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Bluefish, a leading IT Consultancy, has launched a Shared Services Consultancy for Local Authorities, as part its new Public Sector Division.

Headed-up by Public Sector specialist, Martin Male, Bluefish’s new Public Sector Shared Services’ offering is aimed at supporting County and Borough Councils as they merge different Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services or processes as part of the move to either Unitary or enhanced two-tier models of local government. This is in response to the recently published Government paper on the ‘Future Structure of Local Government in England’ which requires Councils to give more focus to local needs and priorities.

Bluefish’s Shared Services Consultancy provides a total end-to-end solution for reviewing and rationalising the core ICT functions of Local Authorities looking to merge core services. This includes working alongside ICT teams at Councils moving to Unitary or enhanced two-tier status, targeting system inefficiencies and finding where cost-savings can be made. Bluefish is playing a leading role as Shared Services Advisor for two local authorities currently developing a shared services partnership for their ICT functions.

The Shared Services provision includes project management to determine convergence of upgrades and systems as well as identifying appropriate replacement ICT technologies. Whilst Bluefish primarily work advising the client, a key aspect is Bluefish’s ability to offer Managed IT Services for non-core processes and ICT functions where significant costs savings can be realised . Bluefish can act as the Managed Services Integrator pulling together a number of best-of-breed providers.

“Bluefish is highly experienced at providing best-of-breed IT and telecoms solutions that meet real-world needs. This is particularly important in the public sector where they want ring-fenced, cost-effective and deliverable IT programmes,” comments Martin Male on the launch of new Shared Services programme.

Having worked in partnership with a number of Councils when at Deloitte Management Consulting Services and in-house at Warwickshire Partnership Online, Martin Male speaks from experience when advising Local Authorities on how best to gain cost-efficiency savings from their ICT functions: “The most important lesson I have learned is that everyone has to have common objectives and vision when merging or migrating disparate systems. This is especially true when multiple bodies and departments are involved. Councils have to share aligned goals in terms of their ICT – this has to be driven from the top.”

Many County and District Councils have already started down the path of coherent county-wide service provision by seeking cost and process efficiency gains by integrating overlapping services. This is against a general backdrop of tightening budgets and targets for improved public sector performance and cost-efficiency as outlined in the 2004 Gershon Report which targeted annual savings of £21 billion over 3 years.

ENDS

Bluefish is a leading, independent IT professional services company. Bluefish enables its clients to manage the IT lifecycle – ranging from cost-effective solutions; to the design and delivery of entire technology projects; and managed services for overseeing complex technical issues, risk or resourcing pressures.

Editorial Contact
Richard Vaux or Simon Hewitt
Cobalt Blue
01252 728040
richardv@cobaltblue.com ; simonh@cobaltblue.com

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