Wellington North ready to take part in regional IT review

KENILWORTH – Wellington North is ready to find out whether there are savings to be had  in response to recent Ontario municipal modernization grants.

On Dec. 2, council agreed to move ahead with a multi-party expression of interest in a proposed third party IT service delivery review for Wellington North, Minto, Mapleton, Puslinch, Guelph-Eramosa, Centre Wellington and Wellington County.           

The decision came following a report from finance director Adam McNabb on the Ontario Municipal Modernization Program, which is accepting expressions of interest for funding for service delivery reviews.

To be eligible projects must be a review by an independent third-party for the purpose of finding savings and efficiencies.

A draft report would be completed by June 15 and the final report posted publicly by June 30. It is anticipated most review projects will be between $20,000 and $200,000.

The total anticipated cost for this project is $141,000.

The proposed review would focus on the information technology (IT) environments of the seven municipalities involved in the project, the internally, and externally managed service provider(s) responsible for project managing and service provision, and any efficiencies of scale that could be afforded by utilizing broader shared resources to deliver enhanced service at a reduced cost while simultaneously building intellectual capital.

Areas of focus

Particular areas of focus for the service delivera review would include:

– existing managed service agreements with third parties to determine if co-termination opportunities exist, identify exit strategies, and resource requirements for consolidation;

– existing software stacks to see if licensing efficiency opportunities exist through increased buying power;

– network overview with an aim to increase network stability, and provide long-term growth and capability enhancement;

– potential to leverage cloud computing to enhance business continuity, enable remote workforce and creation of a general documentation repository; and

– potential for a common customer relationship management system that integrates with work order management and asset management solutions.

While specific cost saving opportunities are not yet known, it is expected the review will identify potential cost savings.

CAO Mike Givens noted the funding is on a tight deadline and he does not anticipate similar applications involving several parties. However, he admitted there will be challenges gathering information, resources and approvals of several municipalities.

Mayor Andy Lennox asked if the municipality should conduct such a review whether or not grant funding is available.

“From my perspective, yes,” said Givens.

Lennox said with the issues surrounding IT and cyber security “I think all of us would have the same vested interest in this.”

Givens noted the county has discussed continuity.

“We have talked about this internally, we just haven’t had the time or resources to look this. The IT continuity issue is very challenging,” Givens said. He added looking at issues from a broader perspective might provide better solutions.