Thursday, 19 July 2012

A Case Study - Local Government's Finding Big Cost Savings with Virtual GIS/IT Services

Whether you are a small or large municipality; The LIU has always been about inspiring policymakers with the opportunities for data and analytics to transform public service. The technology is present and affordable to implement a GIS system that is smart, flexible, scalable, and mobile.
The LIU technology is reducing paperwork, connecting departments, speeding up data retrieval,allowing for future trending, and revealing easy access GIS for front-line staff that provide information services to their citizens. The LIU is reducing data quality issues and allows an entire authority to manage their GIS, without being a GIS professional.

See it here

Our newest client is the Municipality of Barrington, in Nova Scotia, Canada . Until this spring, they were using a shared GIS and Planning service with a local district planning commission. Suddenly they were left with a DVD of their GIS and no way to implement, manage, update, or distribute location based data. 
Creating a GIS department was impossible because of costs being a minimum of $80 000 per year and attracting talented professionals to a rural area can be challenging. So the LIU takes care of the technology and GIS, so the staff can open a browser window, log into their GIS gateway and can get an all-inclusive and real time look at location based information services. 

The Barrington GIS is maintained by our LIU technical team that acts as a virtual GIS department and averages one billing hour of work per week. From a budget stand point, the yearly LIU hosting and virtual services for Barrington will costs around a dollar per year for each man, woman, and child within the municipality.
For our clients that have a GIS professional on staff, the LIU alleviates the pressures of delivering information in traditional formats like hard copy maps and excel reports. The technician can move forward with management and enhancing their GIS to deliver efficiency to the authority. 

The LIU is really about building a sustainable technology platform for a GIS department, that never shuts down and is allows up-to-date so that staff can concentrate on enhancing their GIS to create better decision making tools for administrators. We offer a visually enhanced interface so that internal and external stakeholders can see information quickly and easily to make critical decisions based on facts; which do not lie.
In recent months, we have seen a tremendous amount of interest in building a regional GIS from neighboring small municipalities in rural Nova Scotia. They are seeing the benefits of having access to data anytime, and the core function of any GIS is to reduce duplication of effort. 

So we have designed several key GIS templates like wastewater and permits so that municipalities can work together to build a common or regional GIS. GIS infrastructure like the LIU can be cost shared and paying for only the services they need, reduces costs significantly to maintain and enhance the entire system. 

Check out the application.