It’s easy to fall into the trap of treating the IT department like the A&E at the local Hospital – you only pay it any mind when something’s gone wrong.

That’s the position West Sussex County Council found itself in for years, as aging infrastructure hampered staff capabilities. Something had to change.

“Until 2009, IT services had been built in a highly reactive way, which resulted in us having more than 1,000 applications to manage, varied software life cycles, and no meaningful or useful integration. Staff complained that they lacked the tools to do their jobs, and failures of critical systems became a predictable event.” Thankfully, those days are long past. The council has replaced its old system – where 67% of staff had to work on Windows XP machines – with a more mobile-friendly approach that lets employees work across the largely rural county. Currently 94% of staff are using laptops running a modern Windows operating system. The council supported its commitment to flexible working by deploying Lync 2010 to replace the analogue phones that kept workers tied to their desk.

This kind of dramatic overhaul didn’t just allow staff to use modern applications or safeguard them from all the security problems that likely to pop up once support for XP ends. It allowed staff to fundamentally change the way they worked. Now that the staff could work more flexibly, the council could move from have one desk for every worker to have 2 desks for every 3, which helped save on space.

And the best part? The council has cut IT operation spending by 26% since 2010. By pairing a smart technology upgrade with a commitment to flexible working, the council has gone from being held back by its technology to being empowered by it. Learn more about how West Sussex County Council is embracing modern office systems and flexibly working.