Agenda item

Mandate Proposal to Upgrade or Replace Housing Management and Asset Software Management Systems


Having declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in respect of this item under agenda item number 3 (Local Code of Conduct and Notification of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests)earlier in the meeting, Councillor George Potter left the meeting at this point and did not return.


The Head of Housing introduced the proposal advising that the mandate had been developed around the replacement of the ICT system currently utilised for managing the Council’s housing stock of approximately 5,200 properties.  The existing system consisted of two elements, namely, Orchard, the current and main Housing Management System which had been operated by the Council for more than 20 years, and Keystone, which was utilised in tandem with Orchard as the Housing Property Asset Management System.  This mandate covered both systems which worked independently of each other.


Both systems were internally hosted and currently resided on the old Guildford network and prior to any upgrade or replacement, a lift and shift to the new network was planned by the ICT Team as part of the ICT Refresh Programme within the next 3 to 4 months.


Orchard and Keystone were approaching the end of their useful life and the providers would no longer support or update them which posed a problem for the internal hosting.  Although a short-term solution would be to transfer the systems to the new Council network, a support issue relating to the retirement of the products remained as the provider of Keystone had retired the product and introduced Cx Asset management to replace it.


This situation presented a need to move to a new modern system that fitted with the corporate direction of cloud first and could provide all functionality in one system, including interfaces with existing systems such as Business World and Salesforce.  Having been considered by the Corporate Management Team, the ICT Digital Board and the Executive / Management Team Liaison Group for comment, this proposal was now before the Joint EAB for support in progressing work to upgrade or replace the systems as part of the ICT forward plan for the next financial year and inclusion in the ICT Capital programme.  The proposal would be funded by the Housing Revenue Account.


The strategic options available to the Council to deliver a solution were:


Option 1 – Pursue a new combined Solution Procurement exercise to progress with successful change of systems and either replace with a new combined housing and asset system or undertake a full upgrade of both existing systems with innovative solutions.


Option 2 - Upgrade the Orchard system in the short term, the Keystone system to Cx Asset management and both onto the new network.  Although this was an upgrade only, it would require data clean-up data and information, and further updates / upgrades which would make ready the system in preparation for any future procurement exercise to update the system later.


Option 3 – Do nothing leading to unsupported and obsolete systems and processes without compliance with GDPR regulation or procurement guidance.


Therefore, based on consideration of the information available, Option 1 was recommended as the Option to be progressed.


In response to a councillor’s query regarding the alignment of the proposed ICT systems with others within the Council, the Joint EAB was advised that it was the intention to introduce a system which interfaced with a range of other systems, including those of the Council and its contractors, in areas including gas, electricity and property repair and maintenance.  This would enable the transfer of data and information between systems to provide a single integrated approach.


Whilst the Joint EAB did not express any particular view regarding the options contained in the mandate, it was generally supportive of the proposal to move towards a new modern integrated system.



The meeting finished at 9:09 pm


Signed …………………………………………              Date ………………………….


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