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Saving vs Spending – where to start with transformational ICT?

Network Infrastructure

It’s the age old adage, how do you do more with less?

Much has been in the press following the National Audit Office (NAO)’s comments on the government’s ICT reform strategy earlier this month. raised the question:

“So how do you achieve digital transformation of the civil service without any money?”

With Communities and Local Government budgets being cut by up to 28% by 2014, the pressure within many organisations to use technology to achieve savings across the board is growing.

The need to make transformational changes, investing and future proofing infrastructure and increasing productivity are the words which every ICT Manager hears day in day out. The challenges are more than a cost saving initiative but needing to see real results in how ICT services are provided and delivered.

Embracing the Digital as Default strategy across the organisation and implementing accordingly is crucial to success. For example, it costs 30 times less moving away from a phone based service to an online web service incorporating live online chat, increased website functionality and using social media.

This strategy in conjunction with the civil service reform plan provides opportunity for ICT initiatives to be seen as more than ICT savings objectives but proving the real value shown across the organisation.

“This will enable the Cabinet Office and departments to develop a more holistic view of the impact of their initiatives on suppliers (large and small), spending less and reforming public services through digital by default,” argues the NAO.

The juxtaposition of cost savings which require significant investment is pertinent. Achieving the required costs savings whilst having to spend significant sums can mean it’s hard to make the maths add up.

Choosing suppliers who can support and enable this is fundamental.  With a solid track record of working within the Public Sector, Networks First work with organisations to do just this.  Understanding that deliverables are not just cost savings, internal SLA’s must still be met and new projects delivered on time and on budget.

Networks First is constantly reviewing ways which this can be achieved. Through recent changes in some vendor’s (including Cisco) own support programmes Networks First is now able to offer organisations greater flexibility in the Support Services which are on offer. Where vendors have reviewed attach rates for items being placed onto vendors own support, Networks First are able to reflect this dependant on the criticality of the device to the customer.

Networks First understands that a blanket approach to support levels and SLA’s is not suitable for today’s networking infrastructures. With the move towards functionality being delivered by software applications especially in the realms of voice, security and management a contracted guaranteed fix time is still imperative for the customer.  Providing access to software releases and bug/fix patches for these critical applications is still an essential requirement, likewise for core routing and switching infrastructure where availability and uptime is key.

Reviewing the current infrastructure, product end of sale / end of life dates, vendor end of support dates and the areas which provide access to their business critical applications and data is crucial to providing the most appropriate Support Service.

With over twenty years’ experience providing Support Services customers can still take confidence from the Networks First service delivery structure, spares holdings and technical capabilities whichever level of Support Service is taken.  With over 90% of incidents resolved remotely Networks First has made significant investment in its 24 x 7 manned Network Operation Centre (NOC).  Our NOC Consultants and NOC Engineers ensure quality service delivery is at the forefront of the organisation and is under pinned by multi-vendor accreditations and ITIL best practice.

For more information on Networks First’s Support Service you can call us 0845 850 5577 and speak to one of our specialist team.

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