Government Technology

    Digital Communities
    Industry Members

  • Click sponsor logos for whitepapers, case studies, and best practices.
  • McAfee

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


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
Digital Cities & Counties Survey: Best Practices Quick Reference Guide
This Best Practices Quick Reference Guide is a compilation of examples from the 2013 Digital Cities and Counties Surveys showcasing the innovative ways local governments are using technological tools to respond to the needs of their communities. It is our hope that by calling attention to just a few examples from cities and counties of all sizes, we will encourage further collaboration and spark additional creativity in local government service delivery.
Wireless Reporting Takes Pain (& Wait) out of Voting
In Michigan and Minnesota counties, wireless voting via the AT&T network has brought speed, efficiency and accuracy to elections - another illustration of how mobility and machine-to-machine (M2M) technology help governments to bring superior services and communication to constituents.
Why Would a City Proclaim Their Data “Open by Default?”
The City of Palo Alto, California, a 2013 Center for Digital Government Digital City Survey winner, has officially proclaimed “open” to be the default setting for all city data. Are they courageous or crazy?
View All