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Peterborough City Council Cloud First Strategy

A recent Computer Weekly interview with Richard Godrey, head of IT at Peterborough City Council highlights how cloud computing can help tackle key challenges facing the public sector today.  The biggest challenge is tackling huge budget pressure. The City Council is facing a budget cut of £25 million this year and around £15 million next year. The “cloud first” strategy is helping not just to reduce costs but gain other types of efficiencies like increased productivity and faster service delivery.
When it comes to cost saving, it's the overall council budget they look at, especially departments with the biggest costs like the adult social services department, even if their IT budget goes up a bit, the important thing is that their overall budget goes down. The strategy is all about configuring better systems and services and integrating them. This also means it’s easier to spot related issues, such as housing and environmental cause and effect.
A practical example is a social worker getting access to a citizen’s entire records electronically and sharing the case notes more easily and quickly. 
Peterborough also aims to be an environmental capital. It is deploying weather stations in local schools so kids get more interested in environmental issues by using rain sensors and identifying micro climate patterns with local tech firms offering services helping to match data also collected by the council.
What cloud services is it already using?
Salesforce CRM for its call centre with plans to move all applications onto the Force.com platform as part of its SaaS strategy. Peterborough has partnered with a Salesforce specialist to build council applications on the Force.com platform, which will then be sold on the Salesforce applications market to other local authorities.
The council is also deploying Box, and has signed a contract to run its servers on AWS rather than upgrade its aging datacentre.