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Council tax and colocation – the answer to price hikes?

Council tax and colocation – the answer to price hikes?

The ongoing funding crisis for local governments has hit a new peak with the majority of councils raising the prospect of council tax hikes to help continue pay for vital services.

But instead of passing this burden on to local residents with more service cuts and taxes, is there a simple solution that can be used instead?

We have heard it all before, but the value of shared IT services can’t be overstated enough, especially when budget cuts are continuing. With local boroughs collaborating on IT projects, whether it be unified communications, a single regional website, cloud services or a third-party data centre provider, local councils can achieve significant savings.

A Freedom of Information request

The request back in 2016 found that two thirds of the UK’s largest local authorities ran at least two data centres and stored 90 per cent or more of their data on premise. Now while this number has hopefully reduced in the last 18 months, it’s unlikely to have dropped significantly to the point where IT is not taking up a considerable chunk of the sparse budget. Running 150 data centres for 75 local councils is unnecessary on a number of levels.

The role of the data centre

Data Centres are clearly a key component for local councils and support a range of hosted services. Legacy facilities may not be equipped to handle the demands of modern life in a local authority. With numerous web pages hosting a variety of information, complex forms for everything from council tax to planning application and age support. Local councils have complex IT environments that need to be managed more effectively in order to deliver savings.

Effective IT and colocation delivers savings

By partnering with a data centre provider that is fully equipped to handle fluctuations in traffic flows and large data volumes for those bigger councils, local authorities will quickly see a reduction in costs. These costs will be further reduced if the councils decide to share services and move into a single-site facility.

Understanding the options that IT can bring to local authorities puts them in a much better position to make an accurate judgement about how much money they are overspending on IT. There are many viable alternatives to keeping data on premise but in just as secure facilities that ensure maximum security and usability for minimum costs.

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