The importance of efficient computer services in local government

Minimising expenditure is always a priority for bosses. After all, the greater their revenue and the lower their costs, the more profits firms stand to make. So, it is no surprise that many companies are currently on the lookout for great value computer support.

Indeed, the need for efficient PC assistance may be particularly great now in a range of organisations, including local government departments.

According to figures published in response to a freedom of information request by Guardian Government Computing, several councils have cut the number of workers in their IT departments by double digit figures. In order to ensure they are able to carry on operating successfully in the face of these changes, it is important that these organisations are able to access appropriate computer support.

The local authority that recorded the largest drop was West Sussex county council. This axed 90 per cent of its IT staff between 2008-09 and January of this year. The number of ICT personnel working for the organisation fell from 138 to 12, no doubt putting the issue of PC support services firmly on the radar of managers.

Meanwhile, Hertfordshire council’s average IT headcount dropped by 22 per cent over this period, while Leeds council recorded a fall in computing personnel of 17 per cent.

It was also noted that Devon council, Norfolk council and Staffordshire county council reported falls of 14 per cent, 12 per cent and three per cent respectively.

In total, 12 councils replied to the information request and the overall IT staff headcount among these fell from 2,258 in 2008-09 to 2,192 in 2012.

Responding to the statistics, senior analyst at Kable Michael Larner said: “Some of the staff savings will not necessarily come entirely from the traditional IT department. Individual service directorates employ their own IT staff, sometimes unknown to the central department, supporting software applications specific to the department, for example.”

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