The States of Guernsey, and its partner Agilisys, worked quickly on Tuesday to resolve of number of technical issues which caused disruption to older, legacy IT systems impacting a number of services.
States of Guernsey e-mails, some online forms, and the vaccine helpline were among the systems affected overnight and into Tuesday morning.
However, critical systems such as the Covid-19 track and trace programme, the vaccine centre and the Travel Tracker were not affected. These systems were all introduced as part of the SMART Guernsey programme, which is being delivered through the strategic partnership with Agilisys. The Covid-19 clinical and non-clinical helplines were also unaffected.
The technical issues did initially impact the virtual sitting of the States of Deliberation, however engineers were able to provide solutions meaning that there was only a short delay before proceedings could get underway.
The States of Guernsey has made significant improvements to remote working which enabled a much smoother transition to remote working during the most recent lockdown, compared with the lockdown in 2020. In the last year almost 600 new devices and 2,000 Microsoft Teams licenses have been rolled out to ensure greater resilience. This means that approximately 90% of public sector staff are able to continue working at this time.
With more of the public sector working remotely due to lockdown, this has increased the pressure on legacy systems. As an example of this, one aspect of the technology to support remote working is having to cope with approximately ten times the normal usage.
Paul Whitfield, Chief Executive of the States of Guernsey said: “Right across the States, we’re able to work remotely and continuing delivering services in a way that would not have been possible even just a couple of years ago.
Thanks to our strategic partnership, the SMART Guernsey programme has made that possible and delivered key systems that have been critical to our wider Covid response. We saw how our older systems can have a real impact and thankfully, by having the strategic partnership in place, the impact wasn’t at all as severe as it would have been previously and we wouldn’t have had the ability to recover in such a relatively short time. This is exactly what SMART Guernsey was designed to achieve. It is on schedule, but nobody could have envisaged the strain on our ageing legacy structures faced at this time, all of which are imminently due to be replaced in the agreed schedule of works.”
Colin Vaudin, the States of Guernsey’s Strategic Lead for Future Digital Technology and Communications said:
“The service disruption today shows the challenges we face as an organisation because of the out-dated and disjointed IT infrastructure that went unaddressed for many years. Our partnership with Agilisys, Microsoft, Resolution IT, JT and others has given us a solution for that. We can see already the resilience that our newer
systems, delivered through SMART Guernsey, provide. The job of consolidating and modernising all of our older systems is a big one which is ongoing, and made harder by the current pandemic, but it’s also one that is more important than ever.”