Strategic sourcing of your ICT services
Increasingly councils are recognising that the options for sourcing ICT resources and services are much wider than the traditional in-source/outsource solutions. Even a few years ago, outsourcing had developed from straightforward “break/fix” contracts for supporting the status quo, into strategic partnerships which were designed to achieve a strategic/innovative approach to business improvement exploiting ICT. Some of these strategic partnerships worked well, but in many cases, councils struggled to break away from the traditional way of thinking of the client/contractor model, and hence found it difficult to engage meaningfully in a truly strategic partnership.
Today things have moved on. GCSx is already providing a common secure network for sharing applications and data between Local Authorities and as the PSN becomes available, this will increase the possibilities across the public sector. PSN will also be a catalyst to the use of applications and services delivered through the G-Cloud and the Government CloudStore; this means that services such as application provision, hosting and support can be bought on a usage basis as commodities (effectively buying transactions and outcomes rather than capital investment in servers, networks, software licences and support). Many councils, too, have recognised the savings to be made from the rationalision, consolidation and aggregation of ICT provision with their partners – shared data centres, shared core services such as service desk, asset management, network provision, management and support. Thus the picture for ICT sourcing can now be an interesting mix:
Operational support for ICT (keeping the desktops, applications and infrastructure working reliably) can be based in-house or can readily be outsourced or delivered as a shared service with other councils. This could also involve outsourcing the data centre to the supplier’s own (effectively shared) data centre. The data centre, if it is retained, can be in-house or can be shared with other organisations – or an agreement reached to use each other’s data centres for resilience and disaster recovery purposes.
The service desk can also be outsourced, or can be maintained in-house or shared with one or more partners, though at least some degree of front line support needs to be provided on-site.
- In-house provision
- Cloud-based sourcing and application stores
- Shared services with other public sector bodies
- Using informal (or formal) pools of specialist resource
- Outsourcing of operational services
- Strategic partnership
There are complexities in achieving the appropriate service management and governance.
Socitm Consulting can help by:
- Assisting in planning your strategic sourcing options, which can include any combination of the above
- Sourcing strategy development
- Developing business cases to support these
- Risk analysis and advice on risk management
- Procurement support (our service covers all three specialisms needed - technical, procurement procedure, legal)
- Facilitating partnerships between potentially participating organisations (and acting as a matchmaker)
- Shared services support – business case development, practical advice and guidance, implementation planning, evaluation
- Sourcing of specialist ICT services – eg ICT strategy management
- Reviewing the ICT service – comparative performance, maturity, fitness for purpose
- Helping to define and develop the residual client function and related service levels and contract management.
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