Socitm lauds benefits of sharing – again

By Computing Staff
06 Jun 2011 View Comments

Local authority ICT body Socitm is continuing its push for collaboration between public bodies with the release of a report called Successful sharing: a practical guide for local public services.

This closely follows the release of a major report from the body entitled Planting the Flag: the Strategy for ICT-enabled Local Public Services Reform, which put collaboration with redesign and innovation as the top three measures enabling successful reform of local public services.

The report argues that it is one of the few options open to IT decision makers within local authorities that can lead to savings, and gives tips on how best to approach sharing services.

Further reading
  • Both CEOs and CIOs are candidates to lead sharing initiatives and may need to work together to implement them.
  • With a rapidly changing ICT service delivery landscape, the report advises decision makers not to commit to inflexible long-term solutions.
  • Sharing services is a signficant transition and the change must be carefully managed, with attention to key topics such as people, contracts, systems equipment and resources.
  • Decision makers should not see implementation of shared services as the end goal, rather there should be continued focus on achieving the expected benefits and managing performance through the transition and beyond.

The report gives several examples of shared services that demonstrate the variety of motives and solutions available.

Herefordshire Council and Primary Care Trust is an example of what happens as a result of closer working between health and local authorities in the future, said Socitm.

The "tri-borough" shared services proposal between Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster City councils is notable because of its breadth of scope, according to the report.

The report argues that Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire County Councils' joint venture illustrates the time and effort required to develop and implement a successful shared service partnership.

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