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Swedish municipality Järfälla signs €14m outsourcing deal

Swedish municipality signs a new IT services partner to drive digital transformation

The Swedish municipality of Järfälla is shifting its applications and IT systems outsourcing to the Swedish arm of Finnish IT services provider Tieto.

The aim of the €14m contract is partly to drive forward digitisation. The municipality, which is in the Stockholm county area, is home to 73,500 people, and wants a supplier to go further than what the contract stipulates.

“The relationship we have with the current suppliers is focused on what they are contractually obliged to deliver,” Järfälla CIO Lennart Atternäs told Computer Weekly. “The basic infrastructure is something we have taken for granted, and now we want to have something more. We want to have the competences and resources of the IT supplier to bring value to our municipality.”

The agreement is part of Järfälla’s wider public tendering for all of its IT outsourcing. The tender competition covered most of the municipality’s IT infrastructure, including networks, workplaces, servers and applications. The four-year deal with Tieto covers server and application operations together with workspace services for all municipal employees. It will not incur any personnel changes and includes two extension options for a total period of up to eight years.

Atternäs said cost-effective lifecycle management of current business systems and development of new ones is one of the main benefits of the outsourcing agreement. Järfälla is not currently planning any changes to its existing IT applications, as those require separate tenders, but new applications will be considered in the future.

The goal for Järfälla is to shift its IT focus to helping the municipality’s core administration drive innovation, improve services to its citizens and increase its efficiency in a cost-efficient way. To achieve this, the municipality is also introducing a new model for IT governance which gives its administration more direct access to suppliers without the IT organisation acting as a filter between them.

“Most of the work the IT organisation does is firefighting to fill in the gaps of the current supplier,” said Atternäs. “But when we take the next step, there will be more work between the suppliers and the business to make sure they have a good working relationship. So the IT organisation doesn’t need to be in between.”

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The IT department’s role is to act as an enabler for this new governance structure and ensure the model works.

The implementation process with Tieto has just started, but the transition is expected to be straightforward. Instead, it is Järfälla’s wider IT procurement process that has faced some issues. The infrastructure and telecommunications part of the tender competition was awarded to Swedish telco Tele2 Business, but Järfälla’s current IT supplier, Iceland-headquartered Advania, has complained about the result.

The appeal means the network transformation project planned to coincide with the supplier change on the server and application side is postponed. The appeal is currently being processed. At the same time, Järfälla will continue its IT procurement as planned, with the last piece, the hardware side of IT workplaces, expected to be completed in March 2017.

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