Telecoms provider O2 has launched a £250,000 IT investment fund for cash-strapped local councils.
O2’s Future Fund is comprised of three grant packages worth up to £125,000, £75,000 and £50,000.
Successful local authorities applying for the scheme will receive consultancy time, services and technology investment in their IT projects. Around 60 councils attended the launch of the fund, which will of focus on ways to get staff to move to a ‘self-serve’ model for technology.
Mark Adams-Wright, chief information security officer at Suffolk County Council ,who attended the launch of the fund said: “There’s a difficulty around IT investment in local government at the moment, not just a lack of money but the process of prioritising what is there.
“At the moment local government is not a great place to work in terms of the innovation side as effectively there’s no money there.”
Asked whether the fund could act as a way for O2 to win more business with local government, Adams-Wright said: “It could well be a way of 02 getting into local government but I would turn that question on its head and say it’s a way for communicating thinking about CIO investment.” He added the key to successful IT was working with providers as business partners rather than as suppliers. “This is a platform [for communication], but the business still has to be won.”