Glasgow continues to invest in technology to benefit its 600,000 citizens and attract more business to the city. In 2005 Glasgow was rated best European city for e-democracy access by researchers at the University of Zaragoza in Spain

and fifth best in terms of e-government provision, just behind cities like Birmingham and Amsterdam. Its IT team has some 50 staff responsible for the ICT infrastructure that supports some 38,000 staff located across 220 networked sites.

Glasgow City Council is just coming to the end of a three-year restructuring plan which is estimated to be saving the council up to £10 million a year, partly through a MySAP implementation across its core backoffice functions. Part of this strategy has been a big push to shared services via a 100-seat dedicated centre, a move the city believes is leading to a more customer-service culture with cost savings including £1.5m annually in payroll processing alone.

The city is also one of five partners in the £1 billion shared services drive, along with Greater Glasgow Health Board Jobcentre Plus, Scottish Enterprise Glasgow and Strathclyde Police – the largest such project in local government IT outside London.

The council has also deployed a special computerised money advice and debt management service using technology from Pivotal as part of its specialist advisor network GAIN (Glasgow Advice and Information Network). Glasgow must be doing something right as it was the only Scottish authority not to raise council taxes this April, citing operational efficiencies as the main reason.