Auburn City Council is the authority responsible for a thriving 31 square kilometre local government area right at the heart of Sydney. Located just 17 kilometres from the Sydney central business district and six kilometres from the city of Parramatta, the area is home to a number of major attractions including the world- class sporting facilities of Sydney Olympic Park, Bicentennial Park, the Auburn Botanic Gardens and the Gallipoli Mosque. The city boasts a high degree of cultural diversity with residents drawn from 124 countries.

A very mobile workforce
In 2010, when Sarju Sahu arrived as the newly- appointed Manager of Information Technology at Auburn City Council, he was struck by the mobile nature of the Council’s workforce. He found 38 per cent of staff operated in-field basis. These included tree, food and fire inspectors, rangers, parking inspectors, building surveyors and maintenance staff responsible for working on roads, footpaths, buildings and parks, and more.

It was quickly apparent to Sahu that if his team was to provide effective and efficient productivity tools and solutions to support the Council, mobility had to be included within the IT strategy. His first priority was to develop an IT vision statement: ‘IT everywhere, stay productive and connected anywhere, anytime, on any network and with any device’.

Over the next few months, Sahu spent time observing the business, learning its policies, procedures, practices and processes. Once he had a good understanding of the scale and scope of work, he approached the Council Executive Team with a proposal for automating processes for mobile and in-field staff, equipping them so that they could capture data and initiate workflows while out in the field. The likely productivity and efficiency gains were attractive and the executive agreed to the initiative.

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