the locking down of the Vista Ease of Access Centre (the range of built in accessibility tools

Along with other experts, AbilityNet provides a range of support services to help procurement professionals through this complex process including training on accessibility, the Law and best oractice, testing, accessible IT kits, and consultancy • Will the screen size and type be suitable for all learners? What about visually impaired children for example? • Will new hardware be compatible with common access technology software packages and hardware devices? • Can alternative keyboards and mice be plugged independently of computer support services? • Will vision impairment software interface effectively with work-based applications? • Will accessibility features in the operating system be available? • Can users have roaming profiles e.g. a vision impaired user who needs magnification software? Can they log on anywhere? Can the software launch independently so they do not have to rely on staff? • Can a photophobic (light sensitive) end user reverse the screen colours to white text on black on any of the library computers? • Can a dyslexic user who prefers a green background to help them read more efficiently effect this change without help from staff? UNIQUE SOLUTION AT DEFRA The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) found a unique solution to the accessibility challenge, as Windows Vista was rolled-out across the organisation

such as the Magnifier, Narrator, On-Screen Keyboard and the adjustment of screen colour settings). Such modifications can make a crucial difference for those with vision impairments or dyslexia, for example. It was essential to check whether commonly used assistive solutions such as Dragon Naturally Speaking, Wivik, Zoomtext and Jaws were fully compatible, as well as some mouse and keyboard alternatives, which were found to lack the necessary drivers to provide the full range of functionality required. As the project progressed it was vital to coordinate the supply of patches and upgrades to ensure optimum performance. As a result, Defra has adopted a much more forward thinking approach to accessibility and active future proofing is now on the agenda. Along with other experts, AbilityNet provides a range of support services to help procurement professionals through this complex process including training on accessibility, the Law and best practice, testing, accessible IT kits, and consultancy.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 0800 269545 E-mail: Web:



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Government Technology | Volume 10.1


UNLEASH DRAGON FOR A MORE PRODUCTIVE 2011 Productivity, efficiency and driving value are going to be the judgement criteria for public sector organisations in 2011. Dragon NaturallySpeaking is the key to less stress and more success IF 2010 WAS A YEAR OF CHALLENGES, then 2011 is likely to be a year of change. Many of these changes will be driven by the cuts resulting from the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, and already the public sector is bracing itself against the impact these changes will have in 2011. These cuts will affect many local authorities and public sector organisations including the Police, Home Office, UK Border Agency and HM Revenue and Customs. However, where there is change, there is also opportunity; against a back drop of cutbacks, there is scope for all public sector organisations to play a role in operating more effectively and do more with less, to result in the savings and efficiencies the government is striving for. CUT COSTS AND ADD VALUE Acknowledging this, many public sector teams or departments are asking themselves what they can do to cut costs and add more value to their organisation. One good place to find the answer to that question is to look at productivity within organisations. Public sector productivity is often hindered by cumbersome legacy processes, many of which are paper-based and documentintensive. Although it will take time for these processes to be overhauled and streamlined, next generation speech recognition technology is already helping to drive significant productivity improvements and helping to slash the time it takes to create and share documents. For years, many industries have depended on desktop speech recognition products like Dragon NaturallySpeaking to dramatically ramp up productivity and drive cost savings. Speech recognition technology has proven itself to be a natural interface, and people in all walks of life – including medical, legal and education professionals, students, writers and bloggers, and those with disabilities such as RSI or dyslexia – use Dragon to invest more of their time working and creating, rather than clicking and typing. Public sector organisations can also benefit from desktop speech products like Dragon, which is now even easier to use out of the box, and boasts recognition accuracy rates of up to 99 per cent. It gives departmental users a voice to perform almost any computer based task, to quickly and easily create documents, fill forms and reports, send e-mails, conduct research on the internet, and interact with their favourite applications. Already, forward-thinking public sector departments are enjoying the productivity and efficiency benefits of using Dragon on a daily basis, to drive real value and realise tangible

efficiency gains. One public sector employee who used Dragon in his career, is former police officer Dennis Griffiths. He explains: “As a detective in the Metropolitan Police, I became involved in more and more paperwork, therefore taking me away from the job that I was actually being paid to do. But once you’ve tried this product it simply sells itself! The thing with voice recognition is that it gives you the ability to get all your thoughts down on paper, and I think that, generally, I achieve accuracy in excess of 98 per cent.” His experiences are echoed by John Proud, from Hambleton District Council. Speaking about Dragon, he states that: “The ability to quickly generate e-mails, reports and even spreadsheets

has been an enormous benefit. I am always looking for new ways to use Dragon NaturallySpeaking to enhance the way I work. Dragon is a fantastic piece of software which I use with confidence on a daily basis and to great effect.” In addition to the many satisfied customers, testimony to Dragon’s abilities is the number of awards it has won. Respected publications across the world have honoured Dragon with many ‘Best Buy’ awards. Most recently, RADAR – the UK’s largest disability campaigning organisation – announced that thanks to Dragon, Nuance had won the ‘Technology Provider of the Year’ category, in its ‘People of the Year’ Awards. There’s no doubt that Dragon is a proven, established technology, and it can be relied on to help manage a workload that would

otherwise be impossible to complete. Recently, Nuance brought this technology to the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, with its free speech applications Dragon Dictation and Dragon Search. Users simply dictate to the device, and once transcribed, they can chose to send the text as an e-mail or text message; efficient, reliable and accurate speech recognition keeps users productive even while on the move. Nuance’s speech technology is also present in some of the company’s popular imaging solution products. Solutions including OmniPage 17 – the fastest, most precise way to convert paper documents into editable digital content – and PDF Converter – the complete industry-standard PDF software solution that combines enterprise-class functionality – feature Nuance’s RealSpeak technology to read aloud the words on the screen, which makes for faster and more accurate proof reading. For users who want to cost effectively scan, organise, find and share all of their documents – including paper, PDF, application files and photographs – Nuance offers PaperPort Professional 12, which helps users stop losing paper, provides instant access to all types of documents, and enables the easy creation, sharing and editing of PDF files. Yet despite their advanced features and the document efficiencies they deliver, Nuance’s imaging solutions remain cost effective. For example, Nuance’s Site License Program made it possible for Central Bedfordshire Council to deploy PDF Converter across 3,000 desks; while the cost of competing PDF solutions would have made such a large-scale deployment costprohibitive, the deployment of Nuance’s PDF Converter saved the council nearly £300,000. PRODUCT TRIALS Productivity, efficiency, and driving value are going to be the judgement criteria for public sector organisations in 2011. To help achieve this, Nuance is offering public sector organisations product trials and special introductory offers on Dragon and its PDF software for new users, and upgrade pricing for existing users.

FOR MORE INFORMATION For more information on these offers – which are valid up to 31st March 2011 – and to learn how public sector organisations are already saving money and maximising value from existing resources using solutions from Nuance, please e-mail




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Government Technology | Volume 10.1


THE NEXT STEP FOR LOCATION INFORMATION Chris Holcroft, director of the Association of Geographic Information, explains recent geographic information breakthroughs in UK public policy IN A RECENT ARTICLE on geographic information (GI) and geographical information systems (GIS) we focused on the UK Location Programme and its links to the EU INSPIRE Directive. This time we will focus on two new announcements: the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA) and the National Address Gazetteer (NAG). Both have cost and efficiency savings potential as well as that of fostering innovation. BUT WHY GI AND GIS? The question “where?” is always present in managing and interacting operational data in the public and private sector. Virtually no piece of government information exists without a position locating it to a place on the world’s surface, be this an address, a property, a telegraph pole, a man-hole cover, a path, a parliamentary constituency, a railway line, the position of an ambulance, and so on. Over recent decades, information has become digitally encoded and stored and has fueled

the rise of geographic information systems and geographic information. The public sector was an early adopter of this technology and information, but this remains fragmented and has not attained its full potential. Today, the value of sales and services in the UK Geographic Information market is valued to be over £900m by government1. That said the value-add is significant. Today, very few branches of industry and public administration are not touched by GI and GIS somewhere and its importance is growing. Effective use of GI and GIS can make a tremendous contribution to the delivery of private and public services and is at the heart of effective administration.

COST BENEFITS A recent study commissioned by the Local Government Association and IDEA2 estimated that GDP was approximately £320m higher in 2008-9 in England and Wales than would have been the case without adoption of GI by local public services providers. It also stated that average annualised cost to benefit cost ratio of a public sector GIS implementation was approximately 1:2.5 over an average five year project life cycle. In other words, a return of £2.5 for each £1 invested. Baroness Andrews, former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, CLG, stressed the importance of geographic information in the UK

Effective use of GI and GIS can make a tremendous contribution to the delivery of private and public services and is at the heart of effective administration



Government Technology | Volume 10.1


Location Strategy3: “Good maps and location intelligence can help determine how quickly our ambulances turn up, where a policeman patrols, how we act in a national emergency. Knowing more about where we live can help us make the best decisions. But across the country there is still too little sharing of the best practice and we are wasting time and money trying to find the information we need.” But this is starting to change. THE PUBLIC SECTOR MAPPING AGREEMENT For several years public sector users have had access to collective licensing agreements to access and use Ordnance Survey digital data products. However these had several limitations including: 1) being sector specific – e.g. local government, central government, or the NHS; 2) requiring license payments – thus one public body would be paying another public body; 3) the agreements suffered some inflexibility in areas such as data sharing, or creating new data derived from the original digital maps. Following CLG’s Policy Options for Ordnance Survey consultation in early 2010, an

Topography Layer; OS MasterMap® Integrated Transport Network (ITN) Layer Road Routing Information (RRI) Theme and Urban Paths Theme; 1:10 000 Scale Raster; OS VectorMap™ Local; 1:25 000 Scale Colour Raster; 1:50 000 Scale Colour Raster; Code-Point®; Code-Point® with polygons; plus Detailed Address Products (see below). In addition all users have free access to the previously announced OS Opendata Datasets which resulted from the previous government’s Making Public Data Public (MPDP) policy. CLG stated that: “Geographical data is at the heart of the delivery of many public services. However, the multiplicity of different agreements between various parts of the public sector and Ordnance Survey has, in the past, led to inefficiencies and prevented public organisations working together effectively for the benefit of individuals and businesses.”4 Whilst the announcement has not been totally free of criticism or words of concern from some private sector geographic data providers, the prospect of a much wider ranging agreement to supply government with Ordnance Survey data and to overcome

Good maps and location intelligence can help determine how quickly our ambulances turn up, where a policeman patrols, how we act in a national emergency. Knowing more about where we live can help us make the best decisions. But across the country there is still too little sharing of the best practice and we are wasting time and money trying to find the information we need – Baroness Andrews announcement was made by government to launch a broad-ranging new Public Sector Mapping Agreement on 1 April 2011. CLG has established a relationship with Ordnance Survey to provide centrally funded mapping products to the entire public sector in England & Wales. This means one collective agreement will cover the whole public sector – instead of multiple agreements – and, significantly, the complex round of license payments between public bodies for digital data will be removed. It also offers great potential to widen the exploitation of core mapping data across more parts of government and its contractors. The government has also freed-up known restrictions or complications involved in derived data plus sharing and distributing data between different parts of the public sector, including between those using the different existing procurement agreements. These had a known adverse impact on collaborative working, service contracting and developing shared services. Datasets to be made available are quite substantial and include: OS MasterMap®



a number of obstacles to take-up, use, innovation and achieving efficiency savings has been well received by public sector users. NATIONAL ADDRESS GAZETTEER In a subsequent, but related, development, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced in December the plan to set up a joint venture between Ordnance Survey and the Local Government Group to create a new single source of address data for England and Wales – a National Address Gazetteer (NAG)5. The new undertaking will be called GeoPlace LLP. Products created from the National Address Gazetteer will be made available free at the point of use for all public sector bodies under the Sector Mapping Agreement mentioned above. Subject to Office of Fair Trading OFT clearance in the New Year, the GeoPlace LLP joint venture will be established and National Address Gazetteer then developed. A first iteration of the National Address Gazetteer

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Chris Holcroft is the director of the Association of Geographic Information (AGI), the independent UK membership organisation serving all with an interest in ‘Location’. He is also a member of the UK Location Council. The views expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect that of AGI, its members, or the UK Location Council. database is expected by April 2011. This announcement is highly significant, because business and essential public services have had to pay for different national address lists for many years. No single address list provided adequate coverage causing excess costs, inefficiencies and potential confusion. This new announcement has the potential to reduce duplication of effort and problems regarding copyright and intellectual property rights. It should provide an opportunity to reduce the cost of maintaining the National Address Gazetteer and the National Street Gazetteer. It may also allow the recording, update and dissemination of address changes to be streamlined and made more rapid in line with end-user requirements. A number of details still need clarification and ironing-out. That said this is a potentially enormous breakthrough to create something that the market has been demanding for many years. In the words of Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government6: “It’s crazy we don’t have one single address list in this country. Having only one ‘address book’ will … deliver vital savings that can be put towards frontline services and bring real benefits for business.” There is an oft-repeated mantra that 80 per cent of information relates to a place. All things happen somewhere. Geography, or more simply ‘where?’ is fundamental to public policy and these two new developments to better obtain, use and share geographic information will be welcomed by increasingly financially-constrained public bodies. Notes: 1. Policy options for geographic information from Ordnance Survey, CLG, December 2009 2. The Value of Geospatial Information to Local Public Service Delivery in England and Wales, ConsultingWhere/ACIL Tasman 2010 3. Place Matters: The Location Strategy for the UK, CLG, November 2008 4. Public Sector Mapping Agreement for England and Wales Transition Plan, CLG, August 2010 5. Government initiative for national addressing, Ordnance Survey, December, 2010 6. Government initiative for national addressing, Ordnance Survey, December, 2010


