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Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency updates document management system in digital push

Public sector agency modernises core system through an IT outsourcing agreement that will support digital transformation

Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) is deploying a new case and document management system in an effort to modernise its digital tools.

The system will be delivered by Finnish IT provider Tieto under a two-year deal.

“The change was driven by the expectation for all Swedish government agencies to work in a more digital way,” said Magnus Einarsson, enterprise architect at MSB, “but also the expectation of our employees to have modern tools that are more similar to what they use in their everyday life.”

Tieto’s contract includes delivery, installation, configuration and implementation of the case and document management system, as well as training, support and maintenance services. The new system is expected to be implemented for all of MSB’s 850 employees by May 2017.

MSB’s previous document management system dated from 2009, the year the agency was formed. Einarsson said that although the legacy system’s functionality was still relevant, it was not seen as user-friendly and was used mainly as a document registry rather than a tool for everyday work.

With the new system – based on Tieto’s Public 360 platform – MSB is targeting improved efficiency, ease of use and significantly better search features for scanning documents.

“Search is something that was very predominant when we asked what our organisation expects from the new system,” said Einarsson. “They need the system to be efficient to work with, easy to use, but it must also provide a search feature that is more on a par with what people are used to in their private life.”

Security is also a key concern for MSB, which handles sensitive issues such as civil protection, public safety and emergency management. The agency currently sees cloud services as a restricted option and has its own IT team running operations and infrastructure in-house.

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With the new case and document management system, the focus will be on increased traceability and controlling access to various types of information.

Einarsson expects some resistance from staff in adapting to the new system, but says this is typical with any major system change and has been taken into account. “[Major factors will be] training and offering hands-on support when needed,” he said.

Tieto was chosen as the supplier after a public tender contest in early 2016. The agreement, valued at SEK7.9m (£720,000), came into force in early September and includes a possible four-year extension.

The new document management system is part of MSB’s larger digitalisation project, which is also focused on improving how the agency’s staff work with external partners.

“We are introducing a team site with a collaboration portal for doing project work on planning, tasks and working with external partners,” said Einarsson. “No one works in isolation today. You always have other agencies, companies, citizens that you interact with, so you need to exchange information in a secure environment.”

MSB is not alone in focusing on digital ways of working. A 2015 survey, Management Events’ Executive Trend Survey, which canvassed 87 respondents, showed that 58% of government organisations in Sweden are focusing their IT efforts on digitalisation of services and processes and enabling new ways of working.

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