At East Renfrewshire Council, we were faced with the challenge of delivering a faster, easier ICT collaboration programme with neighbouring local authorities.

We wanted to collaborate on a number of ICT-related work streams across partner councils—all with the aim of increasing the quality of citizen service, optimising efficiency and ensuring procurement excellence.

The ability to share data, knowledge and information in a seamless and secure way is critical to the success of the ICT collaboration between our partner councils. The most likely destination for collaboration was Microsoft SharePoint as we already use the platform for internal data and file sharing within ICT and it offers the requisite security. However, what SharePoint doesn’t offer is file sharing outside of the Council’s firewall. It’s great for collaborating internally, but when it comes to sharing data securely with other councils and our Transformation Lead Partner Castlerigg Consulting, we needed a more flexible service.

We originally worked on projects by email to distribute content such as meeting minutes and agendas. However, we quickly discounted email for the ICT collaboration programme, simply because of access issues. Mailbox sizes can prohibit some of the larger project files being shared, emails can be missed quite easily and there are questions over document version control.

These problems were solved by using Huddle. Where information was previously scattered across systems, with little version control, it is now all in one central hub. We can immediately see the lifecycle of each project. Everything is tracked, managed and processed faster and more simply.

The collaboration aims to take a business driven approach to ICT, recognising that technology is a huge enabler of delivering modern public services and supports joined up service delivery around the needs of users and citizens in Scotland. The appetite at a senior level to be innovative and use technology to drive efficiency and effectiveness in some key service areas is demonstrated by the use of Huddle and we now have six work streams in the IT collaboration programme. It’s as easy to share content securely outside the firewall with organisations like Castlerigg and Renfrewshire Council as it is with the teams in the office next door. As a result, the work streams are being developed more quickly.

There was also never any doubt that Huddle offered a cast-iron, highly resilient approach to information security. The opportunities are limitless. Huddle is quick to deploy, easy to use, totally secure and drives cross-firewall collaboration. What is there not to like?

Patrick Murray, Head of ICT, East Renfrewshire Council

As the Head of ICT for East Renfrewshire Council, Patrick Murray looks after the technology for a unitary authority in Scotland. He has worked in Local Government since 1988. In December 2013, Murray successfully completed the ICT Top Talent Programme in Scotland which was co-sponsored by Socitm and IBM. He manages more than 50 staff delivering ICT services across the Council, covering Infrastructure, Business Applications, Service Support and Information Security.


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