Taking an Objective view at the Scottish Government

Taking an Objective view at the Scottish Government

December 10, 2008: The Scottish Government has successfully upgraded its mission critical electronic Records and Document Management (eRDM) system for all 6300 users in under a week.

The eRDM system, supplied by Objective Corporation, provides the secure environment in which all unstructured information held by the Scottish Government is deposited and managed. This includes a variety of different types of records and documents, such as internal memos, reports, policies and communications. Consequently, the system is an integral part of everyday working practices within the Scottish Government and maximum availability is paramount.

The information management capabilities of the system enable the Scottish Government to be confident in knowing what its information assets are, where they are, who has access to them and has accessed them.

The system also serves as a foundation for improvements in operational effectiveness and collaboration by allowing staff to have authorised access to appropriate information when they need it, no matter where they are located.

“The eRDM project is the single biggest IT enabled business change project ever undertaken by the Scottish Government and it is viewed as highly successful,” said Ben Plouviez, Head of Information Services, Scottish Government.

“Placing a greater emphasis on effective information management enhances the collaborative sharing of information between different teams, enabling us to comply with Freedom of Information legislation and importantly, helping to improve the public’s perception of government handling of personal data,” said Mr Plouviez.

Because of the business critical nature of the system, the Scottish Government and Objective Corporation worked together to deliver a successful upgrade that did not threaten business continuity and with the absolute minimum disruption of service to the end users. In practice, this meant that there was zero tolerance for any downtime during business hours. In addition, the Scottish Government had to ensure that the upgrade happened simultaneously across the entire organisation, including all 6,300 staff, distributed across multiple sites throughout Scotland.

“The upgrade project at the Scottish Government was central to supporting the ongoing information management requirements of the organisation and continued improvements in government interoperability and efficiency,” said Mr Adrian Cobb, Chief Operating Officer - Europe, Objective Corporation.

The initial implementation of Objective took place in 2005, following a detailed business analysis review by the Scottish Government. The business requirements were carefully scoped out and an in-depth, extensive benchmarking exercise was carried out on the complex legacy paper-driven records system.

The project has delivered many benefits to Scottish Government, including: improved ability to ensure that the organisation retains ownership of information, rather than individuals improved corporate governance – in terms of both compliance with legislation and better risk assessment (based on more complete information) improved sharing of information within the organisation to ensure that staff are more aware of other initiatives and activities reduction in costs associated with storage of paper records improved opportunities for flexible working practices more robust and reliable disaster recovery for information and records provision of version control (including safeguards against alteration of records), and process automation.

The upgrade provides the Scottish Government with a platform for future growth, enabling further development and exploitation of eRDM including the ability to support workflow and case handling solutions.

“Information is the lifeblood of the Scottish Government. Placing a greater emphasis on accessibility, accuracy, efficient storage and retrieval of information is seen as key to securing sustainable improvements in the organisation’s agility and effectiveness,” said Anne Moises, CIO, Scottish Government.

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