Warwickshire County Council has made its IT operation more cost-effective and enabled faster project completions as a result of implementing IT service management (ITSM) software as part of its strategy to roll out IT infrastructure library (ITIL) best practice.
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In 2008 Warwickshire County Council put out a tender for an ITSM tool when it realised the tool it was using – Heat from Frontrange – was not designed for the purposes for which the council was using it, being more of a helpdesk system.
Warwickshire council has 5,000 IT users spread across the county in the councils’ main offices and libraries, as well as mobile workers such as health visitors. The council supports 8,000 users in the county’s schools. It has a core ITSM team of 20.
“We wanted to introduce processes based around ITIL best practices,” said Keith Hattee, change and development manager.
“Being a local authority we had to go out to tender.”
After the tender Warwickshire council invited three suppliers to demonstrate their systems and allow the users at the council to get a feel for them.
Each company visited the council for a day. In the first half of the day the supplier talked about the product and in the second half the system was handed over to the council’s IT team to try it out.
As a result of feedback from the users, the council decided to take Hornbill’s Supportworks.
The Hornbill system has improved the council’s change management with over 41,000 items built up in its Configuration Management Database since it was adopted.
The integration of schools IT support desk, transfer of email to Google and migration to Windows 7 projects are project that have been completed “significantly quicker as a result of improved change management processes,” said Hattee.
“Projects such as bringing the schools IT support desk into the Supportworks fold and upgrading to Windows 7 can be a huge drain on an organisation in terms of time, money and disruption to on-going activities," he said.
"As a result, it can be too easy for standards of IT service to slip. By using Supportworks to monitor these projects in line with ITIL best practice, we can guarantee that all public services in Warwickshire are receiving the same level of high quality support and services.
“When planning an IT project it is vital that essential, business critical services aren’t disrupted. Having the ability to quickly record and analyse the effects of even the smallest changes to any part of infrastructure allows us to better understand and where necessary advise end users of any impact to their working day.
"Moreover, we are now in a better position to improve the quality and value of IT services without leaving our users behind.”
A self-service capability has allowed more users to fix their problems without having to spend time on the phone or waiting for support. This has resulted in a 10% drop in support calls and improved resolution.