IT — 15 July 2019

IT Hero: Cristiano Fratini—the public sector CIO using collaboration tools to improve service delivery to thousands

Whether it’s the public sector or private, the challenge seems the same: CIOs must find ways to cut costs, reduce waste, AND improve performance. The only difference is that when you work in the public sector you have the added scrutiny of politicians and the taxpayers to contend with.

But according to Cristiano Fratini, CIO of AMGA Legnano, a public utilities company maintaining gas distribution pipes, managing waste collection and public road cleaning, there is one big advantage of that: when you do get it right, there’s potential to save millions; and he should know, because that’s exactly what he’s done.

With over 350 employees situated around the country and thousands of people to service, the way AMGA operates is critical.

Recognising where to make improvements

For Cristiano and AMGA, the most significant challenge was bringing the business together: “The trouble was that there was no single system for teams to work together from and there was no clear direction on approved tools for use either.

“We had a lack of directive from leads in the public sector on the tools we should be using for collaboration,” continues Cristiano. “This led to lack of alignment between tools amongst teams, suppliers, and partners. It was dramatically hindering our ability to collaborate and meant our IT teams were spending half their day on administrative tasks.”

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Tools weren’t talking to each other and information was being lost in transfer, or workflows were impossibly long. “Our customers — public entities like cities, small towns and boroughs — were suffering since we had different protocols and policies between regions,” says Cristiano. “Disparate systems and processes meant we weren’t being as effective as we could be. We had to bring everything together.”

Addressing the collaboration challenge

A more unique challenge to the public sector is the fact that workers tend to be older. This raises usability and education challenges when deploying new technology.

“Employees at AMGA and in the public sector are on average way into their forties,” says Cristiano. “We needed tools that were easy to deploy, easy to use, and readily adopted by our teams and the wider customer base.”

This need was coupled by the change in data protection laws within the GDPR from May 2018. “We now had a new directive for sharing content across our different locations, partners, and suppliers. So, we needed a tool that would ensure we were compliant.”

To solve these challenges and bring the company together on a single platform, Cristiano deployed Dropbox Business. Acting as the collaborative hub for the business, Dropbox has brought teams together and instilled a culture of collaboration.

The benefits of Dropbox Business since deployment

Since deploying Dropbox, AMGA has taken dramatic strides forward in the way it operates. “We now have a homogenised system that ensures work flows fluidly and everyone has access to the content they need,” explains Cristiano.

“As a holding company, we must be able to provide access to policies and guidebooks,” continues Cristiano. “Even with employees heavily distributed, Dropbox Business has simplified this challenge and we have made significant improvements to service speed and delivery.”

Seamlessly integrating with existing systems, Cristiano has built a platform for the future of AMGA. “We have minimised downtime and wrestled back valuable time for our IT teams by eliminating many administrative tasks,” says Cristiano. “We now have clear direction and more resource to focus on our service, and our customers.”

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