The UK government is under increasing pressure to provide public services at a lower cost and in the most efficient way possible, while trying to remain compliant and adapt to continually changing legislation – and resource booking software is leading the charge.

Cloud-based and open-sourced technology, which enables unrivalled agility and a predictable cost model, are helping the government address these challenges, especially as it looks to shift viable public services into a digital environment to support improved interaction with citizens.

The government is targeting UK SME technology providers to roll out this strategy to help secure the UK’s economic growth by keeping service payments local and is striving for UK SMEs to make up one-third of its technology suppliers through its framework programmes.

Creating and managing a shared network of facilities

Matrix Booking is already helping the government realise its ambitions by delivering a solution to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) that has transformed how and where staff work. The MoJ wanted to offer its workforce a better work/life balance and reduce long commutes faced by London-based staff – by introducing smarter ways of working.

Commuter Hubs were set up throughout the South East of England, as part of the MoJ Commuter Hub Initiative and ‘The Way We Work’ Programme. Matrix Booking was asked to provide the technology that would enable staff to work remotely in different locations, interact with one another and access critical facilities. Matrix Booking allows staff to access the latest flexible working infrastructure, and book a secure workspace at a Commuter Hub when they need to be in an office.

The only true, mobile-first Software as a Service (SaaS) room booking system, Matrix Booking allows approved MoJ staff to reserve rooms, desks and other resources in real-time. Staff have visibility of all working spaces across the commuter hub locations, so they can check availability, and then manage and book facilities on a ‘self-service’ basis.

Matrix Booking is a web-based application that supports all major browsers and mobile formats, providing real-time information about all resources available – at any time and in any location. Users can be sent alerts to their mobile device to tell them about free office space, and the tool can even be used to book parking spaces. The open architecture allows for easy and secure integration with mail systems including MS Outlook and Gmail and all major Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications.

The opportunity for both central and local government to utilise the technology capabilities of UK SMEs will continue to grow. Matrix Booking believes that technology will be critical in enabling local governments, in particular, to join up different essential services, such as the police, health, education, and social services to better protect vulnerable communities.

It also sees digitally-driven smart cities being fundamental in supporting local communities, especially as services become more integrated and community-driven through mobile and user responsive applications.

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