Councils swap mainframes for Windows

Key applications are being migrated, says Soctim research...

Key applications are being migrated, says Soctim research...

Local authorities are moving key applications off the mainframe and onto Windows servers instead.

Back in 2000, 43 per cent of authorities ran their general ledger systems on mainframes, 50 per cent ran it on Unix, and just seven per cent used Windows, according to the research by local government IT user group Socitm.

But fast forward to today, and only nine per cent are using the mainframe for the job, with 52 per cent using Unix and 29 per cent on Windows.

The user group said that for more recently automated systems "the trend to Windows is even more noticeable". It found that 84 per cent of licensing systems run under Windows with the remainder on Unix operating systems.

This information is culled from Socitm's seventh annual survey of Application Software used by local authorities, published today.

Apart from the move towards Windows, the research also highlights other trends.

There has been a steady decrease in the number of authorities building their own software - for example only seven per cent now have in-house developed software for their general ledger (compared to 16 per cent in 2000), and nine per cent have in-house developed HR systems (compared to 19 per cent in 1999).

Local authorities are much more likely to develop their own versions of less well-established applications - 42 per cent built their own committee administration systems and 34 per cent built their own waste management package.

The survey also found that some suppliers dominate the market for specific local government applications. For example, two companies supply 85 per cent of local authorities with client systems for social services and four account for 91 per cent of council tax systems.