Up to 250 employees at Westminster City Council are using Windows Phone 7 smartphones as their corporate device, V3.co.uk has learned.
David Wilde, the council's chief information officer, said that 600 staff require a smartphone and can choose an HTC Windows Phone 7 device or a BlackBerry. The split is currently 250 to 350 in favour of BlackBerry.
"The Windows platform is far better for certain tasks like downloading attachments than the iPhone, and we offer both devices as we can deliver them for the same price," he said.
The Microsoft platform has been on the market for under a year, and the number of staff choosing the platform over BlackBerry will be of great interest to executives at Microsoft.
Wilde explained that he had reduced the cost of IT provision per user per year from £2,400 to £1,500 since taking up his post in 2008 by using new technologies, including the cloud.
The council recently made huge savings by implementing a Salesforce.com system for event management and parking permit submissions, and Wilde argued that the use of the cloud is the future for IT departments in most areas.
"If we'd gone for a dedicated Westminster Council system it would have cost us £80,000, but an off-the-shelf product from Salesforce.com cost us just £14,000, which was a significant saving," he said.
"We've achieved this by using a mixture of private and public cloud technologies, and I think this is very much how cloud services will be managed in the future."
Widle also believes that the CIO role is becoming more about ensuring data security and legal compliance than providing technology systems.
"CIOs have to be far more up to speed with all the regulatory issues, such as the Data Protection Act, and provide staff with the necessary training to be aware of this," he said.
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