In June Surrey County Council began a three year major project to replace its aging fleet of Windows 2000 operating PCs with a thin client environment. Surrey County Council is now replacing 6000 desktops in 300 sites, as well as mobile computers to 8000 users between 2009 and 2011. This will reduce power bills and operating costs as changes to its SAP finance, HR and procurement systems will be easier to implement. Surrey now has a data centre with a Citrix server farm on VMware virtualized servers providing applications to fat and thin client computers.
It has also been a year of web development for Surrey County Council as it looks to increase the amount of services and information on offer online.
The most successful was is online schools admissions process. The authority received 6,170 applications for primary and secondary school places online this summer, an increase of 150 per cent. Surrey believe this means one in five parents applied online in 2009. In 2008 just 2,526 parents applied online for school places.
Surrey has also embraced Web 2.0 technologies for its information dissemination, joining Twitter with three feeds: news, jobs and events in Surrey. "These first three feeds are just the beginning. In the coming months we will be adding more feeds to cover other areas of the council's work," said Matthew Evans, the senior web development officer for the south east local authority. The same feed topics are available as RSS alerts as well.
Surrey County Council also launched go2do, an online attempt to interact with 11 to 19 year olds in the county.
These initiatives are all part of a 10 year plan by Surrey County Council to use IT to save £34 million over that period. As part of the savings plan Surrey County Council has invested in SAP and IBM systems for its CRM and hosting.