The days of \u201cmonolithic\u201d outsourcing deals by local councils are coming to an end, according to consultancy \n\n\n" data-old-href="\n\n\n ">Deloitte.\nCouncils have for "too long" viewed IT as a \u201cblack art that is better performed by external contractors\u201d, the company claimed in a new paper. Success in these deals was \u201crare\u201d, it said, and led to the growth of disparate IT functions that \u201clack centralised control\u201d.\nCosti Perricos, author of the \u2018Taking Control of IT\u2019 report, which is based on Deloitte\u2019s experience of advising local councils, said the local authorities would be better advised to take \u201cproper ownership\u201d of their IT and develop good governance in order to achieve success.\n\u201cThat\u2019s not to say the outsourcing of some IT functions can\u2019t work,\u201d he added, \u201cbut the days of the monolithic IT outsourcing deal \u2013 that sees the entire council\u2019s IT capability outsourced to one supplier and managed by a small contracting team \u2013 are numbered.\u201d\nHe advised local authorities to \u201ctake and retain control\u201d of technology strategy, including the management of suppliers, in order to deliver benefits to citizen services and internal efficiencies.\nThere were also potential financial gains to be made by keeping work in-house and restructuring IT as demonstrated by Lancashire County Council, Deloitte said. Many councils could save \u201cup to 30 percent\u201d of their IT expenditure over time by redesigning IT, it claimed.\nIn order to achieve such a saving, however, council managers would need to collaborate more to make the most of their IT investment, and technological and skills capabilities would have to be unified across departments, Deloitte said.\nInitial savings could come from software licence and data storage optimisation, as well as project rationalisation and strategic sourcing of commoditised technology, the report said. After this, councils could consolidate applications, servers and datacentres, optimise their hardware usage, and improve shared services.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nFinally, it said, councils could standardise their application architecture and software delivery lifecycle, improve governance, and consider outsourcing specific maintenance, operations and network functions.\nIt advised authorities to establish a senior IT board, communicate IT costs in terms of the benefits the functions will deliver, properly balance control and risk, and make careful choices on the use of existing applications versus new software.\nCouncils could only benefit from IT change, Deloitte said, if the \u201cwhole authority moves in the same direction\u201d.\nIn spite of the claims that large outsourcing deals were numbered, however, a number of councils have signed large contracts in recent months. Last month, the Highland Council said it was set to begin a \u00a366 million IT overhaul, naming Fujitsu as preferred bidder for the work. Gloucestershire Council is also working on an IT transformation with Capgemini, aimed at saving \u00a360 million over four years.\nLast week, Cardiff Council signed a 15 year deal with Tata Consultancy Services, reportedly worth \u00a3150 million, principally to integrate software platforms and automate processes. But in that deal Tata would work fully on-site with Cardiff's own IT department, without staff being transferred, the council insisted.