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Case Study

Epsom and Ewell Borough Council

Proact strategic consultancy shapes new age in IT

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Epsom Ewell - Proact customer

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Creating and delivering an IT strategy is difficult for any IT department, but it’s even more of a challenge when you have a streamlined team that needs to support services for 79,000 local residents. This was the case for Epsom and Ewell Borough Council when a decision was made to move away from a shared IT operating model.

Initial situation

The council was left with an exciting yet extremely challenging scenario: it needed to define a completely new model for IT operations away from the shared service centre it had used for a number of years. Accepting that this project would take time and required advanced expertise, the IT team called in Proact to help stabilise the current infrastructure and to explore technical gaps and options for future investments.

Under the microscope

Proact’s primary objective was to make sure that the council’s services could continue to run from the Town Hall data centre while the long-term strategic direction was created. Using methods including on-site investigations, remote analysis, application and business mapping, and the deployment of collection tools, Proact’s experienced consultants started to investigate if the existing infrastructure was fit-for-purpose for the short to medium term.

All advice had to encompass the council’s ultimate strategic goal which was to use a hybrid combination of on-premises and managed services across the IT function. Because of this, Proact didn’t only look at the relevance and sustainability of technology, but considered the council’s capacity to get the most out of its limited internal resources. This would include how the council could effectively use external service providers.

As a result of Proact’s consultancy, the IT department at Epsom and Ewell Borough Council received an in-depth report of findings which included recommendations that were prioritised in terms of professional effort, risk, and the impact of doing/not doing the work.

We got everything we need to commence with a major programme of IT investment and couldn’t be more thankful to the consultants who contributed to this very positive result.
Damian Roberts, Chief Operating Officer at Epsom and Ewell Borough Council

Complete picture

Using our extensive knowledge and experience across the vendor landscape and data centre operations, we analysed the stability of eight different areas across the infrastructure and beyond. One of these was the service desk’s ability to handle issues and incidents as it had recently suffered loss of service due to the failure of infrastructure components. Proact offered assistance for some underlying issues and suggested moving to a service catalogue based model for incident recording and classification.

When looking at data centre facilities, Proact provided high priority remedial advice to ensure the environment complied with all agreements it was subject to. Proact also suggested ways to make the most of data centre space, including the use of a fire and water detection solution.

Epsom and Ewell Borough Council’s Citrix VDI estate was a key element of the IT environment and consumed a significant proportion of its support budget. That’s why Proact’s Citrix experts were called in to review the Citrix tools that were in use, and how these could be leveraged to best support the IT function.

Proact also took a look at the council’s security posture, making suggestions for the council to explore the potential of anti-phishing software and training, AI- based malware, cloud-based DDoS and possible firewall rule changes. However, acknowledging that internal resource was limited and that security is a 24/7 job, we also discussed potential managed service options for the future. Such an approach would mean internal resource could support business-critical projects and could give the council peace of mind that the environment is protected round-the-clock. The council’s networks were working well but some areas of improvement were identified to better support the changing IT landscape. These were escalated to the IT team so they could be addressed immediately. Similarly, the council’s compute was fit for purpose but because Proact wanted to ensure the infrastructure could support the organisation until a new IT model was decided, we suggested some updates.

Storage systems were in good shape and we were confident that they had sufficient capacity for use during this intermediary phase. Proact highlighted disaster recovery as an area of improvement and these concerns were mirrored by some in-house staff. We advised that a potential future remedy could be a managed service approach. This could be implemented quickly and would reduce risk and management requirements.

Time to enter a new paradigm

Damian Roberts, Chief Operating Officer at Epsom and Ewell Borough Council was thankful that his team could stride forward with confidence that they’re making the right decisions and investments.

He said: “This was an extraordinarily important project for us so we were looking for high levels of technical knowledge and expertise, alongside a real understanding of our particular challenges and aspirations. We wanted rigorous analysis, well- reasoned conclusions and a practical way forward. Proact delivered all this and more, exceeding my and my team’s expectations.

“We got everything we need to commence with a major programme of IT investment and couldn’t be more thankful to the consultants who contributed to this very positive result.”

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