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Reading Council to launch multi-supplier IT infrastructure


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Reading Borough Council is preparing to launch a multi-supplier operating model for its IT infrastructure.

Along with its children’s services partner Brighter Futures for Children it has awarded contracts reported to be worth a total of £13.2 million with three suppliers to take over four areas.

The model is set to come into effect at the beginning of April, taking over from a single company outsourcing deal with Northgate.

It involves Agilisys taking responsibility for hosting and workspaces, including IT support, while Virgin Media Business will run the communications technology and North will manage the networks.

Digital consultancy Channel 3 Consulting is supporting the council with managing the transition between suppliers.

Martin Chalmers, Reading’s chief digital and information officer, said: “The signing of these deals is a critical and foundational milestone in our digital transformation. They give us the control and flexibility we need to shape digital capabilities to meet the needs of Reading’s residents, businesses and visitors; offer demonstrable value for money; and provide direct benefit to our communities.”

Stepping stone

Councillor Ellie Emberson, lead councillor for corporate and customer services, commented: “This new operating model will help us provide even more value for money with taxpayers’ money. It is a stepping stone to the vision of a connected Reading that will be laid out in our digital strategy later this year.”

The three companies will help to build new digital services and have committed to providing wider social benefits for the borough. As part of this, Agilisys is providing a digital inclusion bursary and talks on the technology industry and career opportunities at local state secondary schools.

Image from iStock, Amanda Lewis

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