Member IT Briefing
The new IT solution and access to GCC emails and documents on personal devices – Briefing in response to a member supplementary question asked at Council on 30 June 2021
The new Digital and ICT Service was launched on the 1st April alongside a new enterprise support partner (Cantium). This new partnership was created by transferring some staff into the Council from the previous incumbent enterprise support partner. So far the Council is seeing some improvements in the key areas of stability of systems and customer communications. At the same time of the launch a new service management tool (ServiceNow) was implemented and continues to be developed to ensure it meets the on-going needs of the Council. Staff feedback over the use of this new tool is mainly positive as it provides a method for staff to directly contact the Digital and ICT Service and see updates to their requests and issues.
The new service has a new senior management structure and this was completed on 1st May when Karl Grocock Assistant Director Digital and ICT joined the Council. The service is now well placed to drive a number of key initiatives and to continue to improve the service provided to the Council.
Two major projects currently on the portfolio are a complete replacement of the network including the core switches, network connections to all Council locations, local area networks (within the buildings) and the Wi-Fi infrastructure. This project is gaining pace and is required to bring connectivity to the Council that a modern organisation needs and will provide an “Always on VPN” solution that will reduce the reliance on the Council network for remote workers. The second major project is a move to Microsoft365 which will enable the Council to use modern collaboration tools, alongside existing office products and will enable a transformation in the ways of working for the Council. This project will bring with it benefits for end-users wanting to use their own devices and collaborate with partners. It will also facilitate a move away from the current Citrix platform and the confusion of using different layers for access to resources.
The Microsoft365 project will allow councillors to access email, documents and collaborate through their own devices including mobile devices (without the need for BlackBerry Works) and ensure that information is kept securely. Staff at the Council will continue to be provided with up to date laptops to access the Microsoft365 platform and will move away from using BlackBerry Works to access essentials such as Email and Calendar on mobile devices.