As many government organisations around the world face daunting budget restrictions, some are finding creative ways to cut their existing costs, while continuing to provide excellent service to the public. These tactics include everything from migrating applications to a cloud environment to engaging in shared services between government departments and other agencies. However, today I’d like to highlight one example out of London that focuses on the cost-saving benefits of standardising an enterprise IT environment.

Tube Lines, owned by Transport for London (@TFLofficial), is responsible for maintaining the Underground system’s Jubilee, Northern, and Piccadilly lines, which handle a total of 1.9 million passengers a day. With its employees dispersed across 45 locations in London, the organisation faced administration challenges, and separately wanted to minimise the cost of upgrading its desktop and server environment.

To address this, Tube Lines standardised its IT environment on Microsoft enterprise technology and has committed to deploying Microsoft’s latest software. The move has enabled Tube Lines to take full advantage of its Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft, including low-cost volume licensing of software, and the organisation is already seeing significant cost savings as a result. For instance, the company was able to replace expensive third-party security products with Microsoft equivalents that offer protection against malware and viruses. In addition, employees can install Microsoft software at home, which has reduced training costs since users become familiar with the tools and applications.

In all, Tube Lines has saved hundreds of thousands of pounds on new software costs as a result of the standardisation and has lowered its operating costs by 70 per cent.

As Adrian Davey, head of IT for Tube Lines stated, “Since 2005, Tube Lines has adopted a strategy aimed at standardising, simplifying, and lowering the cost of its IT infrastructure. Our long-term aim is to create a lean infrastructure where IT becomes a utility that’s easy to manage and provides a predictable and reliable service.”

That predictable service couldn’t come at a better time, especially with the 2012 Olympics taking place in recent weeks! Tube Lines plays a key role in keeping the Underground running safely and on time, and these IT improvements will help the organisation continue to achieve this mission even more efficiently. If you’d like to learn more about this project, I invite you to check out the case study with additional details.

Have a comment or opinion on this post? Let me know @msukingov.

by Michele Bedford Thistle - Marketing Manager, Worldwide Public Sector