Government Technology

Carlsbad, Calif., Looks to Cloud to Streamline Operations, Cut Costs



June 3, 2010 By

Fed up with a manual, paper-based work force management system, human resource and IT officials in Carlsbad, Calif., sought a solution to streamline human resources operations.

On June 6, city officials and technology vendors plan to kick off a cloud computing strategy to strengthen efficiency and security, automate payroll services and potentially save the city $830,000 a year, said Gordon Peterson, Carlsbad's IT director.

"The big motivator for moving forward with the new system was integration and automation," he said. "The goal is to improve internal services without adding staff."

Carlsbad sits along the Southern California coastline, a popular tourist destination with some 100,000 residents. More than 1,000 people work for the city, and local officials wanted a more efficient software system to manage payroll and benefit requirements for employees.

The limitations with the city's current application forced workers to develop manual, adjunct processes that Peterson called "shadow systems" that wasted time, resources and money. Take time cards, for instance. These paper cards had to be plugged into spreadsheets and signed off by supervisors and managers before they got delivered to payroll.

"Carlsbad staff is delivering time cards to payroll from a dozen different locations, and payroll re-enters them into the payroll system," Peterson said. "If you want to do analysis on how time is used, it's virtually impossible."

With the new Web-based system, set to go live in August 2011, time cards will be routed electronically and workers will no longer receive pay stubs in paper form, Peterson said. To help improve its human resources operations, the city will use enterprise applications from Lawson Software, a global provider of enterprise software, services and support.

"While budget challenges continue to plague municipal governments, many cities are looking for ways to increase worker productivity to help reduce costs," Brian Murphy, general manager, Public Sector for Lawson said in a release. "The decision for the city of Carlsbad to upgrade its existing HR and business processes will not only help drive efficiencies, but will also help free up time at the administrative HR level, allowing employees to focus on more strategic activities to better address citizens' needs."

In Carlsbad, core technology that provides a human capital management system never existed before, Peterson said. Supported by $2.8 million from the city's innovation fund, he added, the new system aims to utilize cloud computing to maintain the level of service with no increase to IT staff. The project will be funded for three years, after which the system will have to pay for itself.

Early estimates, Peterson said, show that this new system can save Carlsbad $460,000 through greater efficiency, $310,000 by position reduction and $60,000 in hard cash that's used to pay for current software maintenance.

"This system," he added, "will also free up existing staff to perform more valuable work for Carlsbad citizens."

 


| More

Comments

Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
Public Safety 2019
Motorola conducted an industry survey on the latest trends in public safety communications. The results provide an outlook of what technology is in store for your agency in the next five years. Download the results to gain this valuable insight.
Improving Emergency Response with Digital Communications
Saginaw County, Mich., increases interoperability, communication and collaboration with a digital voice and data network, as well as modern computer-aided dispatch.
Reduce Talk Time in Your Support Center by 40%
As the amount of information available to citizens and employees grows each year, so do customer expectations for efficient service. Contextual Knowledge makes information easy to find, dropping resolution times and skyrocketing satisfaction.
View All

Featured Papers