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UK: Sunderland to Get City-Wide Cloud Computing
Source: publicservice.co.uk
Source Date: Monday, November 14, 2011
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: Europe
Created: Nov 14, 2011

A smarter cities initiative is to see city-wide cloud computing rolled-out across Sunderland in a move that will result in savings for the city council, improved access to public services for residents and further benefits for local businesses, it has been announced.

Sunderland's City Cloud, to be delivered by IBM, was said to be a UK first in that it has been designed from the outset for both the council and local firms.

Sunderland City Council is expected to save £1.4m in each of the next five years through IT savings and operational cost reduction.

But the cloud is to also to allow residents to access services and information more quickly and easily, which is in turn expected to help the council become more responsive.

Businesses in the area will be given the opportunity to increase their own capacity without the need to spend money on new infrastructure or software licenses.

And improved collaboration is expected between companies, agencies and the public sector as they use the cloud.

Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson said the cloud was a "cornerstone" of Sunderland's "economic masterplan".

"The new cloud infrastructure will lay the foundations of an even smarter Sunderland, one that ensures the city is internationally recognised as a model for its operations and a prime location for inward investment," he said.

And Paul Woolston, chair of the North Eastern Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "Sunderland is very much at the forefront of developing and growing the software industry in the North East and this is the latest example of partnership working which will create building blocks for economic growth.

"It raises our game to an international level and will assist the whole of the North East to attract investment and create opportunities for businesses across all sectors."

Through the could the council was said to be looking for "deeper transformation" in areas like shifting services online, enabling more self-service, improving fraud detection and optimising processes.

The council will also be able to adopt innovative delivery models, for example allowing staff to bring their own computers to work.
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