Local authorities in London and elsewhere in England are banding together to share enterprise software to cut costs, from the bottom up.
Romford’s central library is open plan, with large glass windows looking out onto outer London’s ring-road. In the offices above, Havering Council staff are also working on being open – in this case, to other councils across London.
The London Borough of Havering is one of a number of authorities that have set up shared software schemes, with the aim of maintaining services in an era of falling budgets. According to the Local Government Association, the number of shared services of all kinds has increased from 220 saving £165m a year in 2012, to 416 saving £462m annually this year.
Havering is involved in two shared software projects. It is one of six founder members of OneOracle, a shared implementation of Oracle’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) business applications, including accounting, payroll and human resources software. This deal, announced in 2012 and managed by Capgemini, also involves the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Croydon, Lambeth and Lewisham. Havering went live with OneOracle in August 2014.
The other, Havering’s oneSource arrangement with nearby Newham, was agreed in April 2014. It involves the two east London councils merging their back-office services with the aim of saving £10m from annual budgets over the next three years. Its first year, 2014/15, has already cut £4.1m from costs, and a further £3.7m are budgeted for 2015/16. The overall programme anticipates £10.6m being delivered by 2018/19.
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