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Client Stories

Department for Education Adopts Pioneering Web 2.0 Initiative

Capgemini implements the world’s most ambitious government application for the department, with the potential to save £180m

The Situation

The UK’s Department for Education (DfE) is an ambitious public sector organisation, and was among the first to embrace the Government’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) strategy in a bid to transform decision making, policy development and service delivery.

The DfE wanted to showcase how a more natural, consumer-style approach to business information and collaboration could transform the impact of public services, increasing the value and use of information assets across and beyond the education sector. This meant moving from a silo-based information management strategy to a flexible, borderless Web 2.0 extranet model.

The Solution

The DfE engaged Capgemini to help shape the Department’s Web 2.0 information management and collaboration strategy. The resulting Information Workplace Platform (IWP) is based on a virtualised Microsoft SharePoint platform capable of supporting 25,000 users, and has been recognised as the most ambitious government implementation of the technology in the world. The platform facilitates on-demand content management, collaboration, workflow, management information, and sophisticated enterprise search via a web browser. In contrast with the traditional approach to building new systems, the IWP has used a service-orientated approach throughout. This means that the DfE can provision new business information and collaboration services quickly, cheaply and with a high degree of user engagement, accelerating adoption and the release of business benefits.

The Result

The IWP has successfully delivered a number of substantial benefits to the DfE and the broader education sector including:  

Quantifiable Benefits:

  • Overall savings of £70-180m depending on ultimate service reach – the overall investment is expected to deliver a payback of multiple times its cost
  • Operational efficiency benefits of over 20%
  • Reduction in IT costs of around £4m positioning the DfE as a cross- Government leader in this field.

Qualitative Benefits:

  • Improved decision making and personalisation of services for citizens through better cross-sector collaboration
  • Better customer insights, and decision-making enabled by rapid access to subject matter experts and high-quality information
  • Reduced risk, boosting the Department’s reputation due to secure information access
  • Increased agility, capability and responsiveness enabling time to be freed up for staff to focus on higher-value activities
  • Simplified, ‘on-demand’ IT estate, with infrastructure, platform, software and business processes delivered as a ‘service’
  • Re-usable sector-wide services and technology assets which can be extended to the wider education sector
  • Enhanced leadership reputation – the IWP has created a secure SharePoint-based template for the Application Store for Government, positioning the DfE as a cross- Government leader in this field.