Innovation Exchange

Mobile and Flexible Working

Introduction

Key activities

Benefits and impacts

Learning

Working closely with our key partners, Citrix, HP, Atlantis and iKonic, Falkirk Council has started down the path of transforming the way we deliver services through greater use of mobile and flexible working.  Existing technologies were dependent on desktop computers with limited opportunities for the Council to deliver services directly where they are needed most – to the customer.  Our main objectives  are to provide a secure technology solution  which allows us to deliver services at a time, from a location and using an approach that best suits our customers’ needs and to provide improved service capabilities for our Services.

This is the first stage of an ambitious transformation journey which will see us linking our mobile and flexible approach to self service delivery via our Firmstep partners, making maximising our web presence through our newly developed website, tying in to smarter ways of working by developing our Sharepoint application and reviewing our physical service delivery options for our customers by changing our One Stop Service approach.

Theme: Digital

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The mobile and flexible working project has a 2-3 year timescale which started in 2015 initially with procurement of the mobile and flexible working software solution, installation and configuration of servers, small scale concept testing and progressing through on a phased basis to deliver to all our corporate locations.  While this is an ambitious project, our approach has been to start slowly and build up the speed of our deployment.

Our key activities have included:

  • Working with suppliers to ensure we procured the most appropriate software to meet our needs;
  • Working with hardware suppliers to develop a cutting edge solution which minimise our server estate whilst maximising our network speed and output;
  • Developing and trialling a pre production test environment using tablet devices for selected staff, Chief Officers and Local Members;
  • Developing roll-out project plans and procedures;
  • Delivering awareness raising sessions;
  • Setting up hardware and software, including homeworking devices;
  • Delivering a test mobile and flexible working environment within an existing office location, maximising best use of the technology

Benefits have included but are not limited to:

Limited downtime for end users – increasing productivity for all Services.  The Citrix return on investment (ROI) calculator suggests pc support requires an annual minimum of 5 hours maintenance per pc.  Based on a charge of approx. £17 per hour this can be estimated at a potential saving of approx.  £85 per pc per year or £200k per annum after the roll-out to all corporate users has been completed;

 

Increased life cycle for existing pcs.  Existing pcs will be repurposed to connect to the new system and will no longer be replaced on a cyclical basis, saving the equivalent value of the annual pc replacement programme.  If a pc requires to be replaced this will be replaced with a thin client box.  The price difference between a pc and a thin client box is £160 and the saving in the set-up time for the engineer is approx. 8 hours.  This is equivalent to approx. £300 per pc or £750k savings every 4-5 years.

A review of our property assets will require to be considered to determine the potential savings this particular savings stream can yield.

 

The greatest non-financial benefit however, remains the opportunity to change the way we deliver services.  To ensure customers receive a service tailored to their needs and to support the ever changing expectations of when and how services can be accessed.  Other benefits also include greater flexibility for staff to work in a less restrictive environment, providing the opportunity for them to balance their work life around their home environment.

Our learning journey has been substantial.  Changing our approach to hardware, software, application management and project management has been significant.  Our approach to substantially planning the project in advance of implementing the solution has ensured our initial roll-out has been very smooth.

Other organisations who are considering developing a solution of this nature are very welcome to contact our organisation to discuss our approach, visit our organisation and try our technology.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:

 

Allan Stewart

Improvement Manager

Falkirk Council

allan.stewart@falkirk.gov.uk

01324506187

Case study added to site: June 2016

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