Government Technology | Volume 10.1


MAPPING THE ROAD AHEAD David Dixon, managing director at Landmark Promap, looks at how changes in accessing and delivering digital mapping data in 2010 could impact on providers and users of digital mapping in the public sector in the year ahead IN THE LAST DECADE DIGITAL mapping has moved from being a niche area navigated by experts, to becoming an essential and accessible tool for many industries. At the touch of a button professionals can now access digital mapping, view historical maps or source data to assess flood risk. Such data is invaluable to organisations, particularly those in the public sector where geographical information is central to so many services that all depend on being able to rapidly download data. THE IMPACT OF DIGITAL MAPPING 2010 was quite a year for the field of digital mapping, which is likely to have a considerable impact on the outlook for next year and beyond. Changes to the Ordnance Survey (OS) licensing agreement means that partners of OS are now able to compete on a level playing field for the provision of OS mapping and data. Thereby providing customers in both the private and public sector with easier access to a greater variety of mapping data using just one provider, as well as the support they receive from providers with respect to value added reports that build the bigger digital mapping picture. In addition to this and further supporting the drive to make OS data accessible to all, from April 2011 the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA) will come into effect, which will be a centrally-funded agreement allowing all public sector organisations to access and share geographical information datasets. Along with the planned merger of OS data with Path and the National Land and Property Gazetteer a new database will be created known as the National Address Gazetteer Database (NAG). This national database, which is due to launch before April, will provide a definitive source for essential mapping information for use by all parts of the public sector. EFFICIENCY SAVINGS Although the PSMA itself will deliver significant efficiency savings for the public sector at a time when spending cuts have been made, organisations should still be looking at ways to ensure that they are accessing and using this information in the best possible and most effective way. For example organisations could benefit by using a digital mapping tool which can help them create bespoke reports and add in various datasets to assist with their projects which would give a real advantage in unlocking the value of the OS data. One such tool is Promap, which provides users with a wide range of mapping, in a

variety of layers, which are supplied in many different levels of accuracy and scale, and allows quick and easy access to managing OS mapping data and geospatial services. We have been developing Promapâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s services to help meet customer needs and have recently extended the service to offer larger areas of mapping, which we were able to do following the recent changes to the OS licensing agreement. Customers can now order up to full GB coverage, as well as having access to new data sets such as the Integrated Transport Network (ITN) layer and VectorMap Local, through a bespoke online ordering process. The product extension will benefit those working within planning departments who require mapping and data exports for projects, particularly those involving non-typical land areas. Over the next decade we will see those working in planning and development departments within the public sector increasingly achieving results with maps and data via intuitive and user friendly applications that previously were only within the capability of GIS specialists. MOVING FORWARD This is the way the mapping market is moving and looking forward into next year we are responding to this by innovating and expanding our user specific GIS and CAD

product offering and are in the process of developing a new system, PromapSolutions. For most organisations the reality of what GIS can achieve delivers great benefits and the new system will evolve to help meet these needs. We already have experience in the GIS field through the Landmark Solutions part of our business, which specialises in geospatial services and provides a wide range of integrated GI solutions for many public sector organisations. The PromapSolutions system will offer more functionality for larger sites and multi browser capabilities, providing customers with a one-stop shop for all their mapping and data needs through a simple ordering mechanism. LANDMARK INFORMATION GROUP Landmark Information Group is the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading provider of digital mapping and land data intelligence. Landmark delivers OS mapping through Promap, which provides a wide range of mapping, in a variety of layers, which are supplied in many different levels of accuracy and scales. With over 27,000 users Promap allows users quick and easy access to OS mapping data and geospatial services.

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Government Technology | Volume 10.1


FINDING YOUR WAY FORWARD We find out how Cherwell District Council uses mapping technology to target public services at areas in need CHERWELL DISTRICT COUNCIL delivers high-quality public services to 139,000 people with its head office in Banbury in North Oxfordshire. As a largely rural local authority area, the council faces a challenge to ensure that it targets areas of greatest need of protection from problems such as environmental crimes and antisocial behaviour. Stuart Hemming, technical project manager, Cherwell District Council, who manages all IT projects for the authority, says: “We have several business applications in use by individual departments. Although a few of them have dedicated reporting facilities that help us to extract management data, they work in different ways. Compiling reports from these systems was difficult, and, in some cases, impossible.” In the past, the council’s analysts had to run a series of reports and then combine them manually to identify hot spots. Hemming says: “Traditionally, we would have known about illegal dumping through local intelligence but that way it is difficult to see how those hot spots change according to the seasons or school holidays.” COLLECTING INFORMATION Cherwell decided to build a Community Intelligence Hub with the aim of bringing together information and statistics from its line-of-business applications into one data warehouse specifically designed for analysis. The specification for the hub included giving addresses in a fixed format. It breaks them down by the areas covered by the council such as wards, parishes, and super-output areas. The latter are a set of geographical areas used nationally since the 2001 census in the UK to help pinpoint areas of social deprivation. Hemming says: “Ease of use of the Community Intelligence Hub was critical. We wanted dashboards and reports that were highly graphical and easy to interpret.” The authority compared two options for building the Community Intelligence Hub. It concluded that Bing Maps with the Microsoft Silverlight 3 browser plug-in was the most cost effective and simple to use for analysing and displaying geospatial information. The solution also included the use of Visual Fusion from IDV Solutions also based entirely on Microsoft technologies to enhance and accelerate the development. The council also chose Ridgian as its systems integrator. The solution included Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to present the analysis, and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 to store information in a data warehouse using online analytical processing cubes. Users can cross reference different sets of information within the

same map and then merge the individual maps to create graphical representations of data. KEY MANAGEMENT INDICATORS Office SharePoint Server 2007 now includes Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 business process management software, which the council is using as a powerful dashboard and monitor for its key management indicators. Another component of Office SharePoint Server 2007 is Excel Services, which makes it easy for users to share workbooks written in Microsoft Office Excel 2007. After 18 months of development and implementation, the Cherwell Community Intelligence Hub is at the pilot stage and now contains 100,000 records. Stuart Hemming comments: “The build of the solution took around six months, including the conversion of data, which was the biggest challenge. When the solution is fully implemented

trends we can now see at the click of a mouse.” Ward Maps Chart Crime Data: Council staff can pinpoint areas affected by crime and antisocial behaviour in easily readable formats. Hemming says: “We can show a map of specific wards with crime data overlaid. We can colour the maps on a scale to see instantly where the hot spots for crime and antisocial behaviour are located. We can also see areas where intense activity occurs over a short period of time, where we need to react quickly and target resources to help solve problems.” Mapping Toolset Improves Accuracy of Service Planning: Councils have a responsibility to prioritise services towards the areas of greatest need. Hemming comments: “The key business driver for this project was to help us produce evidence that would support our service and financial planning processes, as well as our corporate strategy work. We also hope it will help our statutory

By bringing information together in the Community Intelligence Hub, the council can use one reporting tool to examine trends in issues such as antisocial behaviour we expect to add around 10,000 records to the data warehouse every month.” By bringing information together in the Community Intelligence Hub, the council can use one reporting tool to examine trends in issues such as antisocial behaviour. The hub presents analysts with user-friendly data compiled from all its internal systems, as well as those of its statutory partners previously this could take several weeks. Nigel Hamblin, business development manager, Ridgian, says: “The Community Intelligence Hub using Bing Maps technology helps employees produce reports almost instantly. Analysts no longer need to spend weeks pulling this information together manually.” THE BENEFITS Users Create Heat Maps Without Specialist IT Help: The new hub gives analysts the power to generate combination maps on a self-service basis, without the need for assistance from IT experts. Hamblin says: “The use of Bing Maps to analyse and display geospatial information allows analysts at the council to make decisions based on objective information by spotting patterns and trends on maps. We’re using Bing Maps as a real business tool to assist with planning services. Previously, we would have had to trawl through tables of data to identify

partners in their service planning.” Data security is a big concern so it was essential to ensure that the information was properly secured in the design of the Community Intelligence Hub. Single Report Collates Information from Disparate Applications: The intuitive reporting features help ensure that analysts can drill down into just a few streets or a couple of postcodes. Hemming adds: “The main advantage is that we can create a single report, bringing together data from different sources. We can now deliver it at the click of a mouse. In the past, it could have taken our staff a week to convert data to make a specific report.” User-Friendly Tools Need Minimal Training: The Community Intelligence Hub is easy to use after a short training programme. No additional software or special logon is required for users. Hemming says: “All the dashboards and reports are a single click away – they are graphical and easy to interpret. As long as a staff member can use Internet Explorer, he or she can use the reporting tools in the Community Intelligence Hub.”




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Government Technology | Volume 10.1


FINDING NEW WAYS OF WORKING Nomad, the former local government project promoting mobile and flexible working, is seeking to establish a new future and niche role. Ken Eastwood, assistant director at Barnsley MBC and national lead for Nomad gives an update on the initiative IT’S BEEN NEARLY A YEAR since Barnsley rescued Nomad and agreed to give the network a new home and to support ongoing activity in Scotland. We’ve been trying hard to sustain activity and to secure funding to support the launch of Public Sector Nomads. Despite our best efforts this is taking some time but we remain committed to finding a sustainable way forward for Nomad. It remains our view that new ways of working enabled by technology will be critically important to the future public sector and peers have repeatedly told us that Nomad has a unique and valued role to play. HELP THROUGH COLLABORATION The austerity measures and the much-maligned “bonfire of the quangos” are having opposing effects across the public sector landscape. The spending review presents enormous challenge to the sector and will require organisational change and transformation on a scale not seen before, yet at the same time sources of advice and support are rapidly disappearing. It is clear that investment with big consultancies is likely to significantly reduce as all spend attracts scrutiny from armchair auditors. Nomad considers the solution is to develop sector led improvement capacity and to

adopt a community approach to collaboration. Recognising the drive towards increased collaboration and opportunities arising from Total Place and Place Based Budgeting, Nomad is broadening its role to span the whole public sector. We’ve seen some interesting mobile working projects emerging in community health and there’s enormous opportunity to share learning and to develop new approaches that are holistic and span organisational boundaries. In the future we can expect to see technology solutions that revolve around the citizen rather than the organisation and there are considerable challenges to be overcome in terms of sharing standardised data in multiple environments without compromising security. NEW WAYS OF WORKING Nomad has also spread its wings beyond pure mobile to consider new ways of working enabled by technology in the broadest sense. As technologies mature and our familiarity with deployment increases, we see opportunities bigger than individual line of business applications. Increasingly, organisations are considering enterprise approaches to mobile and flexible working and adoption of new policies to support 21st century work styles and to reduce

accommodation requirements. Hot-desking and touchdown facilities are becoming increasingly popular as organisations look to significantly reduce their real estate. Reluctance to change and to adopt radically different approaches to how we work is being challenged by economic factors and to some extent by carbon reduction commitments, though the latter is yet to have the impact it surely will in the foreseeable future. Elsewhere we’re seeing the development of work hubs and collaborative shared workspaces that may be a sign of what’s to come in the public sector. As organisations seek to collaborate more closely it’s possible that nonterritorial shared public sector workspaces may emerge. That’s an exciting concept but one fraught with technical difficulty at the present time given that the shared facilities developed to date have tended to operate with entirely separate and duplicate infrastructures. Clearly, the government cloud and the public network should open up opportunity here. NEXT GENERATION SERVICES Next generation broadband infrastructures are real game changers and we’re seeing early signs of that in Barnsley and South Yorkshire with our Digital Region Programme



Government Technology | Volume 10.1


(, developing a technology foundation that greatly supports our vision of getting all residents and businesses online by 2012. These networks properly support telework and the delivery of next generation services such as telemedicine, that have the potential to significantly reduce cost. As promising as these technologies may be, Nomad believes mobile will have a key role to play in the future with current projections suggesting 85 per cent of the population will be carrying a smart phone inside of only two years. We’re trying to think ahead in terms of what that will mean to how people access services. There’s a huge opportunity there, and we need to get behind what it will mean in terms of reporting and requesting a service, and for access into our organisations for citizens. But also for how we can push information back into our communities. Nomad is seeing a need for a catalogue of tools and applications to support new ways of working. As the public sector seeks to embrace organisational wide change, there needs to emerge clarity around the underpinning technologies and supporting policies. It’s unfortunate that incremental change continues to result in unnecessary duplication of effort as we explore how technology can support new ways of working. Take video conferencing as a good example. The majority of public sector organisations have not yet fully embraced video conferencing and many are implementing pilots and evaluating solutions. From a technology point of view that’s fine, inevitable really. However, we should seek to coordinate and share that activity and look at whether we can procure jointly too. CHANGE OVER TIME Beyond that, the challenge is in adoption and that doesn’t just happen overnight either. Here new economic drivers are rapidly emerging, however. Travel costs are significant and easy budgets to reduce. In many parts of the sector we work the way we’ve always worked with little challenge to routine attendance at regional or national meetings. In the context of significant downsizing and job losses there’s emerging a different perspective. For many video and web conferencing is new and more than a little quirky, but these technologies will increasingly become mainstream and with some support and facilitation usage will become universal. Perhaps what needs to emerge is a shared resource library and a dynamic project catalogue. It’s certainly something we’d be keen to develop. Thinking simplistically, people often want to know what is available now, that is proven to work and how that can successfully be deployed. A catalogue approach could meet these requirements and Nomad believes it should be supported with straightforward guides, toolkits, eLearning packages and events and workshops.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR Ken Eastwood BSc. (Hons) MCIEH is an assistant director at Barnsley Council in South Yorkshire where he leads Regulatory Services including Environmental Health, Trading Standards, Licensing and Bereavement Services. He has a number of corporate leadership roles, including Innovation and Mobile & Flexible Working. An Environmental Health Officer by profession, he began his local government career in 1985 in Liverpool and worked in Bradford for 15 years, before joining Barnsley in 2002. Ken was a board member of UK Government’s Project Nomad and previously led the Project Nomad Cemetery Headstone Safety proof of concept and more recently led the national ReGS Project, implementing mobile and flexible working solutions across Regulatory Services, in partnership with Sheffield City Council. He has spoken at and chaired many conferences, seminars and workshops including eGov and tGov events. Ken is leading the transformation We know there is a lot of peripheral technology that can be deployed to better support new ways of working. Cloud based file storage, instant messenging, IP telephony, virtual worlds, web and video conferencing etc, all have a role to play in meeting the needs of 21st century organisations. We’re missing an independent source of advice on how these technologies should be used within the public sector at the present time. Social technologies are also developing rapidly and the public sector is struggling to keep up. Nomad has been keeping a watching brief on developments and helped facilitate a LocalGovCamp “unconference” in Yorkshire & Humber last summer, to explore some of these issues more widely. Social technologies have interesting potential as enterprise solutions too. Here again, there is a need to share learning and to collaborate across the sector on policy development and on innovative applications. ESTABLISHING A COMMUNITY FOR TECHNOLOGY Our approach to innovation is generally not as successful as it could be. There are some exciting things happening in local government in Kent and elsewhere and in some areas of health, but too often parts of the public sector assume innovation will prosper with no real support or capacity. There’s often a paradox here between ICT services and business units, with ICT able to deliver solutions to meet business needs, once business managers have articulated those to their support services. A simplistic view, to make the point, but one often not that far from actual reality. An innovation hub could help here, by shining light on best

of Nomad, seeking to build a sustainable, public sector wide community of interest. Ken has been an advisor to government on data sharing, new work styles and the better regulation agenda and he has a passionate interest in new ways of working and about technology enabled change. Ken has recently founded Public Sector Nomads, as a successor to Project Nomad. practice and developing wider awareness. In response, Nomad hopes to establish a successful community for technology enabled change across the public sector and is seeking: • To champion the promotion and development of programmes and initiatives across the UK in respect of mobile, flexible and new ways of working enabled by technology, providing leadership and motivation • To become a nationally recognised source of information, advice and guidance on all aspects of mobile, flexible and new ways of working enabled by technology • To build and maintain a national network of expertise in mobile, flexible and new ways of working with access to associated resources and support • To provide an open forum for the exchange of ideas and learning and support and facilitation to an active online community • To lobby and seek to influence on behalf of the public sector over the use of new technologies and the further development of new ways of working • To provide training and advice and bespoke support, drawing upon a network of expert associates where required. That’s very much where we are and how we see the challenge. We remain an unfunded community seeking sponsorship and support. Nomad would value feedback and welcome observation around approach and direction.

