East Riding of Yorkshire Council

6th June 2024
Esri UK

East Riding of Yorkshire Council

East Riding of Yorkshire Council has successfully transitioned 100 users from Esri’s ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro. This strategic migration project delivered improved GIS capabilities for fifteen separate teams and provided a catalyst for innovative new council services, while also generating significant annual cost savings.

Council-wide adoption of ArcGIS Pro provides catalyst for improved GIS workflows across the council

Improved management of ArcGIS licences across service areas reduces annual costs by 10%

Well-planned, strategic migration project is supported by Esri UK’s Professional Services group

The Challenge

Over many years, the use of geographic information system (GIS) products had grown extensively and organically within East Riding of Yorkshire Council.  The organisation held 130 licenses for Esri’s ArcMap solution and had 15 teams of users, in departments including social care, highways management, education and building control.  However, these employees used a myriad of different ArcMap product versions and relied on separate data sets, which made it almost impossible for them to share information and collaborate effectively.

To address this challenge, the council took the strategic decision to migrate all its users to ArcGIS Pro, Esri’s next generation desktop GIS application, which expands the functionality of ArcMap and works seamlessly with the wider ArcGIS system via web services.  “With a large and diverse user base, we knew that the migration would need careful planning, but we felt we could use it as a launch pad for significantly improving the value that we gained from GIS,” says Stephen Carter, Principal ICT Officer at East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

“Once service areas started to see what other departments were doing, there was a lot of really positive collaboration and innovation throughout the council.”

Stephen Carter, Principal ICT Officer, East Riding of Yorkshire Council

The Solution

The central ICT team started by conducting an audit of who used ArcMap and what they used it for. This process alone proved incredibly valuable, as it revealed that the council was oversubscribed with licenses and didn’t always have the most appropriate licenses for users, based on their actual usage.

Next, the ICT team established a forum of Professional Users from departments throughout the council, to help it gain buy-in and input from all service areas. Consultants from Esri UK’s Professional Services group supported the ICT team’s planning at this stage, attending forum meetings to give demonstrations of ArcGIS Pro features and providing advice on the most appropriate licence types.

Before commencing the migration, the ICT team standardised all users on the same version of ArcMap and upgraded the council’s server infrastructure for supporting ArcGIS Enterprise on premise. It then pushed out pilot versions of ArcGIS Pro to the forum of Professional Users, giving them time to trial the new solution and become comfortable with it. Following all this thorough preparation, ArcGIS Pro was rolled out in phases, on a team by team basis, over a period of three to six months.

Not content to stop here, the ICT team swiftly moved on to evaluate and deploy other new products in the ArcGIS system. It implemented a new corporate ArcGIS Portal and expanded the use of ArcGIS Online to increase the value of the council’s new common GIS platform and promote better data sharing. These developments put even more capabilities into the hands of users, reducing their reliance on the central ICT team for data management and map creation.

“ArcGIS Pro has opened up a world of new opportunities, and we are making the most of them.”

Stephen Carter, Principal ICT Officer, East Riding of Yorkshire Council


Cost savings from more appropriate licensing
As part of the process of planning the migration, East Riding of Yorkshire Council reduced its ArcGIS licenses from 130 to 100, while still ensuring that everyone who needs GIS has access to it. With a better understanding of GIS usage, the council was also able to take advantage of more cost-effective Creator and Mobile Worker licences, where appropriate. “Saving money wasn’t the primary objective of this project,” explains Carter, “But we have in fact reduced our spend by around 10% per annum, while improving the range of GIS capabilities available to service teams.”

A catalyst for innovation throughout the council
The migration to ArcGIS Pro energised GIS usage within service teams and proved to be the catalyst for a range of new apps and services. The Highways team moved ahead especially quickly, creating a series of new ArcGIS dashboards and web apps for site and depot assessments and environmental impact reports. “Once service areas started to see what other departments were doing, there was a lot of really positive collaboration and innovation throughout the council,” observes Carter. “The feedback from teams about ArcGIS Pro has been very positive, at all levels, and having everyone on the same product version is a major step forwards.”

Time savings in central IT team
Staff throughout the council are now empowered to produce the maps, dashboards and survey applications that they need themselves. Consequently, a substantial amount of time has been freed up in the central ICT team that can be invested in other strategic projects. “ArcGIS Pro gives teams the ability to produce bespoke GIS applications and deploy them very quickly themselves,” Carter explains. “This means service managers can be much more responsive to new situations like outbreaks of avian flu.”

Greater integration of GIS in council services
Since the migration to ArcGIS Pro, several service areas within East Riding of Yorkshire Council have begun to integrate GIS capabilities successfully into a wider range of back-office and public-facing applications. For example, GIS is now fully integrated into an online app that allows citizens to report the locations of faulty streetlights more accurately. According to Carter, “The migration to ArcGIS Pro was a starting block for greater integration of GIS with other council applications, internal and external portals. ArcGIS Pro has opened up a world of new opportunities, and we are making the most of them.”

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