Abstracts: August 7th, 2002

The Society of Information Technology Management’s fourth annual survey of application software shows that there has been some significant rationalisation among suppliers working in the local authority sector over the last year. At the same time, the Index of Application Software reveals that there are a large number of suppliers with just one or two installations across local government and that the market continues to be served by a large number of small suppliers specialising in particular applications. The survey also suggests that there has been a significant move away from in house developed systems over the past year. In the area of general ledgers it has dropped from 17 to 11%, in payroll from 12 to 9%, in personnel systems from 18 to 16%, in social services client record systems from 39 to 35%, and in vehicle maintenance from 18 to 16%. With a mature market for local government software these days, this trend suggests that most replacement systems are being bought in. Nevertheless there are still a lot of in house developed systems in use (an average 17% across all applications).The Socitm survey includes software used in 61 function areas by 289authorities, one housing association and 26 Fire authorities in England,Wales and Scotland. The functions include Financial, People and Property systems as well as specialist systems for front-line services such as Environmental Health, Libraries, Social Services and Housing Management.

The Index of Application Software is available as a CD-ROM and costs £200 to commercial organisations and 150 pounds to Socitm subscribers and 50 pounds to not-for-profit and public sector organisations. Orders: http://www.socitm.gov.uk