London Borough of Havering is the third-largest borough in Greater London, with a population of 220,000 and an area covering 27,742 acres, of which almost half is green space. Its administrative authority is Havering Council, which provides education, housing, waste management, transportation, leisure facilities, and many other services to the borough’s residents and visitors.
In 2010, Havering Council needed to find a way to reduce expenditures by US$24.5 million annually to compensate for an annual 7.1% reduction in funding received from the Department of Communities and Local Government. This reduction was part of a national program of central government spending cuts designed to reduce the United Kingdom’s structural deficit by US$7.8 billion each year until 2015.
In a bid to preserve funding levels for vital front-line services, such as social care and children’s services, Havering Council looked for ways to cut back-office administrative costs. It reviewed its IT footprint and identified major opportunities to rationalize its software applications and supporting infrastructure. These opportunities were incorporated into Havering 2014, a four-year transformation strategy that aims to increase efficiency and eliminate unnecessary expenses across all of the council’s services.
As part of the program, the council chose to move its core applications for finance, human resources (HR), payroll, and procurement from its own premises to an on-demand model, managed and delivered by Oracle Cloud Services. This move involved consolidating Havering Council’s legacy, heterogeneous applications onto a single instance of Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1. The council projects that resulting efficiencies will result in saving US$23.5 million over five years―representing a fourfold return on the project’s cost of US$4.7 million and a significant contribution to Havering’s overall savings target.
Carl Collins McCarthy, program manager for internal shared services at Havering Council, was already a fan of Oracle Cloud Services, having been a customer in a previous role with the United Kingdom Environment Agency. He was convinced of Oracle Cloud Services’ ability to significantly reduce costs by removing the need to install, manage, and support a complex software and hardware infrastructure, internally.
Oracle Cloud Services also offered 24/7 support to all users as a standard, an improvement over the legacy environment that provided IT support only during office hours. It also provided the reassurance of Oracle experts managing a stack of Oracle software and hardware, with all of the associated best practices, governance processes, and performance-enhancing tuning.
“We are very happy with Oracle Cloud Services. Its outstanding service and robust governance, processes, and controls make it well worth the investment,” Said Carl Collins McCarthy, program manager, internal shared services and Oracle competency center, London Borough of Havering.