North Norfolk District Council is the latest local authority to go live with secure network access for remote and home workers.
The authority is using AEP Networks’ Netilla Security Platform to meet staff requirements for flexible working, as well as to improve service delivery and realise savings from its ICT investments.
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AEP Networks has seen a marked increase in demand for its Netilla Security Platform secure application access (SSL Virtual Private Network) products in recent months. The company believes that this is largely driven by trends towards delivering local authority services 24/7, therefore facilitating flexible working practices to ease service delivery. In addition, the legislative requirement to consider requests for flexible working from staff is driving a move away from the traditional framework of centralised, office-based personnel.
Cost and efficiency benefits from remote working are, however, the desired result. According to the Society of IT Management (Socitm), councils have spent about £2.5bn on e-government projects since 2000, but the Government is now asking to see a return on that investment, as well as ambitious efficiency gain savings of almost £6.5bn by 2007/8.
Jason Holloway, UK country manager for AEP Networks, said, "Demand is red hot in the local government sector as word has got around that there are real benefits to offering flexible working. Within a very short time councils are seeing a return on investment as well as a great boost in staff morale."
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