Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha: Viva the e-government revolution!
The Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha deploys Google Chromebooks across its network of tech corners, improving the user experience, saving on software updates, and simplifying maintenance.
About The Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha
The Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha is responsible for the organization of the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha in central Spain.
Industries: Government & Public Sector
Google Cloud Results
Near zero hardware malfunctions with Chromebooks
Enables real-time management of the network with the Chrome Enterprise Admin console, increasing uptime and facilitating maintenance.
Enhances the user experience with faster navigation and simpler log on, reducing the number of user incidents reported.
Removes the need for annual software upgrades, saving €70,000 annually.
As consumers become increasingly accustomed to accessing goods and services online, government bodies like the Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha are also keen to offer the benefits of e-governance to its citizens. "Castilla-La Mancha is a large territory in central Spain with a population of 2 million across an area of almost 80,000 square kilometers. Some of our citizens have to travel up to an hour in order to reach the region’s administrative centers," says Alipio García, General Manager at the General Directorate of Telecommunications and Information Technologies of the Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha. "Enabling them to perform tasks online, such as paying a bill or applying for a permit, is central to the provision of a modern and efficient service."
The e-revolution in local governance relies on two key factors: infrastructure and e-literacy. "We are investing in our digital infrastructure to provide businesses and citizens with faster access to the internet, but we have many citizens who do not own computers or have the skills to operate them, especially as we have an aging population. Part of the challenge is training them to make the most of digital tools, especially in the use of e-administration," says Alipio. "In order to enable access to services, we have created an online portal and currently manage a network of 470 tech corners providing 3,900 computer access points across the region. Now, our citizens can remotely access records, pay a bill, or carry out other bureaucratic and administrative tasks."
However, maintaining its network of desktop computers installed at the tech corners was proving time consuming and costly. The Directorate of Communications and IT looked for a way to improve the performance of its computers, simplify machine maintenance, and make network administration more efficient. Switching to Chromebooks was the perfect fit.
"Ours is a global digital strategy encompassing infrastructure improvements and e-literacy, as well as the transformation of the municipality’s administration itself to simplify procedures and be more efficient," says Alipio. "The overall aim is to democratize digital services and to expand their usage, making them accessible to all. This action is supported and financed by the European Union through European Regional Development Fund."
Simplifying network maintenance
For public service providers, implementing a hardware network to improve access is only half the task. Without proper maintenance, machines can begin to malfunction, which can then lead to a backlog of user complaints. "With our previous machines and operating system, we had to physically send out an operative to install updates and carry out maintenance," explains Alipio. "This was really inefficient, as our region is so large. Also, a physical card had to be used to wipe data between user sessions, leading to system malfunctions and login delays." The Directorate looked for a way to centralize control of the network, to be able to carry out maintenance tasks remotely, and reduce downtimes, while upholding its commitment to data security.
Ours is a global digital strategy encompassing infrastructure improvements and e-literacy, as well as the transformation of the municipality’s administration itself to simplify procedures and be more efficient. The overall aim is to democratize digital services and to expand their usage, making them accessible to all.
To do that, it switched to Chromebooks, initially installing 400 Chromebooks across its network of tech corners. "We use the centralized administration console on Chrome Enterprise, from which the technical team can manage the Chromebooks," says Alipio. "That provides us with real-time information on the status of machines across the network, which enables us to increase uptime by optimizing usage as well as simplifying maintenance. The Chromebooks are more or less plug and play, they don’t require advanced technical expertise to configure and install."
"From the user’s perspective, using a Chromebook means faster navigation, and data security is also not an issue as no data is stored on the machines," adds Alipio. "We have found users would rather wait for a Chromebook to become available than use an older machine."
In order to make it as inclusive as possible, improving user knowledge is a central focus of the implementation strategy of the Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha. "The services we provide are free to access and help to support our citizens for a wide range of tasks. Part of that challenge is training them to make the most of digital tools," says Alipio.
"For the Chromebook implementation, we worked with Google Premier Partner Nubalia, which was a really positive experience," says Alipio. "Nubalia provided essential support in training our technical team as well as the staff at the tech corners, who can now spread that knowledge to our service users."
"One of the advantages of providing our users with knowledge of ChromeOS is that it is transferable to other devices," he adds. "If they are comfortable with using Chromebooks at our tech corners, they can take those skills with them and access the features Chrome offers on other consoles."
From the user’s perspective, using a Chromebook means faster navigation, and data security is also not an issue as no data is stored on the machines. We have found users would rather wait for a Chromebook to become available than use an older machine.
Expanding the network, enhancing access
Since switching to Chromebooks, the Directorate has seen a drop in its administrative burden and the number of malfunction incidents registered. "In the first year, incidents are down 45 percent, and that’s because we are still running a combination of old machines and Chromebooks," says Carlos García del Pozo, Project Manager at Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha. "The number of incidents reported in relation to the Chromebooks is almost zero so far! And where we would have previously needed 12 technicians to maintain the system, we can now manage with 3, thanks to the maintenance benefits offered by the Admin console." There have also been concrete financial benefits. "By using Chromebooks, we are saving around €70,000 annually on software licensing and upgrades," adds Alipio.
Now, the Directorate has decided to extend the pilot project to replace all its older computers with Chromebooks. "The feedback has been so positive, we have decided to deploy a further 3,600 Chromebooks across 737 towns in Castilla-La Mancha, to cover up to 80 percent of the region," says Alipio. "As part of this program, we will include access points that offer enhanced accessibility and video conferencing capabilities to bring the technology even closer to the people."
"Other than the financial and administrative benefits, as we are a municipal body providing an inclusive service, generating trust and support is very important to us," says Alipio. "The response has been incredibly positive, which is why we’ve taken the decision to expand access."
Other than the financial and administrative benefits, as we are a municipal body providing an inclusive service, generating trust and support is very important to us. The response has been incredibly positive, which is why we’ve taken the decision to expand access.