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Sheffield Council Remote Working

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Posted (edited)

The council has been so slow in updating their IT systems (for years and years) for working from home that now a lot of people need to get on at once, the system can't handle it and they have had to issue a directive saying that only a certain number of workers can access the system remotely. i.e. those with critical roles.

 

So a whole bunch of services are going to be unable to function or severely impacted in the meantime, so if you have any outstanding council matters. You may have to wait.

 

Unbelievable really that they haven't managed to develop a VPN or some other technology to allow more people to be able to continue their roles. Of course this isn't the employees fault, there are people sat at home with workloads that they want to progress but the infrastructure won't let them.

 

 

Edited by Malkin
missed some words

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I assume the remote access system can cope on a normal day. I work for a council and we have been told to wfh and not go into the Town Hall unless it's absolutely necessary.  We have a VPN for when you wfh. It has struggled over the last 2 weeks with the increased traffic. The network team and external supplier have increased the load so it's been ok the last few days.   

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Malkin posted

"Unbelievable really that they haven't managed to develop a VPN or some other technology to allow more people to be able to continue their roles. Of course this isn't the employees fault, there are people sat at home with workloads that they want to progress but the infrastructure won't let them."

 

Yes, the first two words make the most impact.!

However, to be fair, many Councils across the Country have had their pips squeezed until they squeak...and then some...for around 10 to 20 years now.

 

 

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The system is due to  be upgraded in a few months time.  This event came just a bit too early. The existing system was Ok for normal demand, but I bet there are many organisations stuggling.

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I’m lucky in that I work for a company where we all regularly WFH and the system is built for 100% to do that. So we’ve not had a problem. 
 

However I’ve heard so many horror stories from other companies both in and outside my sector that I’m pretty lucky. 
 

The council certainly aren’t alone here.

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I have a friend who works for BT and he says that information is passed in relatively small packets so data will flow without any major issues UK wide. The problems come with large data files like streaming media, so vpn  bandwidth can and will be monitored.

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I think if they didn't have to many workers and theres far to many in housing for instance in my opinion,they could move the staff to where they are needed most,i have no wish for people to lose there jobs,i just believe theres far to many in this section and they could be used better in other areas of the council.

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15 hours ago, Malkin said:

The council has been so slow in updating their IT systems (for years and years) for working from home that now a lot of people need to get on at once, the system can't handle it and they have had to issue a directive saying that only a certain number of workers can access the system remotely. i.e. those with critical roles.

 

So a whole bunch of services are going to be unable to function or severely impacted in the meantime, so if you have any outstanding council matters. You may have to wait.

 

Unbelievable really that they haven't managed to develop a VPN or some other technology to allow more people to be able to continue their roles. Of course this isn't the employees fault, there are people sat at home with workloads that they want to progress but the infrastructure won't let them.

 

 

I suppose you did't get much for £140  million all those years back in 2016, no doubt the people who have pocketed the cash  are saying 4 years is a long time in IT, it's a shame with all the money they got they didn't chuck in an old server gratis to give public access to the web cams.

 

https://www.capita-one.co.uk/resources/article/sheffield-city-council-extends-contract-capita

 

 

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I work in central government and often work from home. The fact we all are all now trying to means that suddenly all meetings are virtual.  Thus, the system, servers and network are struggling to cope. It's unsurprising that in the public sector and local/central government haven't splashed out public money getting much more capacity than needed on the off chance we have a pandemic.  

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It's not just Sheffield Council, various cloud providers are struggling. Even youtube have reduced their default streaming bandwidth setting.

 

We're allowed to WFH and thankfully we haven't experienced even a slight blip with everyone moving remotely but some places have never bothered to invest and are now unfortunately feeling the pain of that.

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I heard that to use the SCC VPN you need a physical dongle connected to your PC, rather than something like the password and two factor authentication method used by virtually every company since 2010. The lack of physical dongles has been preventing people from working from home. They aren't upgrading anything to enable more people to work from home, they are just getting more dongles at the expense of the taxpayer, presumably most of which will go back into a box in the IT dept never to be used again when all this is over.

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1 hour ago, the_bloke said:

I heard that to use the SCC VPN you need a physical dongle connected to your PC, rather than something like the password and two factor authentication method used by virtually every company since 2010. The lack of physical dongles has been preventing people from working from home. They aren't upgrading anything to enable more people to work from home, they are just getting more dongles at the expense of the taxpayer, presumably most of which will go back into a box in the IT dept never to be used again when all this is over.

Upgrades to this sort of infrastructure need time, planning and people. Now really isn't the time to be doing this. If some sort of dongle is needed, then this is the lowest risk and quickest way to let the staff work from home. Depending on how many are needed it may even be cheaper than any sort of upgrade. 

 

When this is over, people may work from home far more frequently.

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