Sutton Council has signed a five-year, £6.5-million outsourcing contract to modernise and improve its IT facilities.

The council said the deal is expected to provide returns of more than £1 million over the duration of the contract based on current expenditure levels, and will afford it greater flexibility in service delivery to its customers.

The contract, with IT services company Steria is due to commence on 1 October and is designed to provide greater resilience and a more flexible IT infrastructure, as well as support the council’s business continuity strategy.

Colin Hall, lead councillor for information technology at Sutton Council said the deal will enable the authority to extend what it can offer customers and add to the potential flexibility it will give staff. “It also gives the Council improved business continuity to minimise the effects of any equipment failure,” he added.

Once implemented, Sutton Council’s 2,500 users are expected to benefit from improved remote working that will also them to manage and respond to customer enquiries at a faster rate.

Steria will host and maintain new server and storage technology in its fully managed data centre and provide technical support. And additional backup facilities at Steria’s remote site will reduce downtime due to equipment failure.

The new infrastructure will rely heavily on thin client and virtual server technology, improving cost effectiveness and simplifying the support processes. Working with partner, HP, Steria will begin managing a seven-month implementation programme in this month before full operation commences in October.