FOR MORE INFORMATION E-mail: Web: Twitter: @nomadBUZZ

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Government Technology | Volume 10.1


SUNDERLAND COUNCIL’S JOURNEY INTO DEMOCRATIC CYBERSPACE The imaginative use of technology has enabled Sunderland City Council to work more efficiently and deliver improved public services, writes Lee Stoddart, the council’s democratic services manager LIKE MANY COUNCILS IN THE UK, Sunderland set out to boldly go on a five year mission to launch councillors into the unknown realms of ICT. As bewildering and enticing as the paths and choices along the way might be, perhaps the big question was how will this really benefit councillors? LOOKING BACK In 2005 the Cabinet Office issued the e-Government Strategy which highlighted the role that technology could play in what it described as “democratic renewal.” It used the term eDemocracy to describe how the use of technology could support politicians in managing the democratic process and provide alternative ways for the public to interface with local and central government. A national project was being run by ICELI (International Centre of Excellence for Local eDemocracy) and they were busy promoting such wonders as joining the blogosphere with the ‘Blog in the Box’, Webcasting, Community Portals, Online Forums and ePetitioning. Sunderland City Council was offered the distinction of being the lead authority to work under the aegis of North East Connects on a regional project funded by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. North East Connects was the region’s e-Government Partnership of 25 local authorities established to enable strong, sustainable and high performing local government within the North East. eDemocracy was the partnership’s first major project. E-DEMOCRACY The project promoted the concept of eDemocracy with a series of regional presentations and workshops. In addition, the project identified a suite of eDemocracy tools and established a procurement framework to give the region’s councils the benefit of product evaluation and economies of scale. Sunderland’s committee information management system was purchased using this framework. At the same time, the city council was working on its successful bid to the government’s Digital Challenge programme which involved setting the vision for a digitally enabled Sunderland. It was laying the foundations for this transformation by leading the way to a 21st century city with services to be based on the needs of the individual and to be delivered where, when and how they were needed and wanted; this could be in the

home, a local community point, face to face, or remotely using technology as the enabler. The city’s proposal was driven by the needs of its communities and was powered by real consultation. The aim was to drive a transformation in the lives of the people of Sunderland, in particular, for those who might be disadvantaged or disengaged. For Sunderland one of the side benefits of this early work was the promotion, amongst council members, of the principles of community leadership and a growing acceptance of the benefits of new technologies. Since the introduction of executive arrangements replaced the old service committee system some councillors felt disengaged from the comfortable, familiar, sources of information. And so, the time was ripe for this vacuum to be filled by using information technologies to give the edge back to councillors. NEW WAYS OF WORKING The council commenced a roll-out to members of PCs, laptops, broadband services and hand held remote devices. The Cabinet piloted the first issue of BlackBerries and Portfolio holders and immediately noted a marked improvement in speed of communication with both council officers and constituents. Remote access to the council’s online resources was also improved. BlackBerrys are now available to all council members who can enjoy remote access to diary and e-mail accounts with facilities to edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint attachments, full internet and intranet access, mapping facilities and GPRS photo tagging. The council now runs a major Community Leadership Programme and one of its main work-streams is devoted to improving services to members; with a particular emphasis on the imaginative use of new technology. The council has invested in improving the ICT infrastructure within the organisation; a Virtual Private Network is being installed to improve remote access to the council’s intranet and Wi-Fi has been installed in the council chamber, the committee rooms, and members’ group and work rooms. The council is offering all members the use of state of the art tablet PCs which allow them access, in committee, to the council’s committee information management system, its files and e-mail servers. Members can download a full agenda pack directly to their tablets which they can then save electronically and annotate during meetings. Apart from the usual access to council

information, such as the policy framework and key documents, other online systems available are a specially developed ‘Members’ Services Directory’ and a ‘Cabinet Portfolio Directory’. The Members’ Service Directory allows councillors to browse by service and be directed to the officer most suited to be able to deal swiftly with all aspects of that service need. The Cabinet Portfolio Directory provides councillors with a similar facility matching every policy aspect of each Cabinet portfolio to the most appropriate contact officer. NEW INITIATIVES The council is also pioneering two new concepts based on the use of Sharepoint technology. The first is a ‘Member Account’, which is where a council member is given a dedicated, secure, Sharepoint site and is assigned an account manager who shares access to the site along with the members’ development officer. The objective of account managers is to provide support and guidance to their assigned member(s). The system is designed to assist members’ development on an individual basis; tailored to meet the prevailing needs and priorities. New members in particular benefited and it has proved especially useful during the induction process. The sites also serve as a repository for training records, discussion forums and any individual member orientated documents. The second initiative is the introduction of the ‘Ward Bulletin Service’. The purpose of the service is to provide current and real time ward based information on a wide variety of issues and key developments which are of interest to members. This service has all ward information in one place, gives real time updates on services such as planning applications, and gives details on items agreed by directorate management teams. Each directorate has a nominated officer to ensure that sites are up to date and that news items are entered on a regular basis. Both of the above initiatives are still in the developmental period but have proved very popular with members. The roll-out of new technologies to councillors can be a slow, difficult process. As anyone who has tried it knows, none of the technology becomes really useful until you have all your systems in place; so you have to keep your nerve in the face of unfulfilled early expectations. It is worth it in the end because, once you’re there, the benefits flow exponentially.



Government Technology | Volume 10.1


WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER Today’s focus on cost-cutting doesn’t mean that we need to work harder – as long as we’re smart, argues Alan Bellinger from the Institute of IT Training WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO in order to respond to the fact that we’re in a period of cost containment – and what should you expect from your Learning & Development (L&D) department? It may well be that their response is: “Sorry, we can’t help; we’ve been cut ourselves.” But I submit that management’s focus should be on working smarter, not harder. IT AND LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT One of the problems of working in silos is that we tend not to recognise crosssilo issues; and working smarter is one of those issues. It requires close collaboration between IT and L&D and is encapsulated by one of my favourite quotes: “The next big hit for the internet is L&D – and, just like marketing before them, they won’t get it!” There’s more truth to this than meets the eye. That’s because, in the same way that e-marketing fundamentally changed the fulfilment model, working smarter does the same. In marketing’s case the model was a fixed upfront cost, with variable results; e-marketing changed this by making the funding a function of the results. In L&D’s case, the traditional model has been to focus on formal learning – classroom-delivered, e-Learning and floor-walking. The model now is to focus on informal learning and the integration of learning and work. But that’s where the analogy ends. In marketing’s case they could leverage e-marketing without relying on IT; Google and Adwords didn’t demand IT’s cooperation. But, to make it a reality for L&D, they need you. IT’S PERFORMANCE In the brave new L&D world, it’s all about performance, not training. Training focuses on the inputs; what skills are needed, how can we transfer the skills, and how can we measure the skills gain? But performance focuses on the outputs and on building capability – what can people do? For L&D right now there is a sweet-spot that they should be exploiting and that’s the synergy created between Business Intelligence (analytics), Performance Management (PM) and Talent Management (TM). But here’s the key point; in an organisation in which silos are prevalent, where does responsibility lie for developing these three applications? Now TM is almost certainly an HR/L&D responsibility – but the problem is you can’t start there; that’s the third of the trilogy. Many people argue that finance is the department best placed to take the lead on



analytics, but that creates a problem. Most of the first phase of Business Intelligence (BI) projects were spear-headed by finance – and they weren’t a notable success. That’s because finance staff have a natural tendency to equate performance with money, which is fine – but most performance related metrics can’t be expressed in money terms. So, if the finance department isn’t best placed to take the lead on analytics, who is? It needs a cross-functional team, but if you accept the premise that L&D is responsible for performance and capability, rather than just training, then they are best placed to take to lead on such a team.

THE MAGIC TRIO One of the dangers we face from senior IT management at this point is the response: “We have enough on our plate and limited budgets. This is not the time for a new initiative like this!” And that’s fully understandable. But this is an area in which applications already exist – and many of them are open source. So perhaps it’s not so challenging after all. And one thing’s for certain – the timing is perfect. The Gartner Group defines BI/analytics as: “An umbrella term for the applications, infrastructure, platforms, tools and best practices that enable the access to and analysis of information to optimise

Government Technology | Volume 10.1


decisions and manage performance.” At a recent IBM Conference, the skills for advanced analytics were agreed to be: • Ability to deliver vs. the ability to absorb. A lot of new insights are being delivered to organisations, and the ability to absorb and synthesise is a new skill. • Analysis and interpretation. People will need to know how to analyse and how to interpret the results of an analysis. Having knowledge is not the same as using knowledge effectively. • The right information. Putting analytics tools in the hands of too wide an audience might be too much for them. Instead the enterprise should be focusing on giving these employees the right information. • Leaders need to have capabilities too. If executives are accustomed to using spreadsheets and relying on their gut instincts, then they will also need to learn how to make use of analytics. Performance Management is what business users want from analytics; it translates them into employee performance. Gartner defines it as: “The combination of management methodologies, metrics and IT (applications, tools and infrastructure) that enable users to define, monitor and optimise results and outcomes to achieve personal or departmental objectives while enabling alignment with strategic objectives across multiple organisational levels (personal, process, group, departmental, corporate or business ecosystem).” This definition highlights the difference between Performance Management and the conventional HR appraisal cycle (that’s what many L&D professionals will have in mind if you talk to them about Performance Management. And Performance Management leads naturally into Talent Management. Working smarter has a significant impact; from call centre agents using the results of predictive models, to workers in the back office seeing reports, to business unit leaders using more sophisticated models. Working smarter is not necessarily working simpler.

INTEGRATING LEARNING AND WORK Wikipedia describes a visionary as: “A person with a clear, distinctive and specific vision of the future; it is usually connected with advances in technology.” In L&D, I submit, that vision goes far beyond tactical imperatives and is really all about embedding learning into work. To my mind this is the second generation of the application of learning technologies. In the first phase, we focused on using the technologies (generally e-Learning, blended learning and virtual classrooms) to support or replicate the classroom experience; the second phase is all about using them effectively. Embedding learning has been made possible by three key trends that have come together more or less at the same time. They are: • A recognition of the importance that informal learning plays in the development of skills • The integration of learning and content management • The change in organisational culture from hierarchical to collaborative. As we noted earlier, for L&D to get involved in integrating learning and work, they’re absolutely dependent on the use of IT. This is much more than e-Learning or the Learning Management System; it’s about getting the right mix of collaboration, content management, performance management and talent management to ensure that learning really is embedded into work. But the critical part of this journey is not the “what’s it all about?”, or “why should we do it?” but “how can we do it?” And that means it becomes a tactical issue after all. There are four critical aspects involved in rolling out a programme in which L&D deploys learning technologies that enable embedding learning into work. Firstly there’s Planning and Involvement. This is a cross-enterprise exercise and, as such, needs enterprise-wide positioning in order to ensure its success. People need expectations and guidelines in order to participate effectively.

Secondly there’s Competency Frameworks. Broad competency frameworks are needed in order to facilitate the process; the issue is that people don’t know what they don’t know. Once they have been given the appropriate pointers then embedded learning can really take off. But these competency frameworks need to be specific to each job role – broad L&D soft skills aren’t enough. Thirdly there’s Communities of Practice. Although embedding learning into work can imply people are learning on their own, that’s really not the case; embedding involves people learning from peers and role models. Communities of Practice are the way of enabling effective networking. Lastly there’s Engagement. Once established, the communities will help to drive engagement; but the engagement process will also involve recognition. THE FORMAL AND INFORMAL BALANCE The challenge here for L&D is not to throw the baby out with the bath-water. It’s not as simple as stopping all formal learning and only concentrating on informal learning – which is what integrating learning into work is all about. The issue is how do you identify those situations in which formal learning is best? Core skills, that need to be transferred to long-term memory, will always be best developed in a formal setting. And situations that require skills development takes place across the organisation – e.g. a new system roll-out – are similar. The key point for L&D to bear in mind in this process is that the skill-sets needed for effectiveness in the 21st century are smaller rather than larger. We don’t need to know as much to do our jobs – we just need to know where to find it when we need it. And that’s what working smarter is all about.


