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ITSM Local Government Case Study: Tamworth Borough Council

ITSM Local Government Case Study: Tamworth Borough Council

Behind this success lies the energy that the team at Tamworth Borough Council have invested into shaping some very effective working processes, supported by Sunrise Software’s ITSM software.

The fully centralised Service Desk provides support for 450 staff across headquarters and eighteen remote sites, as well as 30 elected members working from their homes. As one of the early BS 15000 accredited organisations, the Tamworth Borough Council has converted its accreditation to the ISO/IEC 20000 standard, supported by ITIL-aligned Sunrise ITSM.

ITSM Adds Value for Local Government

Tamworth Borough Council’s ICT department has built up an enviable track record over the years. Showing increased savings year on year, not least through a conservative approach to headcount, the department has nevertheless managed to significantly increase its performance. 

Tamworth Borough Council became BS 15000 accredited in 2004. “After attending an awareness day, this felt like the right standard for us,” says  Director of Technology  and Corporate Programmes. “Its benefits seemed to outweigh those of others such as ISO 9000 and Charter Mark.” After carrying out a gap analysis to determine what would be required, and basing a new strategic direction on these findings, the Project Team invited BSI (the national standards body) to visit the Council for an initial assessment. The entire assessment process took three months. Following an 18 month migration period, Tamworth achieved accreditation for ISO/IEC 20000, which superseded the BS 15000 standard. 

IT Service Management Platform

Following a procurement process involving the evaluation of different ITSM software solutions, based on ISO/IEC 20000 criteria, Tamworth selected Sunrise ITSM in 2008. “After carrying out some site visits, talking to partner councils, and seeing various demonstrations, it became apparent that of the products evaluated, Sunrise ITSM was the most cost effective and provided our specified functionality” says the Director of Technology and Corporate Programmes. “Good change management capabilities were important for us and I have to say, this was one of Sunrise’s strong points. Being ITIL aligned, Sunrise ITSM enables us to track a full incident lifecycle as well as deliver a significantly more effective change management service. It has provided us with an ideal platform to meet our obligations.”

Risk Assessment is also an area that the standard puts a lot of emphasis on, and Tamworth configured the change management module to capture risk-related information as well. “This way we can understand service and functionality impact as part of the overall assessment of the change. This allows decisions to be made more effectively during Change Advisory Board meetings.”

Tamworth also set up Sunrise ITSM to underpin its ISO/IEC 27001 accreditation for information security, allowing for security incidents to be logged and reported on. The Director allocated resources to manage the development of Sunrise ITSM in line with evolving requirements. “The system now looks completely different from the way it looked when we started out. This is testament to the software’s flexibility and configuration-friendly architecture.”

New processes under constant review

“We set up regular meetings with suppliers in order to review their performance. Thanks to the reports on third party incidents produced in Sunrise, we are able to manage service issues. This way we make sure we are getting the best possible value for the council."

As a relatively small team, Tamworth ICT took a down to earth approach to the standard. “We began by looking at how existing processes fit BS 15000 at the time, and any new processes had to demonstrate appropriateness. Being a small team, we grouped together some of the functions defined in the standard to make it fit with our existing structure.” We used to be good at logging calls but not so good at closing them and informing users. Now our approach is a lot more proactive and we work to agreed response times. For example, we are able to see the ten top calls thanks to our reports, and if any of these are training related, such as “how to set up tables in word” for example, then we organise resolutions which can include self-help documentation or sign-post to training. Communication with internal customers has improved massively, thanks to regular awareness training sessions and service reviews. We operate pilot groups which enables us to test new initiatives and encourage feedback to ensure things are right before corporate roll-out. We also set up regular meetings with suppliers, in order to review their performance,” says Director of Technology and Corporate Programmes. "Thanks to the reports on third party incidents produced in Sunrise, we are able to manage service issues. This way we make sure we are getting the best possible value.”


The Council has submitted its ICT function to benchmarking through the years, through the Society of Information Technology Management (SOCITM), and more recently through the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). It also gauges its performance using online user surveys and random sampling by the service desk, which have shown excellent results.

As well as happier customers, Tamworth ICT has achieved year on year savings, thanks to better supplier management, and the negotiation of contracts based on performance. These outstanding results, published to the management team and elected members via a performance dashboard, have provided a huge boost to the department.

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