Last updated: 20.02.13

Sunderland 'among top cities for ICT'

Sunderland is becoming one of the world's leading cities in IT after recovering from industrial decline, according to a spokesman from the city council.

Diane Downey, who is the local authority's acting head of ICT, claimed in an article for that the body's ultimate goal is to use technology to provide local businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs with on-demand IT services at the same time as creating an infrastructure in line with government standards.

She noted the council is currently rolling out a cloud platform across the city in order to give employers the opportunity to offer their staff flexible working practices, while they can also improve their IT security and simplify management processes.

Companies will be able to access IT services whenever and wherever they choose without needing to invest in new platforms or license new software, which Ms Downey explained will allow growth easily.

"IT-on-demand has also been piloted in three schools in the city to help provide a consistent IT learning environment and ensure all school children in Sunderland are 'digital natives' – 100 per cent comfortable dealing with, understanding and collaborating using digital tools," the expert remarked.

Ultimately, Ms Downey stated the scheme is hoping to help Sunderland City Council evolve into a more cost-effective and innovative organisation that welcomes both flexible working and IT on-demand that others can tap into to deliver the same services to their company.

This is likely to be of particular interest to organisations in the city that are considering launching online training to their employees. By using the cloud-based platform, they too will be able to cut down on administrative costs and access important software at their convenience.

Business training is key to achieving sustainability and it doesn't have to be a hassle - with e-learning services, employees can log on to digital resources in their spare time so they can develop their work-based skills without interfering with their daily routine.

Indeed, the head of accounting company Grant Thornton Scott Barnes recently stated it is crucial for organisations to invest in internal training programmes if they are to succeed in the coming year.