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Government Technology | Volume 10.1


TECHNOLOGY SUPPORTED WORKPLACE LEARNING Learning Technologies and Learning and Skills return to London’s Olympia 2 on 26-27 January THE EVENT FOLLOWS the format first introduced in 2010 with the established Learning Technologies Exhibition and Conference, which focuses on the technologies used in workplace learning, supported by the co-located Learning and Skills exhibition, which covers the entire spectrum of organisational learning and development. The event will take up all of the available space at Olympia 2, making the 2011 event the largest in its 11-year history and the largest event for L&D professionals in Europe. The dates for your diary are 26-27 January. The Learning Technologies Conference is a four-track conference with 40 sessions led by experts in the field of learning and development. Over 400 L&D professionals have already booked a place – conference bookings remain open until 21 January. The speaker line-up includes many of the industry’s leading L&D visionaries and includes keynote addresses from Socratic Arts CEO Roger Schank, journalist and author Jonathan Margolis and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills’ Professor Mike Campbell OBE. The conference will discuss all of the important issues facing L&D and is a great opportunity to listen to and interact with the leading contemporary thinkers and practitioners in workplace learning. Sessions on the conference programme include keynote addresses, café sessions, case studies and theory presentations – with opportunity both to listen and interact. The conference has four tracks – Learning Today, Learning Technology, Learning Strategy and Learning in Practice – all offering focus for different L&D roles. Delegates may pick and mix sessions from across the four tracks – whichever suits. Speakers at the Learning Technologies 2011 Conference include: David Mallon, Ewan McIntosh, Dr. Itiel Dror, Jane Bozarth, Steve Smith, Prof. Chris Bones, Charles Jennings, Prof. Steve Wheeler, Nigel Paine, Mark Oehlert and Cathy Moore with case studies from British Airways, Bupa, Siemens, L’Oreal, Caja Madrid, RSA Group, Magnox South and the British Army, amongst others. HOW TO BOOK FOR THE CONFERENCE Unlike the exhibitions, which are both free to attend, there is a delegate fee to attend the Learning Technologies Conference. Booking rates and available discounts are listed on the conference website www. Additionally, delegates may choose to receive



either the all-new Amazon Kindle, Apple TV or Flip Ultra II as part of their delegate booking. Learning Technologies offers a variety of social media channels and resources for visitors to keep up to date with announcements and interact with the organisers and other L&D professionals attending the events: • Learning Technologies 2011 Conference website: www. • Follow Learning Technologies on Twitter: • Learning Technologies Facebook event page: www.facebook. com/LearningTechnologiesEvent THE LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES 2011 EXHIBITION The Learning Technologies Exhibition is Europe’s leading showcase of the technology used for learning at work. All of the leading providers of L&D technology and related products and services are exhibiting and the

performance, learning resources, and HR systems and services, and is built around a multi-streamed programme of free seminars in four theatres on the exhibition floor. The combination of Learning Technologies and Learning and Skills provides access to more than 200 exhibitors and over 120 free-of-charge seminars and is a must-attend event for all learning and development professionals in 2011. To register for a free exhibitions visitor pass please see www.learningandskillsevents. com/registration-page/ Floorplans of both the Learning Technologies Exhibition floor and the Learning and Skills Exhibition floor are available to help visitors to plan their day: www. THE LEARNING AND SKILLS GROUP The Learning and Skills Group (LSG) is the professional membership arm of the Learning Technologies and Learning and Skills event – an international community of over 3,000

The speaker line-up includes many of the industry’s leading L&D visionaries and includes keynote addresses from Socratic Arts CEO Roger Schank, journalist and author Jonathan Margolis and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills’ Professor Mike Campbell OBE. The conference will discuss all of the important issues facing L&D and is a great opportunity to listen to and interact with the leading contemporary thinkers exhibition includes a wealth of content via a free seminar programme running in five theatres in the exhibition hall for visitors to attend. The Learning Technologies 2011 Exhibition is free to attend and with over 4,000 people expected to attend, visitors are encouraged to go online and register in advance to gain fasttrack entry. Please see ww.learningtechnologies.

learning and development professionals interested in organisational learning and the application of learning technology in the workplace. Membership provides an annual conference in June, webinars throughout the year, online resources, collaborative tools and knowledge sharing opportunities. Membership is free-of-charge for L&D professionals – for further details visit

THE LEARNING AND SKILLS 2011 EXHIBITION Learning and Skills 2011 is co-located with the Learning Technologies Exhibition and Conference for the second year. The Learning and Skills Exhibition showcases the entire spectrum of methods, products and services for workplace learning with a focus on people development, learning and

CREATING SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES Learning Technologies 2011 conference chair, Donald Taylor says: “There’s much for the learning industry to debate currently. Learning professionals are increasingly aware that they have a lead role to play in creating the kinds of successful businesses that will emerge in strong shape from the economic downturn. At Learning Technologies and

Government Technology | Volume 10.1


Learning and Skills 2011 we intend to help learning professionals to discover and share the best ways to make the impact needed.” “The hostile economic climate has, paradoxically, opened up huge opportunities for learning innovation to contribute to bottom line business performance. The L&D profession stands at a pivotal moment,” Mr Taylor continued. “We will look into the very latest developments in learning technologies, tools and devices – from the vast amount of new ideas out there. All of it is exciting, some of it is outlandish, and some of it might crash and burn, but we can be sure that some of it will affect the way we deliver learning in organisations in the future. “There is an unrivalled range of sessions and tracks to stimulate conversation – and in every case something that everyone in L&D can learn and take back to the workplace and put to use.” Learning Technologies and Learning and Skills 2011 exhibitions organiser, Mark Penton commented: “Organisations know that they must focus on developing their talent if they are to succeed and the business case for developing staff is now more compelling than ever. The event is attracting more L&D buyers than ever before – over 4,000 are expected to attend in January – and more learning providers have chosen to exhibit. “The economic downturn is demanding greater performance from business and we’ve seen an increase in training innovation in the last year. The Learning Technologies and Learning and Skills event is the place to find out all about it.” QUOTES FROM CONFERENCE SPEAKERS Journalist and author, Jonathan Margolis said: “Where will learning technology be in ten years’ time? Who could have predicted mobile technologies, readily available broadband access and rampant social media? Even if someone does manage a correct prediction, can we ever precisely say what the impact of technology will be? Often new technologies have unintended and usually unpredictable consequences.” Principal Analyst, Bersin & Associates, David Mallon commented: “Performance is what organisational leaders want. Yet, according to the July 2010 survey by Coleman Parkes, only 18 per cent of British CEOs think that the work of the learning and development department is aligned to business needs. How can we make sure that L&D is seen to affect performance?“ Former global head of learning, Thomson Reuters, Charles Jennings added: “How do we ensure that we have the right mixture of learning activity in our organisations, balancing the formal and the informal, as well as making space for the vast amount of on-thejob learning that takes place in any role?” elearnity CEO, David Wilson concludes: “Is the learning management system dead and what impact will Web 2.0, social media and informal learning have on corporate learning systems?”



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RECOGNISING OUTSTANDING SERVICE AT THE ITSMF UK The itSMF UK 2010 Conference and Exhibition in Hammersmith drew 650 delegates to the Novotel London West on 8-9 November to enjoy a programme of over 40 presentations and keynotes as well as a bustling ITSM exhibition ITSMF UK is the country’s premier community for leadership in IT Service Management, and as such its annual gathering provides a key focus for service managers, practitioners, consultants and vendors working with ITIL and other ITSM frameworks and standards. “This was our first annual conference in London after a number of years in Birmingham and Brighton, and I couldn’t be more delighted with the result,” said itSMF UK CEO Ben Clacy. “We were also really pleased with the number of overseas visitors who joined the event this year, including representatives from over 20 other chapters. I would like to say a big thank you to our Platinum sponsor Pink Elephant and all our other sponsors and exhibitors, without whom the conference would not have been possible. Many thanks too to the speakers and delegates.” The opening keynote was presented by adventurer and explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who captivated the audience with his dry humour and warmth as he described his breathtaking travels across the deserts and frozen continents of the world. The sheer commitment and determination demonstrated by Fiennes and his companions as they pushed human endurance to new levels was an inspiration to all and highlighted the importance of teamworking and leadership in any discipline. Other keynote sessions were provided by James Staten, vice-president of Forrester Research, who offered a fascinating insight into the practical application of cloud computing, and ITIL chief architect Sharon Taylor, who provided a glimpse into the future of service management. Experience-based presentations from companies such as Camelot, the UK Border Agency, UK Land Registry, Heineken, Belron, Bank of England, the Co-operative Financial Services, Defra, Standard Life, Thomson Reuters, Axa, Virgin Airways, the University of Bolton and Unilever ensured that the programme focused on practical service management issues and challenges, while interactive features such as an Ask the Experts panel session and G2G3’s cloud simulation encouraged delegates to become fully involved in the proceedings. ITSM AWARDS The conference also plays host each year to the prestigious IT Service Management Awards dinner. This year the master of ceremonies was impressionist Jon Culshaw, who delighted the audience with comic versatility as he

This year the master of ceremonies was impressionist Jon Culshaw, who delighted the audience with comic versatility as he introduced each of the awards introduced each of the awards. Following tradition, the event included a charity raffle which raised an impressive £2,200 for this year’s beneficiary, the Hammersmith Academy. “The Awards are itSMF UK’s opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our members, and this year’s impressive array of finalists shows that there is no shortage of talent and energy within the movement,” commented Clacy.

This year the two Best Student awards, awarded for the highest achievers in ITIL intermediate-level qualifications and ISO/ IEC 20000 Consultants exams, went to Richard Carpenter of HSBC and Louise Howson of Steria respectively. Both awards were sponsored by APMG-International. The Trainer of the Year award went to Michelle Major Goldsmith of Sysop, a finalist



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for the second year running. Michelle said she was “particularly delighted to have received the award given that the nominations are made by students and the accompanying endorsements and final assessments are conducted by one’s peers and other recognised ambassadors for service management.” Submission of the Year (sponsored by Exin International), awarded for the most informative and educational service management white paper written during the year, went to Ian Macdonald, senior IT specialist at the Co-operative Financial Services, who described his company’s project to implement an ITIL Process Assessment Framework. It’s been a good year for Ian; his paper on end-toend service reporting took last year’s prize and went on to worldwide acclaim with a

special award from itSMF International. The winner of the Service Innovation award (sponsored by Exin International) was UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) for its risk-based Service Transition, evaluation, Planning & Support (STePS) project. STePS is a corporate process, owned and managed by the GCHQ IT Services Business Unit, to ensure that all new IT deliveries are fully supportable, affordable and sustained once transitioned into operations. The innovation replaced an existing Transition to Operations process, which was proving too slow and rigid to allow IT Services to respond to rapidly changing business demands. STePS also allowed GCHQ to benefit from the best practices supported by ITIL V3. Service Management Champion of the

Year (sponsored by BCS) was Clare Hubbard, service management team manager at the Met Office. Clare won this award partly because of significant ITSM improvements within the Met Office itself and partly because of the input that Clare’s team have provided to a new EU-wide initiative called MyOcean, a central source of online information for those navigating and studying the world’s oceans. Project of the Year (sponsored by Marval) winner was Deutsche Bank. Its entry describes the formation of a global production management function (Global Technology Production Management or GTPM) which has integrated the IT service management functions of the bank into a single organisation. The project involves the transition of 4,600 applications and the bringing together of more than 2,000 staff distributed across five continents spanning 15 time zones. The benefits already realised include a reduction of 90 per cent in the level of critical incidents and over EUR10 million of savings realised from the consolidation of the production management function, rationalisation of vendor relationships and a reduction in incidents and service requests. Last but certainly not least, the recipient of the coveted Paul Rappaport award for outstanding contribution to service management was Ashley Hanna, tireless ITIL author and reviewer and ISO/IEC 20000 examiner. As chair of the itSMF UK Publications ESC, Ashley oversees the organisation’s publishing and book sales portfolio, and is part of the itSMF International publications think-tank. He is currently the technical continuity editor of the ITIL update and works as a business development manager at HP, based within the mission-critical organisation. Ashley said the award had come as a complete surprise and he felt very privileged to have received it. These awards provide essential recognition for those who have made their mark on IT service management, not just within their organisations but across the whole industry.

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INCE 1993, Houseon-the-Hill has been providing market-leading, ITIL-compatible service desk software to governments, local authorities and public sector establishments worldwide. Our configurable and easy-to-use software SupportDesk, manifests in a number of specialist solutions that allow for the management and smooth running of your day-to-day working environment. These include SupportDesk ITSM, which allows for the efficient management of IT services; SupportDesk FM, which enables facilities to be monitored and maintained; and SupportDesk FOI, which follows the Ministry of Justice Framework for the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and lets users swiftly progress Freedom of Information requests with a configurable workflow.



Ultima’s services encompass the design, development, deployment and management of complex infrastructure solutions based on current IT technologies with a focus on technology integration and the provision of end to end solutions from the data centre to the desktop. Core solutions include: infrastructure virtualisation and optimisation; desktop deployment; application delivery; data management; and network security – all delivered expertly by Ultima’s extensive team of technical services personnel.


Because of the highly customisable nature of SupportDesk, our system can be implemented into organisations of any size and configuration. Being a small, customer-focused business means that the expert support you receive will be personal, and we as a company will work with you to create a service desk system that meets the requirements and needs of your organisation. So, let SupportDesk from House-on-the-Hill be the solution to your service desk needs! Visit us at SDITS stand 316.

FOR MORE INFORMATION House-on-the-Hill Software Ltd. 127 Stockport Road, Marple Cheshire SK6 6AF Tel: +44 (0)161 4278988 E-mail: info@ Web:



Government Technology | Volume 10.1


MAINTAINING INVESTMENT IN NEW TECHNOLOGY Leasing allows the public sector to make smarter use of limited resources and gives them the flexibility to change equipment after a few years, explains Julian Rose, head of asset finance at the Finance & Leasing Association Bulletin’ and not in ‘Government Technology’. Finance teams are now up to speed on the new rules and should be able to advise on what charges need to be considered. Remember, however, that the accounting jargon only affects how the technology is paid for, not the decision on whether purchase or lease is the lowest cost. The FLA is campaigning for simpler accounting rules to make it easier for public authorities to keep their technology up to date. The accounting regulators are planning changes to the rules that should help public authorities by removing the need to treat different leases in different ways. But until the rules are simplified our advice is to ask for help from your in-house experts.

HAVING MODERN TECHNOLOGY doesn’t guarantee high quality public services. But it often helps. And having to make do with unreliable, inefficient or outdated technology is often a false economy that leads to higher costs and poorer services. But with public authorities facing increasingly challenging financial pressures, maintaining investment in new technology may appear just too difficult. A key reason for this is that often it is assumed that new technology has to be purchased outright. Many private sector organisations would consider using asset finance whenever they need new assets. Asset finance means renting equipment through a leasing agreement. For public authorities leasing technology from the private sector is often seen as too expensive or too difficult. But it’s becoming easier for public authorities to get good value from leasing, which means making a proper comparison between purchase and lease is more important than ever. BRIDGING THE DIFFERENCE The most likely reason for assuming that technology has to be purchased is that, traditionally, the government is able to borrow money at a better rate than the private sector. Today however there is less difference between the interest rates following the recent increase in the cost of funds available to authorities from the Public Works Loan Board and the rates charged by asset finance companies. This reflects the low risk for

finance companies that fund public sector equipment. Following the recent increase in the cost of funds available to authorities from the Public Works Loan Board, interest rates charged by leasing companies are now competitive with the costs of public funds. Assessing the affordability of asset finance isn’t just about the headline interest rate. By comparing the total costs and risks of buying, maintaining and replacing equipment, proper comparison between owning and leasing can be made. RISIDUAL VALUE RISK In the private sector lenders can take the risk that equipment might not be needed after a few years. In industry jargon, this is called the residual value risk. With technology changing so rapidly it makes sense not to be tied to a piece of equipment until the end of its life. Equally there are real benefits in not having to deal with the sale and disposal of equipment, which can be timeconsuming and costly. It’s often better to leave this to asset management experts. ACCOUNTING CONFUSION Recently the introduction of new accounting rules for asset finance has caused a lot of confusion. When it’s accounted for one way, the only cost of leasing is the rental payments. Accounted for another way, there are other charges to consider called depreciation and capital charges. You will be relieved to hear that the details belong in ‘Accounting Standards

THE RIGHT LEASING AGREEMENT A successful leasing agreement needs more than a good legal agreement. Users need to be confident that they will be treated fairly and responsibly by their leasing company. The Finance & Leasing Association’s (FLA) Business Finance Code of Practice helps to achieve and maintain the standards and essential level of trust between public authorities and our members. FLA members can also help their customers to achieve good practice in leasing. For example, it’s important to check that the lease period is no more than the period for which the equipment is likely to be needed. Customers should consider what happens at the end of the rental period, and what it would cost to carry on using the equipment if it is still needed or even to buy it. The FLA has a checklist for customers on its website, together with full details of the commitments that our members make when supplying to the public sector. As financial pressures grow on public authorities, investing in technology becomes more rather than less important, because service efficiency improvements are so often technology-enabled. Leasing is about making smarter use of limited resources, keeping options open by having the flexibility to change equipment after a few years, facilitating efficiency improvements and better services. In today’s economy and at a time when technology is moving so fast, leasing new equipment is more likely than ever to be a cost effective option.




