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Over 50% of Finance Directors Claim IT Doesn’t Deliver Key Financial Data

London, 17 June 2003. As the deadline for the delivery of e-Government approaches, research released today by leading specialist managed solutions company Netstore, reveals that an overwhelming majority of Local Authority Finance Directors believe that under-investment in IT is a key obstacle in their organisation’s struggle to meet government targets. As a result of this, over half of Local Authorities plan to change the way they source, manage and monitor organisational performance information and related technologies in the next 12 months.

The survey polled 50 Finance Directors from Local Authorities across the UK. 88% of them blame lack of investment in IT for their inability to receive all the financial and non-financial data necessary to effect real change in the performance of their organisations.

Key research findings are:

· 46% of Finance Directors say that ‘a lot’ or ‘all’ of their management decisions are influenced by KPI’s
· 68% said the performance information they did receive was not delivered in a format that enabled them to identify quickly processes that could be changed to improve performance against these KPIs
· 82% of the respondents claim the management decisions of Local Authority CEOs and assistant CEOs are ‘quite’, ‘very’ or ‘totally’ influenced by KPIs
· 96% of respondents said the IT procurement model within Local Authorities has changed, or is changing, from a department-by-department approach to centralised purchasing

However:

· 52% of Finance Directors say that current IT systems do not deliver all the key financial information they require
· 74% say IT does not deliver all the key non-financial information required


· 56% of respondents have plans to change the way they source, manage and monitor performance information and related technologies
· 71% of those planning to change the way they source, manage and monitor performance information want new IT systems

The research also suggests that 42% of Local Authorities do not have Service Level Agreements for their IT function; 47% of this group say they do not have them because they do not believe them to be necessary.

“The research clearly shows that IT just isn’t currently supporting the revolution in public sector service provision that is taking place,” said Paul Barry-Walsh, Chairman of Netstore. “What is also clear, however, is that Local Authorities do not have the budget right now to implement wholesale changes in their IT systems”.

He continued: “If IT is going to facilitate the provision of the performance management information that Local Authorities need to move forward, then the delivery model needs to change to one which really does make it easy to buy only what you need, when you need it, manage it easily and, crucially, use it effectively to make a real difference within the organisation. Browser-based technologies have made the delivery of applications by a 3rd party much easier and we at Netstore see this as the way forward for UK Local Authorities.”

The research, carried out on behalf of Netstore by research company Vanson Bourne during May 2003, comprised interviews with 50 Finance Directors at local authorities across the UK.






NOTES TO THE EDITOR


About Netstore

Founded in 1996, Netstore is the UK’s leading specialist managed application solutions provider.

Netstore sells direct to organisations in the public and industry sectors. Customers include Northern Rock, BT, Housing Corporation, Companies House, Liverpool City Council; London Boroughs of Camden, Islington and Hammersmith and Fulham; the Royal Borough of Kingston, Scottish Equitable, Cisco Systems, and Northants Police.

Netstore enables organisations to gain control and flexibility of their information systems through the managed delivery of business critical applications as a service. These enterprise strength services encompass financial solutions, e-procurement, business intelligence, enterprise-wide messaging, wireless, storage solutions, disaster recovery and managed security services - all underpinned by strategic consultancy.

Netstore is headquartered in Bracknell, UK, with operations in London, Gateshead and Cambridge. Netstore is one of only 67 organisations in the UK to have achieved BS7799 certification, demonstrating compliance with the British Standard for Information Security Management. Netstore is quoted on the London Stock Exchange (NES).

For more information about Netstore, please visit: www.netstore.com

For further information please contact:
Sarah Rowlands
Netstore plc
Tel: +44 (0) 1344 444 324
Fax: +44 (0) 1344 441 247
sarah.rowlands@netstore.net


Giles Fraser or Hannah Middleton
Brands2Life
Tel: +44 (0) 7386 6200
Fax: +44 (0) 7386 6206
hannah.middleton@brands2life.com


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