“Reducing the cost of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) provision in Local Government”
In these times of austerity, Local Authorities are facing significant reductions in budgets (on average over 30%). Now that the easier savings have been realised, Councils are faced with two options, cutting services or revolutionary changes to the way they do things today.
The provision of ERP solutions to support back office services are a good place to start. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) for Customer Relationship Management has already demonstrated that considerable savings can be made from moving to a cloud based solution, so why not ERP? It may not even be necessary to move to a full scale SaaS model and moving an existing ERP solution to an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solution also offers significant savings. As Andrew Vize (Computacenter) highlights, “the efficiency of services from Google and Amazon is superb. They offer the lowest power costs and are five to 10 times cheaper than traditional data centres.”
The traditional sentiment of what it takes to implement ERP is that it’s a big, lumbering, exhausting process. Standard procedures such as installation, configuration, testing and then moving them into production can take enormous time and effort, and software changes often just layer on more complexity.
Could cloud computing change that reputation? Cloud-computing lifts the perspective to the business level where concerns about scale, performance and availability are seen through the lens of business processes and user requirements.
Local Authorities will have to change the way they work and remove a number of ‘customised’ processes to make the most of cloud ERP but Local Government templates such as Capgemini’s Transform Government (t-Gov) can help through pre-defined processes aligned to leading practice and associated business change support. t-Gov is already helping Council’s in the UK drive efficiencies in their back office (over 20%) and typical savings are found through:
1. Reduction in ICT support costs
2. Faster provision of services
3. Potential for multiple Councils to share the same ERP solution whilst knowing their data is secure
4. Transformation of the business to remove bureaucracy and align with leading practice
In summary, if you’re not already thinking about how cloud based services can reduce the cost of ERP provision in Local Authorities, you should start now.
Nick Plummer, Oracle Solution Architect, Capgemini UK