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Government Technology | Volume 10.1


INFORMATION ASSURANCE IN THE AGE OF AUSTERITY How to implement the highest level of data security on a lean budget

ARE YOU TRYING TO ESTABLISH where you could make cost-effective improvements to your IA? And what new measures you can put in place to maximise your current data security? Information Assurance in the Age of Austerity tackles the challenge of IA in the new environment, head on. Taking place 15 and 16 February, this timely event has been designed specifically for wider public sector bodies involved in delivering IA at the local level. It’s the only event which deals with IA at the local level following the budget cuts, and will tackle the unique needs of these interconnected communities that are often lost in the breadth of pan-government events. WHAT’S ON THE AGENDA? • How to ensure your IA doesn’t land you with a £100,000 fine: The ICO lays out how you can respond effectively to the government’s transparency and privacy agenda. • How new government initiatives will impact on your IA strategy: Get to grips with how PSN, G-Cloud and Big Society will shape your IA. Insights from Cambridgeshire County Council, Birmingham City Council, the Cabinet Office and DCLG. • Finding practical solutions for delivering IA on a shoe string: Giving you fresh ways to approach IA on a lean budget. Share insights and experiences with Bolton MBC and the Department of Health. • Uncovering the secrets to a successful culture change: Findings from DWP, and the Welsh Assembly Government on effective leadership practices, training staff and feedback from

successful internal awareness campaigns. • Understand and combat cyber threats at the local level: CESG lays out the quick fixes you can apply to protect yourself from new cyber threats. • How to facilitate information sharing without compromising safety: Establishing the optimum ways to increase efficiency by working with 3rd parties, building trust and integrating technology. Westminster City Council and the Welsh Assembly Government share their insights and experiences. • What innovative action Manchester City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council have taken to increase their information security measures on a lean budget. • Join local government representatives in an open and honest round table discussion to thrash out your unique challenges surrounding council customer knowledge and management Because the agenda has been put together by IT professionals, it accurately reflects the challenges you’re facing in ensuring your IA gives you the highest level of security. WHO WILL BE ADDRESSING THESE ISSUES? • Conference chair: Glyn Evans, corporate director of Business Change, Birmingham City Council, vice-president, Socitm, Member, CIO Council, Member, Local Government Delivery Council • Keynote Address: Jonathan Bamford, head of Strategic Liaison, ICO • David Wilde, CIO, Westminster City Council • John Stubley, PSN programme

director, Cabinet Office • Stephan Conaway, CIO, Manchester City Council • Adam Clark, senior information risk manager, National Policing Improvement Agency • Dr. Michael Harrington, director, Corporate Services, Welsh Assembly Government • Adrian Davis, principal research analyst, Information Security Forum • Mario Devargas, ICT director, Corporate Resources Department, Bolton MBC • Veronica Fraser, head of Data Protection, Information Risk Management and CHIP Briefing System Information Management and Governance Information Services Direct, Department of Health • Martin Hansen, former director of Information, Nottinghamshire Police; Senior Responsible Officer, East Midlands Mobile Data Project • Nicholas Frost, global account manager, Information Security Forum • Chris Ulliott, principal security architect, CESG • Paul Featherstone, head of IT, Newcastle City Council • Noelle Godfrey, head of IT, Cambridgeshire County Council • Mike Thompson, security awareness, education and outreach manager, DWP • Mark O’Neill, CIO, Department of Communities and Local Government This groundbreaking event will bring together SIROs, CIOs and heads of IT, information assurance, information management and information governance. So if you’re an IT professional committed to delivering IA at the local level, there’s only one place you should be on 15-16 February. SPECIAL GOVERNMENT DISCOUNT As a government representative you’ll receive a special discounted ticket price. Plus, if you book before Friday 14 January, save up to £300 off standard rates! Simply quote priority code GT to claim your discount.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: +44 (0)20 31418700 E-mail: Web:



Government Technology | Volume 10.1


GET READY TO GET ONLINE Online Information 2010 provided an annual meeting place for the global information industry ATTRACTING INFORMATION professionals from around the world, the 2011 Online Information event took place from 30 November to 2 December at Olympia, London. The event consisted of an exhibition with more than 200 international exhibitors plus an extensive educational show floor seminar programme. In addition, the highly regarded Online Information Conference ran alongside the exhibition. The show covered everything needed to ensure information professionals are ready for the challenges and opportunities ahead. It focused on the latest developments in content management; search solutions; social media; ePublishing solutions; content resources; and library management. Despite the weather, the event was a success. Exhibitors showcased some of the best products and services available for the information and information management industry, and visitors came away full of knowledge from the high level seminar programme. REWARDING SUCCESS Each year at the Online Information conference, IWR awards the coveted title of Information

Professional of the year. This year’s winner was Dave Pattern, library systems manager at the University of Huddersfield. Here is what Dave’s nominee said about him: “Taking the analysis of library usage information further, Dave, with his colleagues, has found a strong positive correlation between library usage and the final grades achieved by students. This type of information and analysis will be invaluable to the library community as it seeks to prove the value of library services in the coming years. “Dave is a strong supporter of the recent ‘Mashed Library’ events, which seek to explore the use of technology in libraries. Dave has organised two of the six events over the last two years, and has provided his considerable expertise in support of the others.” POSITIVE EXHIBITORS The exhibition was a great success, with companies showcasing their latest products, services and solutions. Feedback was positive, as confirmed by many of the exhibitors: “This is our first Online Information. We have made the most of the opportunity to gauge the

state of the market and establish where we fit within it. We have also used the event to promote our new product Tera Digital Publish,” enthused Paul Turton, Miles 33. Claire Barker from Lexis Nexis said: “Online is the place to come for industry networking. We work hard to ensure we maximise our presence at Online Information and build awareness. “I also feel the positive effect of the cold weather and snow is that the show has delivered an even more qualified audience than ever. This year we have experienced a high level of genuine and very relevant visitors which I think is due to the fact that the people who are visiting the show this year need to be here – they are not here speculatively.” The 2011 event is now being planned and details will be available on the website in the spring. Dates for 2011 are 29 November - 1 December at the National Hall, Olympia, London.


The Department for Business Innovation and Skills cuts its web costs by £5m with the help of Eduserv HE DEPARTMENT FOR BUSINESS, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has completed a major overhaul of its online services. Significant changes to the website infrastructure, together with a collaboration option for partners, have enhanced their online presence and will have a long term financial impact on the Department – with savings of up to £5 million for them and their partners over the next four years. The first phase of the project was completed by web specialist Eduserv in March 2010, when BIS transferred its website onto a new content management system (CMS), Sitecore. BIS was formed as a result of two previous departments merging, therefore there was a significant amount of legwork to be done. This included reviewing and migrating over 5,000 pages in three months, merging three websites and preserving existing URLs. By rationalising the number of websites and moving to the new CMS, BIS will cut costs by £2.5 million compared to the


previous contracts over the next four years. Neil Williams, head of Digital Communications for BIS said: “We are delighted with the new website. It’s been built to contain an enviable amount of flexibility, usability and control.” In parallel with creating the new website, BIS also moved their website on to a new hosting service, using Eduserv’s Government Ready Platform (GRP). The GRP is a shared virtualised hosting platform that has been built specifically for government organisations.

Stephen Butcher, CEO of Eduserv, highlights where the idea for the GRP came from: “A number of our contacts in government were making references to shared hosting – they wanted to receive the benefits associated with sharing space, including reducing costs and carbon emissions, but were worried about security. By tailoring our solution so that only government organisations shared server space, we were able to allay any security concerns and offer this unique service.” BIS and Eduserv are now working on the second phase of the project, migrating BIS partners on to the BIS website platform and the GRP. When all the partners are migrated to the new platform, BIS expect their partners will be saving £700,000 each year on hosting alone (£2.8 million over four years). Shared services help BIS to cut web costs by £5m.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Tel: 01225 474317 E-mail: Web:



Government Technology | Volume 10.1


A REVOLUTION IN PUBLIC SECTOR IT Widespread open source software adoption is at our doorstep, says Phil Scott-Lewis, head of UK Public Sector Business at Red Hat HAVING WORKED CLOSELY with the UK Government and public sector organisations on several IT projects for many years now, I have never been so confident that we are standing on the brink of what is to become an open source software revolution in the public sector. What gives me the confidence to make such a bold claim about a sector where change can be difficult to achieve? Let us have a look at the development of open source software projects in the UK public sector and some interesting recent developments which are paving the way towards widespread adoption of open standards. IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS IN REGULATION AND PUBLIC SPENDING The UK’s public sector has to date trailed governments in the rest of Europe in terms of open source software (OSS) adoption. France, in particular, has been a great advocate of OSS for years. However, things have been changing for the better, particularly in the past two years. The Cabinet Office has made some notable announcements, establishing a regulatory

represents one of the truly positive modern stories about collaboration and community development. For example, Red Hat’s engineers work with 24,000 volunteers across the world to build, test, and deploy open source software technologies in Fedora, a Linux-based operating system. The most relevant of these communitydeveloped technologies are incorporated into Red Hat Enterprise Linux and other open source enterprise-class software. Whereas anyone can download the community version of any OSS for free, open source vendors make OSS enterprise-ready by wrapping regular maintenance, Quality Assurance and support around this development, which is paid for on a subscription basis. This means that open source customers can avoid costly up-front license fees associated with proprietary technology and therefore avoid commercial lock-in which can incur substantial long-term costs. PROPRIETARY LOCK-IN AS PART OF TCO Many UK public organisations have very strong relationships with proprietary vendors, stemming from long term contracts such as

Open source software (OSS) has proved its ability to run mission-critical workloads in countless organisations around the world. For example, The New York Stock Exchange’s Euronext trading platform runs its mission-critical applications on Linux operating system and open source middleware, defying any concerns that OSS is less secure or reliable than competitive proprietary technologies framework that is more favourable towards OSS. One of the most important announcements marking this shift was made in February 2009, levelling the playing field for both open source and proprietary vendors when awarding public IT contracts. Furthermore, in May 2010 HM Treasury announced public spending cuts where IT savings were among most prominent areas contributing towards overall cost reductions. With pressures on the public purse, we have seen public officials becoming more open to IT solutions based on alternative pricing models. OPEN SOURCE BUSINESS MODEL It is sometimes hard to understand how OSS is developed or why there would be thousands of software developers willing to spend their time writing code for free. OSS development



outsourcing contracts with SIs. However, the wide-spread proprietary lock-in has come under higher pressure than ever before, demonstrated by several cost-cutting plans. The coalition government for example plans to award a quarter of its IT contracts to small-to-medium businesses, opening up opportunities for open source companies. It is often argued that the savings achieved by adopting an open source business model can be outweighed by the migration cost of moving from a proprietary implementation. This makes the case for OSS look much weaker. However, such Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculations often overlook that vendor lock-in itself forms an important part of TCO. License fees often need to be renewed due to organisational or functional

changes, therefore radically changing the TCO calculation in favour of license-free OSS. There is obviously a migration cost associated with OSS for existing projects, however end of life product versions or the end of a contract represent good opportunities for change. COMING OF AGE Open source software (OSS) has proved its ability to run mission-critical workloads in countless organisations around the world.

Government Technology | Volume 10.1


For example, the New York Stock Exchange’s Euronext trading platform runs its missioncritical applications on Linux operating system and open source middleware, defying any concerns that OSS is less secure or reliable than competitive proprietary technologies. There is also the case that OSS is inherently more flexible. The Government Action Plan claims: “Where there is no significant overall cost difference between open and non-open source products, open source will be selected on the basis of its additional inherent flexibility.” For example, open source middleware supports 3rd party development frameworks and therefore gives customers the flexibility and choice to develop applications using their preferred technologies and deploy them on their choice of platform that fits their needs.

CAMDEN COUNCIL AND TRANSPORT FOR LONDON Despite its benefits being clearly proven and the government’s support for OSS and open standards, the number of publically available success stories in the UK remains low. Camden Council implemented JBoss Enterprise Middleware with the help of Red Hat Consulting as part of a larger project to centralise all planning application enquiries into one contact centre. The new platform integrated disparate information silos across the council and consequently enabled contact centre employees to interact with the system through a single user interface, with minimal training. Camden estimates that the entire project cost around 20 per cent of comparable costs for proprietary systems.

In a similar way, TfL wanted to migrate its Oyster card system away from a high cost vendor solution, that TfL was locked into, to a much lower cost solution that was based on open standards and open source components. An open source and standards based application server and the portal-based environment (both provided by JBoss) took about four months to implement and led to immediate operational savings of about 80 per cent. The cost savings were made possible not only because licence cost was effectively eradicated but also because commodity hosting and infrastructure replaced the specialist hosting and infrastructure required for the old solution. There is a lot of sensitive data involved in these transactions and TfL ensured compliance with the very latest payment card industry regulations. The new system also supports customer self-service, taking the workload away from agents. WHERE NEXT? Cloud Computing is one of the most used and (sometimes) misused terms in enterprise computing at the moment. The UK Government has already introduced plans for its very own private Cloud called the G-Cloud, a secure solution enabling government departments and agencies to share applications. With a tendency among a vast number of public sector bodies to use similar applications – for example payroll, human resources management and enterprise resource planning – the potential savings from delivering such applications via the Cloud are clear. However, just as with any IT infrastructure there is real danger that the proprietary lock-in will extend to the Cloud, limiting the potentially significant cost savings. With major Cloud deployments such as Amazon Web Services or IBM’s Cloud infrastructure already running on OSS I think we may be on the right way to avoid extensive lock-in on the Cloud level. We have reached a point of no return when it comes to the adoption of OSS in the UK public sector. The government has demonstrated strong determination to cut the deficit, leading to major public sector IT projects coming under close scrutiny. We have seen significant steps towards creating a legal framework that encourages the use of OSS. There is no doubt OSS is ready for the most demanding and complex public and private sector deployments whilst the open source business model has proved its feasibility. An increasing number of public sector organisations have implemented projects at a much lower cost by selecting OSS. Even more, councils such Camden, were able to execute projects because of OSS with the alternative being the maintenance of status quo. It is the responsibility towards the taxpayer to offer the best service at the most reasonable price. Open source software enables both and there are strong indications it will play a major role in the public sector in the future.



