Warwickshire County Council has adopted Google Apps for Work in a shift from outdated IT systems to cloud-powered software.
Such shifts are indicative of digital transformations at many organisations, local and private, as they look to become more efficient with technology and use digital services to directly invoke a change in operations.
Warwickshire’s move to Apps for Work followed a £2m decrease in the council's IT budget, forcing it to find way to operate within the constrained finances.
However, Tonino Ciuffini, head of information assets at Warwickshire County Council, explained that the IT overhaul was more than just a response to budget cuts.
“It wasn’t just about saving money in the short term. We wanted to share our facilities more effectively, improve the flexibility of our IT for staff and make it easier to work with external partners,” he wrote in a Google For Work blog post.
The council worked with Cloud Technology Solutions, a company that specialises in setting up organisations with Google Apps for Work, to deploy 5,500 Google Apps accounts and migrate 3,000 users from the old infrastructure in just eight weeks.
The pace at which the council could move from old systems to modern alternatives highlights the role of cloud services in carrying out rapid digital transformation.
The council made use of Google’s whole suite of productivity tools, ranging from Drive for storage and collaborative working to Hangouts for remote meetings.
Ciuffini cited benefits such as reduced bureaucracy, automatic IT upgrades and easy log-in to multiple devices, and a dramatic change in the IT budget.
The move from legacy IT to cloud services has shaved £260,000 off the council's annual IT budget by eliminating £200,000 in licence and infrastructure fees and £60,000 in support staff costs.
“But the really significant savings go deeper than that, and come from efficiencies made right across the organisation,” Cuiffini added.
Digital transformation may seem like an arduous task to IT heads comfortable with their current infrastructure, but the significant cost savings and clear efficiency benefits are very much worth the effort.
Warwick County Council is not the only local government that has adopted Google Apps for Work. Peterborough City Council recently ditched Microsoft Office for Google Apps in a continuation of its push to the cloud.
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