Louth County Council embarks on IT consolidation strategy

27 Aug 2010

Louth County Council has embarked on an IT consolidation programme that includes centralising its IT function and moving to a managed print model.

Louth County Council (LCC) is the administrative hub for the county, which has more than 100,000 residents, many of them living in three main towns. It awarded the contract for both projects to the IT services firm Ergo.

Phase one of the two-year managed print agreement has already been rolled out at County Hall, targeting hidden costs of printing. Over time LCC had built up a large amount of hardware and consumables, which have now been replaced with a smaller number of networked printers and multifunction devices.

Phases two and three are currently under way involving a further seventeen council sites – including Dundalk Town Council and LCC sub offices – moving to the same managed print model. 

LCC’s head of information systems Eugene Mulholland said the project sprung from a needed to reduce printing overheads and the organisation is not just cutting costs but controlling them. “We have much better visibility across the organisation and we are getting to a position where can use the printing platform to drive more efficient business processes,” he said.

Several private and public organisations have already adopted Ergo’s managed print model, including Bord Bia, the Railway Procurement Agency, Eircom, University of Limerick, Microsoft and Penneys.

The centralisation element of the project entails deploying Microsoft System Center Operations Manager as part of the strategy to bring the IT function to County Hall in Dundalk. The software will monitor, manage and report on mission-critical enterprise systems and applications. It enables end-to-end service monitoring, allowing LCC’s IT department to move away from just reacting to problems in the IT environment after they occur.

Niall O’Flaherty, head network administrator at LCC, said: “We wanted to be in a position where we could tell users in advance if there was an issue, rather than have them calling us with the problem.”

Gordon Smith was a contributor to Silicon Republic