Government Technology | Volume 10.1


ALLOCATING COSTS ACCORDINGLY In this article, Paul Winters, UK country manager for BDNA, the IT Genome Company, looks at the issues currently facing public sector organisations and how cost allocation will become increasingly important as these organisations aim to streamline costs PUBLIC SECTOR ORGANISATIONS are under serious budget constraints and following the recent comprehensive spending review they are likely to have their budgets cut even further. In order to achieve cost savings many public sector organisations will be looking to reduce overheads and streamline their processes by moving services online as well as automating many manual tasks. While moving towards automated service delivery can achieve cost reductions, it will also require investment as well as an understanding of how to comply with strict data governance. HOT TOPICS Scalable computing, unified communications, consolidation, virtualisation and cloud computing are all hot topics when it comes to increasing efficiency and reducing cost. However, before rushing into new investments,

haphazardly accumulating a patchwork of applications, infrastructure and tools that have mushroomed over the years. The end result is that a lot of money and resource has been spent and often no one is sure how the technology is being used and whether it is actually needed and in many cases assets are lying idle. Despite the magnitude of the enterprise investment in technology, few organisations have accurate, up-to-date information about the technology that underpins the organisation. The challenge for organisation is not only determining what technology is deployed within IT, but across the business as a whole, including departmental groups.  MUTUALISING RESOURCES Today, it makes sense for public sector organisations to look at mutualising resources but at the same time making sure that they Paul Winters

In order to achieve cost savings many public sector organisations will be looking to reduce overheads and streamline their processes by moving services online as well as automating many manual tasks organisations need to take a close look at what they have and how they are using technology. It is highly likely that in the year ahead the general public’s tolerance for IT waste (real or perceived) will become lower especially when quality of service is often judged in light of consumer Internet services. The question every taxpayer will ask is: “If Google or Facebook can provide entertaining and valuable content for free why does my tax money not buy me good services?” The spotlight will definitely be on public sector organisations in a way that has not hit private sector companies as they have gone through rationalisation, consolidation programmes and streamlined their businesses over the past two years. MAKING SAVINGS In order to make these savings, cost structures should be looked at in a bottom-up fashion: Instead of asking a series of questions such as: “What IT services are used? What applications make up these services? What IT assets are involved in running these applications?” – the question should be focused around “Is this IT asset used or not?” For many organisations, IT has grown



only pay for what they use and that marginal costs are properly allocated. For example, if adding your organisation to an existing pool requires the provisioning of a new NAS, make sure you’re not bearing the full cost of the NAS if you only use a portion of its capacity even though you triggered the new cost. This enables the assets to be reused somewhere else, individual business unit IT costs will come down as the particular division will have one less asset to pay for, plus the entire organisation will benefit as it will have more assets to reutilise. There is also an opportunity to sell the asset through a disposal company that will pay an amount back for what it is worth. Equally, unused technology does not have to sit as a redundant asset on the books, it can be written off, which again saves money. Cost allocation will become much more important as business units start to be recharged, so whether this is through an outsourcer or the internal organisation, departments will want to charge for the cost of supporting IT assets per business unit. In the coming months public sector organisations may be involved in staff cuts

and the reallocation of resources, all of which will lead to fewer licences. Therefore it is important that organisations are regularly reviewing their maintenance contracts so that they don’t pay for products that are not being utilised and they are not buying new licences but are reharvesting existing ones. BDNA SOLUTIONS At BDNA we have a couple of tools that can help. Within our PS’Soft brand, we have a number of products that enable organsisations to properly manage their hardware and software assets, such as PS’Soft License Compliance Manager. Coupled with BDNA Discover, our Agentless Technology, organizations can find and properly manage and drive down the cost of all assets in their IT Estate. For many the road ahead will require much tighter cost control. Effective cost allocation starts with the premise that the organisation is compliant and understands what assets it has in its estate and how these are being utilised.


Government Technology | Volume 10.1


GETTING READY FOR THE YEAR AHEAD As leading analyst firm Gartner releases its top ten technologies that CIOs should be thinking about in 2011, Phil Heap from the Federation Against Software Theft questions whether this is what businesses should really be focusing on or if there are bigger problems to solve EACH AUTUMN, the Gartner research group delivers its strategic technology predictions for the following year. Its top ten technologies and trends are eagerly scrutinised by CIOs because Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major investment, or the risk of being late to adopt. TOP TEN TECHNOLOGIES TO WATCH OUT FOR The organisation suggests companies should factor these top ten technologies into their strategic planning process by asking key questions and making deliberate decisions about them during the next two years. Although what makes the top ten list usually catches the eye, often what gets dropped provides an interesting commentary on what you should and shouldn’t be doing as a CIO. Maybe you should have adopted the dropped technologies already. That’s probably the case for Virtualisation, which is missing for 2011, alongside ‘IT for Green.’ In terms of how this list pans out, the top three strategic technologies for 2011 are as follows. Firstly there’s Cloud Computing. These services exist along a spectrum from open public to closed private. The next three years will see the delivery of a range of cloud service approaches that fall between these two extremes. Vendors will offer packaged private cloud implementations that deliver the vendor’s public cloud service technologies (software and/or hardware) and methodologies (i.e. best practices to build and run the service) in a form that can be implemented inside the consumer’s enterprise. Secondly there’s Mobile Applications and Media Tablets. Gartner estimates that by the end of 2010, 1.2 billion people will carry handsets capable of rich, mobile commerce providing an ideal environment for the convergence of mobility and the web. Mobile devices are becoming computers in their own right, with an astounding amount of processing ability and bandwidth. There are already hundreds of thousands of applications for platforms like the Apple iPhone, in spite of the limited market (only for the one platform) and need for unique coding. Thirdly there’s Social Communications and Collaboration. Social media can be divided into four areas. Firstly social networking –

Public Sector organisations in particular will probably start to look at more effective cost allocation across departments and how they can better maintain control whilst creating operational efficiencies and reducing the maintenance burden as well as meeting growing compliance and reporting requirements social profile management products, such as MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn and Friendster as well as social networking analysis (SNA) technologies that employ algorithms to understand and utilise human relationships for the discovery of people and expertise. Secondly, there’s social collaboration – technologies, such as wikis, blogs, instant messaging, collaborative office, and crowd sourcing. Thirdly there’s social publishing – technologies that assist communities in pooling individual content into a usable and community accessible content repository such as YouTube and flickr. Lastly there’s social feedback – gaining feedback and opinion from the community on specific items as witnessed on YouTube, flickr, Digg,, and Amazon. Gartner predicts that by 2016, social technologies will be integrated with most business

applications. Companies should bring together their social CRM, internal communications and collaboration, and public social site initiatives into a coordinated strategy. The remaining top ten include: • Video • Next Generation Analytics • Social Analytics • Context-Aware Computing • Storage Class Memory • Ubiquitous Computing • Fabric-Based Infrastructure and Computers TAKING A STEP BACK Whatever the technology investment, especially if that investment is going to be in areas such as outsourcing to the Cloud, there is still definitely going to be a focus on driving down costs. Public sector organisations in particular will probably start to look at more effective cost allocation across departments and how



Government Technology | Volume 10.1


they can better maintain control whilst creating operational efficiencies and reducing the maintenance burden as well as meeting growing compliance and reporting requirements. In order for any organisation to make the right decision and to meet all of these drivers and trends it must surely need to start with the premise that you can’t manage what you can’t see, you can’t control assets if you don’t know what you have? And you can’t meet your legislative requirements if you don’t know what assets you are legally entitled to use. Right now organisations need to take a step back and to look at the bigger picture before rushing into any hasty procurement decisions. The danger, especially in light of the current economic environment, is that everyone is working reactively and in silos. Many public sector organisations, because of the size and scale of the cuts required through the recent comprehensive spending review, will need to make quite bold decisions about what IT initiatives they will prioritise, where they will sweat their assets and where they will invest, and in order to do this they need to understand what they currently have. There is clear evidence that points to the fact that those organisations that can demonstrate more control are more likely to receive additional investment. This problem is compounded by the fact that most organisations are using systems that are three to five years old, and with new cut-backs proposed it’s unlikely that these technology solutions will last another three or four years without encountering significant costs or problems. Most IT departments are hitting the point where a technology refresh is needed but how can they determine what to refresh first and again where to prioritise if they haven’t undertaken a risk assessment? Now is the time to take stock in order to understand what the organisation needs to achieve before it is too late. The business

needs to understand where its biggest pain points are. How to prioritise its greatest risks and what IT project will deliver the best return. It’s time for IT to take a step back and work together with the business to determine what can be achieved to provide quick returns and FAST Consultancy can help companies to achieve this joined-up visibility. Through our consultancy service and solutions like our FAST Gap Analysis we can work with our customers to help them understand their greatest risks and areas of weakness, identifying any gaps. We’ll also help them to understand where they need to invest in the year ahead, rather than being lulled into investment decisions forecasted by the pundits in the industry. LICENCE MANAGEMENT There isn’t much spare business cash around these days. Every organisation is trying to do more with less, yet few realise the investment that they have in their software licensing and just how much that investment can cost them without careful licence management. For example if you look at what the NHS faces in licence fees, then you start to get an idea of how important it is that you manage this whole area effectively. Leading IT portal, ITAM Review recently reported, as a result of the government terminating the NHS Connecting for Health (CfH) Enterprise Agreement licensing deal with Microsoft, which covered approximately 800,000 desktops, that there is a potential for non-compliance liability of £100m to add to the NHS’s total cost of ownership budget for its software. The reality is that it is very difficult for any organisation to untangle the spaghetti of issues associated with managing software assets. An effective IT asset management programme allows you to control and manage assets, eliminate waste and redundancy and comply with ever-tightening government compliance and regulation. FAST is actively

working with over 200 public sector organisations from central government to local government, NHS, and the police as well as housing associations and research and development agencies. The services delivered vary from providing a detailed policy and procedures review to licence reviews as well as SAM process mapping. ENSURING LICENCE COMPLIANCE AND ASSET OPTIMISATION To keep abreast of changes in technology and the legislative landscape FAST Ltd is updating its private standard which helps organisations work towards licence compliance (FSSC1:2007) and the FAST programme, which is a structured programme with a phased approach incorporating best practice and aligning to other frameworks and standards. The standard covers areas such as software licence management, risk mitigation, best practice and licence compliance. The aim is to modernise the standard bringing it in line with new technologies such as SaaS and Virtualisation whilst ensuring that it aligns to the ISO19770-1, ITILv3 Software Optimisation Model, and SAM Advantage. The new standard has been aptly named FSSC-1:2011 and is due out in the first quarter of 2011. In addition, FAST is introducing a new FAST Software Lifecycle Management Programme (FSLMP). This is a step up programme available to FAST customers and it covers the core elements of SAM best practice and can be run in conjunction with the existing FAST programme. The FSLMP delivers effective software lifecycle management, cost of ownership, return on investment, and most importantly ensures asset optimisation. This is an area that I firmly believe should be hot on the CIO’s agenda for 2011 and whilst it might not appear on the Gartner Top ten ‘big things’ list, it effectively runs across all ten technology groups and should have been on the CIO’s Christmas shopping list.

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Government Technology | Volume 10.1


THE PERFECT ENVIRONMENT FOR THE DATA CENTRE MANAGER Data Centre World asks whether cloud computing will kill off the in-house data centre

WILL CLOUD COMPUTING kill off the in-house data centre? The answer to this question that’s been on everyone’s mind is a resounding no. Data Centre World asked this question of the industry and, surprisingly, only 29 per cent thought that Cloud Computing threatens the future of the in-house data centre. 57 per cent of the respondents were currently using the cloud mainly for storage but also for applications and disaster recovery. However, the problem seems to lie in the perceived security risk of using the Cloud. There still seems to be anxiety surrounding the issue of security whilst using the Cloud with nearly 75 per cent of the survey indicating that this was a major concern. In fact this seemed to be the main reason why organisations were resisting the use of the cloud. A few respondents mentioned that the keeping of data at someone else’s site was a major turn off, especially if the data they themselves kept belonged to their clients. These issues and others will be tackled by leading experts in the industry at Data Centre World Conference 2011, 2-3 March, Olympia

57 per cent of the respondents were currently using the Cloud mainly for storage but also for applications and disaster recovery. However, the problem seems to lie in the perceived security risk of using the Cloud London. Topics and speakers covering the Cloud include Security – who do you trust?, Nichol Riggott, IBM; Building, Deploying and Managing an On-Premise Private Cloud, Peder Ulander,; Data centre consolidation and end-to-end virtualisation, Hitachi Data Systems; and Optimising application performance in a virtualised environment, Owen Garret, Zeus. MORE OF EVERYTHING AT DCW 2011 The Cloud and Virtualization theatre is just one of three theatres that will make up the conference session next year. The other two theatres will be dedicated to IT and

Management, and Facilities and Infrastructure. Companies that are fielding speakers for these sessions include Interxion, Siemon, BrandRex, Alquist, Capgemini, Equinix and Arup. The volume of digital data processed and stored continues to increase at a rapid pace as does the demand for enhanced security, power usage effectiveness, energy efficiency and cost control Many companies are starting to implement their cloud computing strategies and many more are developing plans. Also the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme has now started. In short the data centre manager’s job



