Gloucestershire County Council has declared a plan for a new ICT contract model.
It has highlighted that next week its cabinet is set to look at a proposal to search for a mixture of in-house and third party contractors to deliver a new digital operating model when its existing contract with Sopra Steria expires at the end of March 2021.
It said the market has changed significantly over the past few years, with an emphasis on smaller contracts and framework agreements, meaning there are new opportunities to bring in new skills, improve customer experience and save money.
The proposal includes breaking down the contract into a number of areas including digital transformation, change management, cyber security, service desk, application development and cloud hosting. The new contracts could last for up to five years.
It also provides scope to join up its network with parts of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service’s ICT system to support joint working and provide cost savings.
The document submitted to the cabinet says the priorities include a replacement of the council’s wide area network. This is aimed at solving some operational problems, enabling it to work more easily with partners and providing free Wi-Fi for the public in its buildings.
It also highlights the reduction in in-house ICT resources resulting from the existing outsourcing arrangement.
Councillor Lynden Stowe, cabinet member for finance and change, said: “A new approach to the way our digital model works is needed to help us to continue to deliver high quality services to Gloucestershire residents as well as provide good value for money for tax payers.
“I’m confident we will have a new cost-effective, flexible, and modern ICT model, and with cabinet approval we will find a range of providers with even more experience of helping public sector organisations improve their ways of working.”
The county council added that Gloucester City Council’s current ICT contract also comes to end around March 2021, which could provide scope for more joint working between the two.