Case Study: Croydon Council Goes Paperless Without Compromising Security

Jul 16, 2015

The London Borough of Croydon Council has adopted a secure file transfer solution which has allowed it to transition to a new, modern, paperless office environment. 

The local authority serves a population of nearly 12,500. It is the largest employer in the borough with around 10,500 staff, including teachers in schools. 

As the Council spends around £900m per year, it makes a significant contribution to the local economy whilst providing a large number of services for local people and businesses and visitors to the area such as children and adult services, as well as providing a variety of benefits.  

The local government body comprises of three main political functions: the Executive (Leader and Cabinet), Committees and Scrutiny.  


The Business Problem 

The government is currently encouraging public sector organisations to adopt digital technologies and paperless alternatives.  

Croydon was well aware of the benefits that going paperless could achieve and because it was in the midst of great change, moving into a new corporate headquarters with reduced paper storage facilities, it was clear that that the time had come to ditch paper in favour of digital alternatives. 

However, as is the case with all local authorities, the Council is responsible for a large amount of sensitive data, including highly sensitive care records, that must be stored and shared in a secure manner.  

“Croydon Council has been through a period of great change, with nearly two-thirds of council staff moving into its new corporate headquarters and using reduced paper storage facilities,” explained ICT Business Partner at the local authority Lauren White.  

“In addition, with almost all employees working to a three-to-two desk ratio, the Council decided to adopt a paperless environment and consequently needed a secure mechanism for transferring scans of sensitive paper files, such as social care records, to corporate SharePoint sites and other applications,” she added.  



Solving The Problem 

As Croydon was already using a secure email solution from encryption services provider Egress with great success, it seemed only natural to adopt Egress Switch Secure File Transfer.  

The Council chose Egress Switch Secure Email in 2011 as part of the 'Secure communications with third parties' project, where 18 of the Capital's borough councils teamed up to solve the problem of securely sharing information with third parties. 

Egress was also a strong choice because it provides its government-certified encryption services to 30 of the 33 London Boroughs, demonstrating its commitment and knowledge within the local government sector.  

"We consequently chose Switch Secure File Transfer not only to meet [our needs], but also as a logical progression to our usage of the Switch encryption services platform," claimed White. 


The Results 

The transition to a paperless environment with Egress Switch has been a success – not only has the transition been smooth but a number of benefits have been realised too.  

“The Switch platform is better for our staff, our residents and gives Croydon taxpayers more value for money,” claimed Cllr Hall.  

“An encrypted paperless system is cheaper, greener, even more secure and uses less space. This saves us over £100,000 per year on storage costs alone. More significantly, it will enable us to deliver improved and more efficient ways of working,” he added.  

Croydon has been able to embed encryption into its day-to-day working progresses by adopting Switch Secure File Transfer. 

The programme offers multiple layers of information security to ensure data is protected both in rest and in transit, allowing the borough to embrace the paperless, yet fully secure environment, it wished for.  



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