I had an email from a campaigner from Somerset by the name of David Orr. Who sent me his observations of Somerset County Council's failing joint venture with IBM. He suggests the only way BT can square the circle of running a service for less, yet create jobs and make profit will require an healthy does of pixie dust. His comments below:
IBM made exactly the same improbable claims prior to signing Somerset up for Southwest One.
years later in 2013:
- Fewer local Council jobs
- No new private jobs
- No promised iconic building for a SW1 HQ (an empty demolition “bomb” site in the town centre where it was meant to be built)
- No new business or revenue
- Procurement contracts now out of County & SW Region
- Business apparently unprofitable – SW1 has made losses in every year of trading, requiring parent company guarantees and for Councils to indemnify the Councillors who are Directors on the SW1 Board
- No true net savings made for Councils (in fact higher net/true costs)
- All new or changed IT requirements to support change are an add-on cost said to be “holding Somerset Council back through inflexibility”
- No IT replacement costed into the contract, so now a 6+ year old ageing & risky IT infrastructure (see risk log extract from this week below)
- Local Council IT skills degraded and key SAP skills offshored to India degrading Councils’ contract exit ability
- High Court contract dispute to be heard in November - broken relationships, no mutual trust or respect
- Many service (KPI- measured) levels lower (see internal audit extract from this week below) as an inadequately resourced & skilled contract management client in Councils cannot verify the service levels measured & reported by SW1 (on themselves).