31ten worked with Be First to procure and implement their new Planning, Building Control and Land Charges systems. A primary objective of the procurement was to move to a cloud-based system to achieve efficiencies, be more secure and enable the organisation and its staff to be more agile.
31ten have developed a comprehensive systems implementation toolkit which supported Be First on the journey to deploying a modern, cloud-based application that can transform both the way service works and the experience that their customers and residents receive. As organisations like Be First start moving applications and infrastructure to the cloud, benefits start being realised immediately.
Working with Be First and other organisations on the same journey, 31ten are always keen to communicate the benefits of cloud applications as we move to a more modern, secure, efficient and agile mode of working. If you are considering cloud applications, we have compiled a list of 5 key benefits of cloud applications below…
With cloud applications, users can work where they want across multiple device types. This removes the legacy way of working on site or through a VPN, certificate and an organisation standard laptop or desktop. As technology becomes more mobile through across differing devices and operating systems, the ability to access applications and associated Documents Management Systems for day-to-day operations, tracking and data enquiries can be done through standard web browsers and rendered to the device in use.
02: Decreased expenditure
Owning, managing, and maintaining applications is expensive. Through cloud-based applications, associated hardware costs are bypassed. With the application being hosted in the cloud, the associated capital costs of purchasing servers, hard drives, operating systems, and maintenance are nullified. With no physical technical infrastructure, less internal technical resource is needed leading to savings in internal support expenditure.
03: Performance and scaling
Cloud applications are designed to be tailored to an organisations needs and be flexible in real-time. Performance is key to build efficient teams who can get more done in less time. Cloud applications allow performance to be dialled up and down based on increases and decreases in demand. This can also be scaled up when more data intensive enquiries and volumes are submitted and subsequently scaled down on decreases. With on-premise hosting, you’d need to procure additional equipment to increase performance and bandwidth. But once volumes decrease, you still have additional physical infrastructure that the application no longer consumes.
04: Data security
Encrypting data at rest and in motion is much easier when using cloud technologies. Encryption is native to the cloud and doesn’t require third party add-on applications and firewalls like many on premise solutions do. Storing data on the cloud can be safer than storing it on premise physical servers and data centres. There’s noted examples of targeted cyber-attacks on on-premise environments threatening data and disrupting the organisations operations. With enhanced cloud applications, data is held away from on-premise targets, thus no reliance on a privately-owned off-site recovery system. Migrating your data to the cloud instead means that even if an emergency happens, you can continue running your business-critical operations.
Cloud applications may seem complicated, but it can have far fewer issues than on-premise equivalents. Since cloud applications are hosted by the supplier, it is their responsibility to make the platform functional and bug-free. With dedicated resources, a cloud provider can get to bug fixing within a small period of time with expertise dedicated to the application including developers. For on-premise applications, this will require a ticket to be raised to your internal technical support and have someone look at it. If this is a direct application issue, contact will need to be made with the supplier and a patch issued, downloaded, and tested. This can be time consuming and resource intensive when issues are raised.
To read more about the key outcomes delivered and the role we undertook at Be First, check out the case study. Or alternatively, you can listen to ‘Learning the lessons of transformation in planning & building control services’ – a discussion with Chief Planning Director Caroline Harper via the link below.