Google Cloud Results
Creating a better service for Linköping’s citizens
• Switching to Google Workspace fosters a more collaborative work culture
• Migrating from an on-premises productivity suite to Google Workspace in the cloud ends inefficient work practices
• Allowing greater work flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond
• Ensuring more future-proof working solutions than the previous on-premises infrastructure
“We want our employees and citizens to be part of a journey that is about both the present and the future of our city. That’s why we adopted Google Workspace.” -- Jakob Algulin, Director of Digital Transformation, City of Linköping
Running a city is a hugely complex task that requires collaboration between various divisions, uninterrupted service to citizens, and a clear vision. In the 21st century, every modern city needs to have digital technology as a key part of its infrastructure. The Swedish city of Linköping wants to be a hub for new businesses and is keen to embrace new technologies. Its aim is to be a “hi-tech big, little city.” And, with a population of more than 160,000, and an enviable location just a few hours from Sweden’s capital Stockholm, it’s well placed to achieve its exciting ambitions.
“The City of Linköping is trying to find long-term solutions that help our digital transformation and that are also future proof. We want our employees and citizens to be part of a journey that is about both the present and the future of our city. That’s why we adopted Google Workspace,” says Jakob Algulin, Director of Digital Transformation at the City of Linköping.
Driving collaboration in a city with vision
Algulin’s role for the City of Linköping is multifaceted, but one of his main jobs is to steer the digital transformation of the city to improve services and optimize output. It’s a complex strategic and logistical challenge that requires working within strict budgetary guidelines. But his first big task was to start driving digital change from within.
Algulin wanted the city’s employees to be the first to experience the digital transformation, as it would allow them to work more collaboratively and flexibly. Achieving this meant shifting from its former on-premises productivity software to the cloud. As the city was moving to a public cloud it had to go through a rigorous procurement process, and it was delighted to find that Google Workspace was within its budget.
The procurement was finalized in the spring of 2020, and employees went live on Google Workspace in November 2020. The city had some invaluable support in migrating from its on-premises system to the cloud from Google Cloud Premier Partner, Devoteam GCloud. “Devoteam GCloud did a really good job in supporting us and making sure that the project was on time and on schedule,” says Algulin.
The initial first phase of the rollout saw Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Meet, and Google Chat being adopted by the city’s employees. These tools proved critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, as lockdowns were introduced across Sweden. “During the pandemic, everybody in the city really began to understand the benefits of collaboration -even when working remotely- enabled by Google Workspace,” says Algulin. “I am not sure how we survived the first wave without them.”
This meant that the city’s employees embraced working in the cloud quicker than expected. The old ways of doing things quickly seemed redundant. ”Instead of everybody emailing documents back and forth, people really embraced the shift over to Google Workspace, where they can work on the same document in the cloud simultaneously and collaboratively. I must say that it's really working,” says Algulin.
Finding the right solution for the city’s challenges
“With Google Workspace we can now share and get to the right solution much quicker. It could be planning processes, reporting processes or just reports or assignments written. Simply put, anything that needs collaboration to reach the right solution.” -- Jakob Algulin, Director of Digital Transformation, City of Linköping
The second phase of the rollout is ongoing, and eventually, Algulin wants to get a majority of the city’s employees using Google Drive to store and share files, where possible. This has begun by making the old file servers read only. The city’s employees’ experience with using Google Workspace bodes well for the future. “With Google Workspace we can now share and get to the right solution much quicker. It could be planning processes, reporting processes or just reports or assignments written. Simply put, anything that needs collaboration to reach the right solution.” says Algulin.
This has already begun within the city’s school system, where city employees now can contact parents using Google tools. “As far as I can see, parents, including myself, are really happy with this, because you cut at least one hour’s time in every direction,” says Algulin. This is essentially what is at the heart of the city’s migration to Google Workspace. It wants to deliver the best possible welfare for its citizens while ensuring that its ways of working remain up-to-date and future-proof where possible.
Making a change that matters
“I must say that Google Workspace has been really responsive to the changes we have experienced. I’m happy with that.” -- Jakob Algulin, Director of Digital Transformation, City of Linköping
Change management is complex, it isn’t as simple as just shifting from one service provider to another. It requires taking people along with you as well, particularly when you’re managing a city. The City of Linköping has embraced that change through adopting Google Workspace, but it doesn’t end there. As new challenges arise, the city will be looking for new ways to respond.
“I think change management is about really trying to make sure that people understand why change is needed and giving them the skills to use the right solutions,” says Algulin. “I must say that Google Workspace has been really responsive to the changes we have experienced. I’m happy with that.”
*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.