An examination of factors impacting the Implementation of Information Technology Shared Services (ITSS) in UK local government bodies
The Conservative and Liberal Democrats coalition government was formed in the year 2010 and embarked on austerity measures aimed at reducing the UK’s budget deficit. Among the measures that were proposed was the need for local governments to find ways of reducing their cost of operations. One way of reducing costs was through sharing resources. This measure was proposed in the Gershon report, commissioned by the central government. Information technology is a vital resource for running the operations of local governments. Sharing of information technology became crucial in facilitating sharing of other resources by Local Government bodies. There is, however, the need to take into consideration a number of factors in order to ensure that sharing of Information technology (Information Technology Shared Services – ITSS) resources is successful. Factor consideration involves implementation processes that take into account the constraints or facilitators that can be categorised into Technological, Organisational and Environmental categories. Through the review of academic literature, government records, news articles and from the interviews that were held with respondents from Local Government bodies, using advanced qualitative research method and Nvivo as an analytical tool, it was found that beside the reduction of costs and efficiency motives, sharing of Information Technology also impacted work culture and changes to internal processes. The main contribution of this thesis is that Information Technology Shared Services led to long term (or permanence of) association among Local Councils. This degree of permanence of association is beneficial for meeting the main objectives of each council, but also has the potential to lead to loss of autonomy by individual local authorities. Local government managers (management bodies) had to consider the ‘How? When? What?’ questions in order to implement the sharing of information technology resources. This research proposes further examination of the Technological, Organisational and Environmental (TOE) framework through the prism of a Technology Sharing Implementation Framework (TSIF). The proposed framework examines the impacts of TOE factors on implementing sharing of information technology processes / resources and why these factors have to be examined jointly, not disparately, when seeking to implement information technology resources. Mention has been made about examining these factors by assigning weights on them and using quantitative measures to show the importance of the factors. Implementation process of ITSS has been proposed for local government managers.
- PhD