Agenda item

Agenda item

ICT update

Report of the Director of ICT attached


This report provides the Committee with updates in relation to the progress in developing the Council’s IT Strategy, its Datacentre Programme, an update on the Liquidlogic Programme (Social Care System) and the Microsoft O365 Programme.


The Committee considered a report of the Director of ICT, which provided an update the progress in developing the Council’s IT Strategy, the development of its Datacentre Programme, an update on Liquidlogic Programme (Social Care System) and an update on the Council’s migration to Microsoft365.


Key points and themes of the report included:-


·                A draft ICT strategy was with the Deputy Chief Executive to review prior to going to SMT in February;

·                The priority for ICT was the provision of fit for purpose, secure by design and resilient technology to enable improvements to the delivery of public services;

·                An update on the ICT Data Centre migration from the Sharp site, which was at the last stage of the physical move, with an overall aim of achieving improved resilience and disaster recovery;

·                An update on the Liquidlogic suite of social care products, which had been operational for 18 months;

·                An update on the implementation of new Liquidlogic Adults, Children’s and Early Help System;

·                An overview of the financial savings achieved through the adoption of LiquidLogic;

·                An update on the MS365 Collaboration Programme, including confirmation that all individual users were now migrated to Microsoft 365, amounting to 7,250 accounts;

·                An update on the End User Device (EuD) Project; and

·                ICT’s response to the COVID crisis.


Some of the key points that arose from the Committees discussions were:-


·                Were the six outstanding shared mailboxes now migrated to MS365;

·                Was the Council disposing of old ICT equipment in a responsible and sustainable way;

·                It was recognised how well the Service had responded to the COVID crisis in providing staff with the necessary equipment to work from home;

·                The teams involved in the successful MS365 and telephony migration were congratulated on the work that they had undertaken under the difficult circumstances the Council was operating under;

·                It was suggested that within the new ICT strategy, reference needed to be made to addressing digital exclusion as part of any public facing system;

·                Was there an ambition to move to more cloud based data centres rather than physical data centres;

·                Was there any plans to recoup the overspend in delivering the implementation of the new Liquidlogic Adults, Children’s and Early Help System;

·                There was a need to recognise that Manchester’s carbon footprint would increase with the arrival of GHCQ in the city;

·                Why had the Council moved from using Public-I to webcast its Scrutiny and other committee meetings;

·                Was there any plans to migrate away from other software platforms thar the Council was currently using, such as SAP and if so, what consideration would be given to compatibility with other software and partner;

·                What value for money had been derived from the migration to Microsoft365; and

·                An update on the future of Citrix was requested.


The Director of ICT advised that any equipment retuned was initially assessed to see if it could be reallocated to other staff.  If not consideration was given as to whether it could be provided to schools and young people and only as a last resort would they be disposed of for recycling.  He confirmed that all of the outstanding shared mailboxes had now been migrated o MS365.


The Committee was advised that the move to the new data centres was the first step in moving to a cloud based storage and as part of the draft ICT strategy was to adopt a cloud first approach.  In terms of the overspend with LiquidLogoic, it was explained that the implementation of the case management system was significant and complex.  The previous product was no longer supported and therefore the Council had had to move quickly in replacing the software.  A number of the benefits of adopting LiquidLogic were also outlined.


The Deputy Leader acknowledged the point made around the impact to the city’s carbon footprint and stated that there were also benefits that could be derived from the arrival of GHCQ in the city’s economy.  In relation the Council ceasing to use public-I for webcasting scrutiny and committee meetings, it was explained that this was due to budgetary issues but work was ongoing with Officers from Governance and Scrutiny Support to ensure a similar experience could be provided from the use of other platforms.


The Director of ICT advised that with each major software upgrade, the Council reviewed what lessons had been learnt to enable a smoother transition for future changes.  He added that it was anticipated that future changes to the Council’s software packages would be incremental and not on a similar scale to the recent migration to Microsoft 365.  It was recognised that going forward, the integration and interconnectivity of various software systems was essential and this would be reflected in the new ICT Strategy.


The Committee was informed that at present, Citrix was still a supported channel for staff to access the Council’s systems in a secure manner.  It was envisaged that the reliance on Citrix would decrease in time with the roll out of the end user device program.  In terms of value for money and benefit of Microsoft 365, it was reported that the Council was starting to see the benefits of improved integration with other organisations and greater collaborative working.




The Committee notes the report.

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