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Government Technology | Volume 10.1


is becoming ever more complex. Data Centre World Conference & Expo with its broad spread of exhibitors, comprehensive conference programme and opportunities to network with industry colleagues is the perfect environment for the data centre manager to gain the tools and knowledge to deal with this increasing complexity. Aimed at data centre managers, professionals, distributors and channel partners, the objective of this free to attend conference is to help delegates plan, implement and manage their existing and future data centre requirements. The content includes panel discussions, case studies and presentations on the latest issues affecting the data centre. CONFERENCE TOPICS INCLUDE: • Energy efficiency • Power and cooling management • Data centre design and estate management • Application performance management • Storage • Virtualisation • Consolidation in the data centre • IT Security • Power and land procurement • Information lifecycle management • HPC and grid • Cloud computing • Cabling • Outsourcing • IP and remote access KVM • Servers/Hardware MORE EXHIBITORS TOO Data Centre World had to move from its previous venue, the Barbican, due to the fact that more and more exhibitors wanted to take part in the UK’s largest event dedicated to data centre professionals. This year the show has moved to Olympia to accommodate even more exhibitors than ever before. Participating in Data Centre World allows companies to: • Interact with new business prospects and meet with existing clients face to face • Launch new products at the event and market your existing product range to existing and potential clients • Increase brand awareness through an extensive marketing campaign carried out before, during and after the event • Highlight how your products can supply solutions to key issues in the data centre environment • Build sales leads • Meet with the key decision makers in the data centre market • Establish a presence in the marketplace • Have access to the latest trends, news and developments in the market Previous exhibitors gave Data Centre World a resounding thumbs up. “DataCentreWorld has been a great show. We have had numerous enquiries and will

DataCentreWorld has been a great show. We have had numerous enquiries and will definitely be back next year,” said EDP Europe. Evolved IT said: “We’ve had a really good show and footfall has been fantastic. The sorts of leads we’ve seen coming through are very, very promising.” definitely be back next year,” said EDP Europe. “We’ve had a really good show and footfall has been fantastic. The sorts of leads we’ve seen coming through are very, very promising,” commented Evolved IT. “The best show I have done for over five years, we have been pleasantly surprised and haven’t stopped for the past two days,” said Marioff. This year exhibitors include Active Power, ADVA Optical Networking Ltd, APC by Schneider Electric, Capitoline LLP, Carel UK, Chatsworth Products International Ltd, Corning Cummins Power Generation, Dale Power Solutions, Dieselec Generators, EDP Europe, EPI Service Ltd, Euro Diesel, Honeywell, Marrioff Corporation, Nlyte Software Ltd, Raritan, Rittal and Wagner. Interxion are the Diamond Sponsors of the event. The exhibition will include over 100 leading technology suppliers, many of whom will be launching new products and services at the show. To see a full exhibitor listing go to

find a new supplier or meet current suppliers, to network with industry colleagues and to see new product launches. In a post show survey 95 per cent said they would visit Data Centre World again as their objectives had been firmly met and 85 per cent rated the show good or excellent. A visit to Data Centre World Conference and Expo will give attendees the opportunity to: • Learn from case studies • Network with your counterparts in other organisations • Meet the leading suppliers to the market and see their latest offerings • Find out if outsourcing is an option for your organisation • Discover how to save on your power consumption • Gain advice of physical and virtual security • See how datacentre location costs vary • View demonstrations and discuss your business needs face to face

INCREASING NUMBER OF VISITORS Over the four years that Data Centre World has been running the number of attendees each year continues to grow. Visitor feedback is always positive. Their reasons to visit include wanting to

Anyone wishing to benefit from this free to attend conference should register to attend at to secure their place and to receive updates as and when the conference programme takes shape.




CONFERENCE & EXPO 2-3 MARCH 2011 • OLYMPIA • LONDON Data Centre World – the only free to attend UK conference and exhibition to focus on the issues surrounding selecting, outsourcing, building and running a data centre. The largest gathering dedicated to data centre professionals in Europe – helping attendees manage existing and future data centre needs. THE DATA CENTRE WORLD CONFERENCE covers the latest trends and technologies and includes case studies from the UK’s top companies and the leading outsourced operators.


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Government Technology | Volume 10.1


WHY IT NOW? Stephen Dodson, former national director of the Digital Challenge Network and senior advisor for The Continuous improvement Practice, shares some thoughts on the role of technology in meeting the challenge for local government “BE AS AMBITIOUS AS YOU CAN. Be as radical as you like. Be as bold as you want....I won’t stand in your way. If you’ve got genuinely radical, genuinely promising ideas, I’ll shout them from the rooftops,” said Secretary of State Eric Pickles on 27 July 2010 to the LGA. His statement is a bold offer to local governance and service delivery at a time when local government is under pressure from both the public expenditure cuts resulting from the government’s objective of eliminating the deficit in a single term, and the sometimes conflicting objective of returning more responsibility for service levels and quality to local government and the communities they serve (the Big Society). Local authorities faced with budget cuts are also faced with an opportunity to radically change the way they deliver services whether through demographic, economic or social and technological change. LOCAL GOVERNANCE The comprehensive spending review (CSR) has added some flesh to the bones of the government’s approach to local governance. Less money, but greater freedom to spend it, and perhaps the ability to raise money in different ways, as well as working more closely with other local agencies – NHS, voluntary and other third sector organisations as well as the private sector – to deliver more efficient and effective services, unbound from centrally devised targets. The recent ‘Decentralism and Localism Bill’ can be seen to allow local governance further freedoms in due course, through the so called ‘six steps to return power to the people’ and whilst it can be argued that local authorities as democratically elected bodies are already acting on behalf of its citizens it is clear that this message has not always been clearly seen by their constituents. As such there is a clear role for the smart application and use of technology in achieving these six steps and radically reconsidering the culture in which they have operated previously. KEY SERVICE AREAS At a more detailed level, CSR also identified a number of key service areas where the government’s reforms to grants identify that some priority should be afforded by local authorities – not targets as such but nevertheless… Social care, in particular for vulnerable adults and children, and affordable housing are clear areas of concern as is local

economic growth, with the devolution of RDA responsibilities to local enterprise partnerships. It is also clear from both the overall amount of grant available and the need for local authorities to fundamentally re-examine the way they work, pooling resources with other agencies, eliminating traces of waste and maximising efficiency, that doing the same or more with less is at the centre of CSR. With the projected loss of public sector employment, the challenge presented is to design a new service infrastructure that can generate both growth and jobs within communities and localities as opposed to exporting them. Therefore local services should be designed in response to the local citizens’ views of their needs rather than centrally imposed targets for service supply and effectiveness. This bottom-up model is based first, on regarding the local authority as the agent of change within its locality, second on recognising that all organisations (public, private, civil sectors) require infrastructure – buildings, people, finance and support services – to fulfil their respective responsibilities, and third that localism offers an opportunity to develop community sourcing models for such infrastructure rather than outsourcing or offshoring, thereby fostering local skills and employment. USING IMAGINATIVE SOLUTIONS Many local authorities have started this bottom up approach to consult with their local communities and there is no doubt that the use of council websites, Facebook groups, Twitter feeds, YouTube and hyperlocal websites have all been used to engage in the debate. However good and welcome this is, with approximately 10 million people not online there is still a need to use more imaginative technological solutions for democratic engagement and all local authorities must now treat seriously the need for investment in multi-channel communications and access strategies. This means using the power (and increasing popularity) of digital TV, interactive kiosks, mobile phones and even games consoles to reach more of their local population. Innovative local authorities are already aware that government has already invested in developing these channels such Looking Local and Start Here, both not-for-profit organisations that can provide easily accessible communication channels and the capability to join cross-agency

information into one easily accessible format. Consultation and democratic engagement are critical parts of the duty to involve but it is more than that, it is how technology can assist in moving local authorities from being direct deliverers to facilitators of services and stimulators of local economic growth. ADDRESSING TOUGH ISSUES We must also recognise that efficiency and savings are not enough. Service redesign and community sourcing offer local authorities the opportunity to address the issue of protecting the most vulnerable, stimulating local economic growth, and skills development/retention as critical objectives for local governance. For individual local authorities, skills retention in-house will mean multiskilling staff to cope with changing type and volume of demands. As such we must recognise that the use of technology is becoming more pervasive in its use as a serious enabler and deliverer of better and more cost effective services. However, this needs to be done in a systematic way and be focused on the four core drivers: social benefit; economic opportunity; better service delivery; and environmental opportunity. Eric Pickles has also called for innovation but the drive for innovation should never be to the exclusion of the socially disadvantaged or older people, the UK’s fastest growing demographic group. These are the often the stakeholders with the greatest need of public services, but who lack the skills or resources to access them online. Moreover, a larger elderly population will require innovative assistive technology such as telehealth to help them lead independent lives and make the personalisation agenda a reality. GOOD AND DIGITAL Good government is digital government. To effect this we must widen access to technology through community-based education, making imaginative and creative use of new platforms and devices and continuing to press for next generation access broadband for all, ensuring that people have the access to the device of their choice and know how to use it. These will provide the safety net that ensures no one is left behind, and also help create the conditions by which we can upskill the British workforce. Innovation applies not only to new tools but also to the way we make technology relevant to more people’s lives.



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Government Technology | Volume 10.1

BETT 2011

THE VERY BEST OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY BETT 2011 is dedicated to showcasing the best in UK and international educational technology products, resources and best practice WITH A NUMBER OF recent developments to education sector policy, BETT 2011’s theme of ‘managing change’ is more pertinent than ever. BETT, the world’s largest technology in education show, has become recognised across the globe as the place where the latest and most innovative products can be touched and tested. Educators wanting to ensure they are up-to-date with the most appropriate resources to support their teaching visit BETT each year. The benefits that technology can offer – both in terms of supporting teaching and learning and facilitating school management – have become increasingly clear. Recently though, it is not just the most up-to-date technologies that educators need to be aware of, but also how the changes in policy will influence their investment. With around 700 exhibitors showing the latest technology in education solutions, a comprehensive seminar programme, information points, as well as exciting feature areas and zones, BETT offers a valuable space for advice on navigating the new challenges. Around 30,000 visitors travel each year to BETT, including Ministers of Education and association leaders. INSPIRATION FOR LEARNING FOR LESS Possibly one of the most exciting features at BETT 2011 is the brand new area, Visual Learning, brought to you by the legendary Professor Stephen Heppell and headline sponsor, Impleo. Each year, Prof. Heppell brings to BETT an area full of thought-provoking and innovative ideas for learning. This year’s Visual Learning feature is set to inspire visitors for their own teaching, providing a stimulating and insightful experience and promoting learning for less. The feature area will be split into three key themes: Revision, Transition, and Girls and Science. These themes were developed by students at Lampton School, Hounslow, who are on stand for the duration of BETT 2011 demonstrating new technologies. Lampton students have had a great deal of input on the whole design and concept of the Visual Learning feature. To ensure the presentations are matched to educators’ challenges, their inspirational teacher Juliette Heppell, who has helped the school improve from failing to outstanding, will also be available on stand. Prof. Stephen Heppell says: “Many children still spend hours copying work directly from the board, an extremely ineffective process that limits opportunity for learners to contextualise

topics. Providing images and visuals on the other hand, is a great way for learners to really engage with the learning content and truly think about what it is they are seeing before them.” Impleo, a consultancy and installations provider within the education, wireless and location based solutions sectors, is on hand to demonstrate the concept of Visual Learning through the use of high end innovative AV technologies. Mike Fry, head of AV, says: “Impleo is delighted to be working with Prof. Heppell to deliver the central feature at BETT 2011. We are perfectly placed to showcase pioneering solutions to complement the three

key areas of discussion.” Be sure to leave the Visual Learning feature full of inspiring new ideas to take back to the classroom. FUTURE LEARNING SPACES Due to the change in government, the Future Learning Spaces feature, which launched at BETT 2010, has become even more important for many to visit. If you have been affected by the capital programme cuts or by the introduction of free schools and academies, you are advised to visit this area to find out about the options now available to you, and meet with the companies that design, build,



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to individual needs. Administration staff are empowered with all the tools required to manage school data and parents can be assigned a secure login to monitor their child’s progress. e¹ supports the easy transfer of data between linked systems via the Systems Interoperability Framework (SIF) such as Learning Platforms to provide a dynamic teaching and learning resource. e¹ provides a real opportunity for schools and authorities to save money. As a centrally hosted MIS, no additional hardware or servers are required and all maintenance and upgrades are handled remotely.

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Government Technology | Volume 10.1

BETT 2011

manage and equip the UK’s evolving schools. If you are looking to create a truly modern learning space with a limited budget, you can articulate your requirements and see demonstrations of the products and services which have been developed to meet the new challenges. SHOW ZONES & CONFERENCES There are a number of zones at BETT, including the Software Zone, Demonstration Zone and Special Needs (SEN) Zone. Each zone provides an opportunity for you to receive in depth, hands-on illustrations of particular products or services, and see how they are used in practice. Also located in the Special Needs Zone is the SEN Seminar Theatre, where you can take part in seminars which provide best practice advice and ideas to help you support learners with SEN. BETT 2011 features two brand new conferences – UK Education Leaders @ BETT, and BETT International. UK Education Leaders @ BETT responds to the significant changes for all UK sector stakeholders brought about by the election of the coalition government. Many schools are making the switch to academy status and new free schools are being set up, and with this and more in mind, the new leadership conference offers a forum for robust debate around the future of UK education. This will be the first large-scale national education conference open to a broad range

of high-level participants to be held since the comprehensive spending review (CSR). High profile speakers include Toby Young, author, journalist and free school co-founder, and Christine Blower, general secretary, National Union of Teachers (NUT). The conference is by invite only but if you are interested in attending, visit where you can register your interest for a free pass. BETT International is designed to gather education policy makers, influencers and leading practitioners from every part of the world. Participants will gather for two days of debate around creating maximally effective education policies and systems to prepare learners for the challenges of the 21st century global economy. Emphasised throughout will be the question of how far technology solutions are effectively tailored to meet the needs of learners, education professionals and governments worldwide. For more information, visit ALL THE LATEST PRODUCTS Award-winning educational software provider, Kudlian, stand R10, is showcasing the brand new software ‘I Can Present’ at BETT. The media-rich resource was the software of choice for the non-profit nationwide competition to find the best young news presenter – Kudlian’s software packages are designed to be

intuitive, creative and exciting whilst helping to develop literacy, creativity, teamwork, collaboration and ICT skills. Best known for the ever popular ‘I Can Animate’ software – which recently helped two UK schools to get to the final of the Seattle International Film Festival – Kudlian is joined on Wednesday by ‘Animator in Residence’ Greg David, who aims to create a BETT animation throughout the day with contributions from visitors. On Friday, renowned animator David Bunting is available on-stand to answer visitors’ animation questions in a special ‘Animation Surgery’. Free product training and demonstrations are also available for all educationalists. Serif, stand K36, provides a complete creative solution for ICT across the curriculum, with all the graphics software tools and support you need to deliver engaging lessons in an affordable package. The Serif Design Suite has been repeatedly praised for its powerful yet easy-to-use software for schools, enabling all pupils, whatever their level of experience, to achieve outstanding work across all subjects including D&T. In doing so, they also develop their design skills to prepare for the competitive workplace. To prove just how professional their designs can be, Serif has been working with Nottingham Bluecoat School whose students have been busy designing marketing materials for the stand – visit K36 to see these and more. The Story Spinner, part of Day One Productions, will be showing the recently launched ‘Stories from Around the World’ DVD series as part of its award winning collection of storytellers and resources on DVD for primary children on the UKTI stand J60. The ‘Stories from Around the World’ series aims to inspire imaginations and stimulate all areas of academic and personal development, from early years learning through to Key Stage 2. Master storytellers from a variety of cultural backgrounds deliver tales from numerous cultures, countries and continents, from old favourites such as ‘The Gingerbread Man’, to the West African ‘Anancie and the Drum of Common Sense’. The professionally told stories are intimate and dramatic and are free of gimmicks and sound effects, placing the young audience at the centre of the tale. Summing up the show, Paul Hughes, ICT services manager, Sir Charles Lucas Arts College, Essex said of BETT 2010: “I came to BETT as I was thinking of making a number of changes at our school in terms of ICT and equipment, and what a great show it turned out to be! There’s just not enough time to see everything!”

