Councils in Gloucestershire and West Oxfordshire are to share real-time data through a fibre optic network in a move expected to save £675,000 a year.
The high-speed network from Virgin Media will link hundreds of public sector workers across the authorities and enable greater use of home working.
Cheltenham Borough Council, Cotswold, the Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire District Councils are implementing a shared enterprise resource planning system to increase collaboration between the local authorities. The network will be rolled out to manage finance, HR, procurement and payroll functions.
Bob McNally, programme communications officer at Cotswold District Council, said the shared service across key functions would lead to significant efficiency savings. “Soon after we have established the shared service in April, we will be able to start making efficiency gains, for example with the joint procurement of goods and services.
“The benefits of data-sharing are that workflows can be expedited and tasks can be processed using a consistent methodology. There are, obviously, challenges to take into account, including the need to ensure that the relevant data is only accessed by those who need to know,” McNally said.