Fife Council has upgraded its IT helpdesk solution to introduce self-service capabilities, in a bid to reduce costs.

The council has been using an ITIL-based solution from Axios Systems for more than 15 years, and recently decided to upgrade to Axios Assyst 9 for its self-service and online functions.

"We were suffering from diminished [support] resources, by 40 percent, so it was key to move to more self service," said Charlie Anderson, Fife Council CIO.

Fife Council has 22,500 staff, around 12,000 of whom are regular IT users.The IT helpdesk usually takes around 60,000 calls a year from users. However, the new version of the Axios system allows users to log calls and requests for the IT team online.

"Our initial target was for 50 percent of calls to go through the web. We achieved this within a few weeks of go-live [Feburary 2012]," said Anderson.

"Since February, we've logged over 27,000 requests. Well in excess of 10,000 of them have been online."

Fife Council began upgrading the system in August 2011. Although it went live at the start of February as planned, the solution was not implemented by the end of November 2011 target, due to problems with data quality.

Some of the asset quantity data was out of date, for example.

"As part of the upgrade, we linked with the asset management system to update dynamically the management information systems," said Anderson.

As well as now providing the council with accurate information about its assets, Anderson said the system allows the council to look at the performance and demand level of IT services so that it can decide where it can cut costs or allocate more resources.

Furthermore, by reducing the number of staff working on the help desk from 12 to eight, the council has saved £100,000 in staff costs, Anderson said.