back to article RISE with SAP plan fails to hit go-live date in West of England council

Gloucestershire County Council has missed the go live date for its RISE with SAP move to the cloud, putting the public body at risk of incurring an additional £500,000 ($639,000) in costs to keep its legacy application up and running. The west of England local authority, which will spend £616 million ($788 million) on local …

  1. Korev Silver badge

    What is it about English councils that make them each implement their own ERP systems to do exactly the same job as all the others in the country? Surely, loads of money could be saved if there was a country-wide system.

    1. Kistelek

      Equally applies to any council IT system. One service, reskinned for each council, is the obvious answer, like nearly every train ticketing service is basically a re-skinned Trainline without the processing fee.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Logically what you both say is true, and we can all think of a few different way to implement such an idea. But implementation is not where the problem exists - every council is independent and accountable to its own electorate, and subject to the laws on competition and public procurement. And those laws would stop councils from either letting such a large contract without due process, or disallowing non-standard systems. Think if the best performing council uses SAP, how are Oracle going to react if every other council starts trying to issue RfPs for SAP systems based on Barsetshire CC's implementation? Likewise the various companies who offer consultancy and implementation services. Worth also noting that whilst central government control the purse strings for local government, they have little or no control over how local services are administered and delivered; local government has little good experience of systems and process change.

        Councils could proactively link together to jointly secure services and that would avoid a lot of the competition and procurement challenges. Some have done that, but not that many. My local council has a shared services approach with a neighbour council, but that's not for all services, and their ICT Strategies are independent. The much maligned Local Government Association has done some good work supporting these types of arrangement through peer review.

        Why is all this so? Probably because public interest and engagement with local government is very poor. Two out of three people can't even be bothered to vote once every three-five years. Most people don't read their councils annual report, they don't scrutinise the strategies and decisions that councillors are having to make, people like you and I aren't offering our opinions and professional experience to help councillors understand what needs to or could be different. Most councillors have zero IT background, few have a strategic outlook, few have time to try and understand inter-council comparisons. The political parties don't help - collectively a bunch of know-nothings with no real vision both of whom are currently canvassing for upcoming elections with the message "vote for us, I know we're shit, but the other parties are worse".

        If anybody really wants local government to be different then sitting on the sidelines moaning isn't the answer, they need to make it so themselves. It's very apparent that few of us do.

        1. abend0c4 Silver badge

          Public interest and engagement with local government is very poor

          This is only going to get worse: local government has very little discretion in the raising or spending of its money and the colour of the rosette makes no significant difference to the outcome.

          Whenever there is significant engagement (when local government threatens to become popular or exercise whatever powers it might have) it gets shutdown by central government who don't really believe in alternative power bases in the country.

          One consequence is that there's no incentive for anyone of any talent to get involved with local government - who, apart from the rabidly partisan flag-waver, wants a job carrying the can for central government austerity? Which leads to a vicious circle.

        2. OhForF' Silver badge

          >Councils could proactively link together<

          They'd have to agree to do things the same way. If my own expierience from continental europe is any indication local fiefdoms will prefer to go bankrupt before giving up the smallest amount of influence.

          "Allowing our <insert_vilification_of_choice> neighbours to have a say in how we run things here? Not gonna happen."

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This why my rates go up every year, Incompetence in local Gov

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will this be the first of many such RISE efforts flailing? Since the launch of RISE, we may be approaching an inflection point of where customers are now entering the go live with their S4HANA RISE conversions. Generally, existing ECC customer migrations to S4 take anywhere from 8 months to 2 years which fits with the timeline of when RISE came out two years ago. Buckle your seatbelts.

  4. claimed Silver badge


    ITTs, RFIs, RFPs are such a non standard mess of opaque bullshit, and everybody knows they are mostly done as a display of due diligence, as opposed to actually wanting to engage, it’s no wonder nobody fills them out. They can take hours if not days, and if your success rate isn’t 25% to get to the next stage it’s hardly worth the time

  5. Missing Semicolon Silver badge


    If SAP are managing the delivery, why is the council liable for costs due to late delivery?

    1. OhForF' Silver badge

      Re: Liability?

      It is very unlikely SAP itself is managing the delivery. More than likely it is some consulting agency.

      How consultants get away with desigining a solution and managing its delivery for a lot of dosh while not being liable for anything is something i've never understood.

  6. ldo

    Is It Northern Springtime Yet?

    When the sap rises in the new growth, and all that. (Surely I’m not the first to try to be punny about that?)

    Greetings from the Southern Hemisphere.

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