BETT 2011 takes place from Wednesday 12 to Saturday 15 January 2011 at London Olympia and is free to attend.




Government Technology | Volume 10.1


GREEN DIGITAL CITY Bristol City Council outlines its efforts to become a prosperous, ambitious, green and creative city ICT IS NO LONGER SIMPLY an environmental problem that needs to be fixed – it’s recognised as an enabler of new and smarter, green ways of living and working. Bristol is committed to harnessing the transformative potential of ICT to become a leading European Green Digital City. The City Council is putting this Vision into practice, for example, by bringing together its own Digital, Economic and Sustainability divisions under the leadership of a new director of Green Digital Futures – a brave and forward thinking strategy at a time of serious economic challenges. This is because Bristol understands that digital connectivity is one of the cornerstones of a prosperous, ambitious, green and creative city. Connectivity enables the city’s businesses to trade more efficiently; helps the city present a ‘smarter’ and ‘greener’ face to the outside world; and underpins two-way engagement between public services and local communities. DC10PLUS PROGRAMME Connecting Bristol – the City Council’s Digital City Partnership – grew out of the city’s success in the government’s Digital Challenge competition. Over the last three years, Bristol and the other nine finalists in the competition (Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Birmingham and Shropshire, Sunderland, Stratford on Avon, Norfolk, Ealing, and Hull) have worked together with government via DC10plus – the network for change. Bristol has been active in all areas of the DC10plus programme, hosting the national director’s post and securing approximately £1.5 million external project funding from government and the EU, which has enabled a local programme to be delivered. The projects that have been delivered include: the South Bristol Digital Neighbourhoods Programme, which is increasing the community’s use of ICT and digital media; the Neighbourhood Carbon Makeover programme; DEHEMs and 3eHouses, all of which use technology and digital media to help build more sustainable and environmentally friendly life styles. Bristol City Council has adopted an ambitious target to reduce the city’s emissions by 40 per cent by 2020 from a 2005 baseline. The city’s progress on green initiatives has already been recognised, being the only UK city to be shortlisted for the first European Green Capital competition in 2008. It is home to many businesses, universities and organisations at the forefront of developing low carbon solutions and innovative approaches to tackling climate change and energy security.



It has a thriving environmental technologies and services sector, alongside a rapidly expanding creative industries sector. ICT AND CARBON EMISSIONS The European Commission has recognised that ICTs and ICT-based innovations will provide one of the potentially most cost-effective means for Member States to achieve their carbon reduction targets. ICTs are embedded in nearly all parts of the European economy

and there is a need to make ICT more energy efficient, but ICT can also be enabler of carbon emission savings. For example, by monitoring and directly managing energy consumption, ICTs can enable efficiency improvements in major energy-using sectors. The Commission has stated: “Recent studies suggest that this capacity can be exploited to reduce energy consumption of buildings in the EU by up to 17 per cent and to reduce carbon emissions in

Chris Burton and his two sons, from Bristol, who have received a computer from Connecting Bristol’s scheme to ensure low-income families who need a computer and to get online can do so. This is part of the recycled computers scheme.

Government Technology | Volume 10.1


transport logistics by up to 27 per cent.” Gartner has suggested that globally, ICT is estimated to be responsible for the same level of carbon emissions as the airline industry, approximately 2-3 per cent. Bristol City Council set out to investigate this, and to develop a suite of resources and practical projects that would help the whole city unite to reduce the carbon footprint of our ICT, as well as creating opportunities to innovate and use ICT to reduce emissions in our sectors. BRISTOL TECHNO-FOOTPRINT In 2008, with funding from the Carbon Trust, Connecting Bristol set out to calculate the city’s techno-footprint. The project had two phases – first to develop

a methodology to calculate the city’s nondomestic ICT emissions, and then to establish a green ICT database to help organisations to reduce their ICT carbon footprint. The project resulted in a ICT carbon footprint methodology that we can share with other cities, the first of its kind. The techno-footprint focuses on non-domestic ICT including PCs, peripherals, telecoms devices and IT services. Not included were elements associated with the city’s telecommunications infrastructure due to complexities in obtaining this data. Non-domestic ICT use in Bristol was calculated as responsible for 67,258 tonnes of CO2 a year, which equated to 3 per cent of citywide emissions in 2006 or 7 per cent of emissions from the industry and commercial sector. The total energy consumption of Bristol’s business techno-footprint amounted to 125 million kWh in 2006, which cost £11 million. A significant proportion – 34 per cent – of Bristol’s techno-footprint pie comes from the financial, IT and other business sectors. However, the public sector – Bristol’s universities, schools, health and administration services – takes the largest bite at 38 per cent. Distribution, hotels and restaurants take the third largest slice, at 14 per cent. GREEN ADDICT Bristol’s techno-footprint and the methodology are freely available at, alongside the interactive Green ICT solutions database, which enables people to search for solutions and rate them by cost, energy and carbon saving and how easy they are to implement. The message for business is, even if you don’t buy into the climate change and sustainability arguments, this is cost efficient and cost effective. Green Addict is an online community of practice which encourages change. “We recognise that Bristol City Council is directly responsible for only a very small proportion of the city’s carbon emissions (around 3 per cent) so if we’re going to ensure that Bristol as a whole meets our very stringent carbon reduction targets, we have to work with all sectors,” says Stephen Hilton, programme lead for Connecting Bristol. ENGAGING BUSINESSES Connecting Bristol has established a Green ICT Champions group that brings together green pioneers from across all sectors including the universities, business and the voluntary and community sector. Green ICT Champion case studies are published on Green Addict, which acts as a hub for the champions group and an archive for the research and the case study materials that have been developed. Connecting Bristol also funded VOSCUR to enable the take-up of green ICT in the voluntary and community sector and we are also working with Bristol Media to develop a programme to green the creative industries within Bristol.

GREEN ICT STRATEGY As a Green ICT Champion, it is important that Bristol City Council ia s leader in reducing its carbon emissions from the use of ICT. The gouncil adopted its first Green ICT Strategy last year, which contains a wide range of actions including measuring and monitoring power consumption for all major IT services, encouraging staff to switch off equipment, using technologies to reduce the need for printing, implementing sustainable ICT procurement practices and server virtualisation. GREEN DATA CENTRE Also last year the council won an innovation award at the national Datacentre Leaders’ Awards. Its new green data centre, situated in the council house, uses the latest energy efficient design to save £20,000 per year in electricity. By using the moat outside the building on College Green to provide chilled water for the air conditioning, it only requires 20 per cent of the power used to run the servers for cooling, and there are plans to reduce that even further. The system has been designed so that it could be powered from a combined heat and power plant during winter, allowing the option of waste heat re-use when the fourth floor heating is replaced in the council house. COMPUTER REUSE SCHEME The city council’s Green ICT Strategy also delivers a range of innovative and community focused activities including a Computer Reuse scheme launched in October 2010. Previously Bristol City Council’s redundant PC’s were disposed of securely and safely but with no direct benefit to citizens or communities within Bristol. Last year we re-let the contract to ensure that these PCs can now be refurbished and made available for community use. We have identified a partner to deliver this service and the necessary ongoing support to ensure that we keep Bristol City Council’s ICT equipment out of the waste stream for as long as possible, helping to reduce carbon emissions but also support digital inclusion initiatives in the city. SMART METERING The council is also encouraging citizens to become aware of their domestic carbon footprint through its involvement in two high profile European projects which are piloting smart metering technology in the city. DEHEMS and 3 eHouses are pioneering the use of smart, real-time energy metering in South Bristol, through which we aim to capitalise on the future potential of green computing and smart grids.





MacRoberts, realises productivity gains and cost-savings by incorporating a UC solution Industry Law Firm

Daily Use • Inter-office collaboration • Internal and external telephony • Production meetings • Case updates • Specialist briefings • Client training

Solution • A Unified Collaboration network that supports a wide range of voice, telephony and video requirements and eliminate costly dependence on a legacy PBX

Results and benefits • Reduces costs by eliminating the high maintenance charges of PBX support • Saves time and money by reducing the need to travel to client meetings • Improved customer support by enabling real-time face to face collaboration with clients • Enhanced ability to service and support a wide-ranging international client base

Overview As a pre-eminent international law firm based in Scotland, MacRoberts LLP delivers professional services to leading UK and international businesses, financial institutions, public sector organisations and private individuals. The firm is housed in multiple locations, including Edinburgh and a state-of-the-art office in Glasgow to service a globally-dispersed client base. Recognising the need to establish and maintain comprehensive communication links between locations and remote clients, Robert Crichton, Director of IT Services, petitioned management to switch to a voice over IP (VoIP) network that would enable unified collaboration to fulfil growing communication requirements. “We had been operating a telephony-only legacy PBX system, but in the process of upscaling our office in Glasgow and recognising our need to deliver state-of-the-art services to our clients, we wanted to move forward with VoIP communation solution that would support a range of telephony and video conferencing solutions,” said Crichton. Crichton evaluated three leading solutions on the market. The Microsoft® and Polycom® based solution presented by Polycom reseller and Microsoft Voice Specialists, Exactive, offered the best combination of capabilities and value. “The Microsoft/Polycom solution ticked all the right boxes,” Crichton continued. “It gave us the confidence and ease-of-use of Microsoft technology supplied by a local service agent, combined with the reassurance of Polycom open standards-based components which would be interoperable with a wide range of client end points.” First of its kind communications solution in Scotland Based on Microsoft Office Communications Server, R2 2007, MacRoberts deployed over 150 Polycom® CX700 IP Phones, two Polycom® CX5000 unified conference stations and two HDX® room telepresence solutions. This solution, believed to be the first Microsoft OCS-based collaborative communications solution of its kind deployed in Scotland, integrated a range of Microsoft product features, including instant messaging (IM), presence, audio and video conferencing and VoIP. After a successful pilot programme in the Edinburgh office involving approximately 100 users on IM and a Polycom HDX room telepresence solution, MacRoberts switched off the old PBX system for good and converted the whole office to VoIP. The changeover in the Edinburgh office was so seamless the company soon afterward incorporated the solution in the new Glasgow office.

“The Microsoft/Polycom solution gave us the confidence and ease-of-use of Microsoft technology combined with the reassurance of Polycom open standards-based components which would be interoperable with a wide range of client end points.” Robert Crichton, Director of IT Services, MacRoberts LLP



“We are in the business of servicing our clients the best way we can. Polycom video conferencing is the perfect enabler.” Robert Crichton, Director of IT Services, MacRoberts LLP

Improving day to day operations Corporate training is an important part of MacRoberts client service, with structured sessions normally organised at client locations. The Polycom HDX room telepresence solution enables MacRobert legal specialists to reduce travel costs and time while simultaneously delivering a high level of training to HR personnel and company directors requiring regular updating on changes in corporate law and health & safety legislation. In the future, MacRoberts plans to use the Polycom HDX room telepresence solution to deliver even greater added-value services to its clients by offering the equipment for their own collaboration requirements. “We are offering our clients the opportunity to come in and use our equipment and benefit from travel-free meetings with their own network of offices and suppliers,” Crichton said.

conference room, and automatically tracks the flow of conversation from person to person. “For room telepresence, Crichton explained, the Polycom HDX®9000 room telepresence solution in our Edinburgh office and the HDX®7000 room telepresence solution in Glasgow fulfil all our external collaboration requirements, such as client meetings and training sessions.” Extending user adoption With Microsoft and Polycom in place, MacRoberts is promoting video conferencing among its client-base as a much richer collaborative experience, with less travel hassle, improved productivity, and greater environmental responsibility.

MacRoberts lawyers have improved the quality and immediacy of their meetings, as well as their quality of life, by eliminating the need to fly around the country for meetings.

“It’s very important for MacRoberts to be at the leading edge of the voice and video conferencing community, in order to promote ourselves as a technology-aware, serviceoriented firm,” concluded Crichton. “We are in the business of servicing our clients the best way we can, and this solution from Microsoft and Polycom is the perfect enabler.”

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Other benefits to the firm have included elimination of maintenance costs for their legacy PBX and operating costs for the CX700 desktop phones.

To find out how Polycom solutions can help your organisation, visit us at or speak with a Polycom Account Representative.


Product Listing Voice Conferencing • Polycom CX700 IP phones Telepresence and Video Conferencing • Polycom CX5000 unified conference stations • Polycom HDX room telepresence systems

For internal and external telephony collaboration, the firm utilises the Polycom CX700 desktop phone with embedded Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2. The CX700 is a standalone executive IP phone with a colour touch screen display and high definition audio. For inter-office collaboration, the team leverages the Polycom CX5000 unified conference station. The CX5000 combines voice and video to deliver a 360 degree panoramic view of the Polycom Worldwide Headquarters 4750 Willow Road, Pleasanton, CA 94588 1.800.POLYCOM or +1.925.924.6000

Polycom EMEA 270 Bath Road, Slough, Berkshire SL1 4DX, UK T 0800 015 2882 | F +44 (0) 1753 723010

© 2010 Polycom, Inc. All rights reserved. POLYCOM®, the Polycom “Triangles” logo and the names and marks associated with Polycom’s products are trademarks and/or service marks of Polycom, Inc. and are registered and/or common law marks in the United States and various other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. No portion hereof may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, for any purpose other than the recipient’s personal use, without the express written permission of Polycom. 1110

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IBC, 42


Government Technology Volume 10.1  

The Business Magazine for Government Technology

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