ADD2058 New design hardware equipment procurement

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2058
Date signed: 
30 January 2017
Decision by: 
Emma Strain, Assistant Director of External Relations

Executive summary

The graphic designers within the Creative team in the External Relations Unit use specialist design hardware equipment and software to carry out their duties. New design hardware equipment is being sought to replace the old equipment. This will enable the team to upgrade the design software used to current industry standard. The old equipment does not have the up-to-date specifications required for the software upgrade, hence the need for new hardware. 

 

Decision

That the Assistant Director of External Relations approves the procurement of new design hardware equipment for the Creative team up to the value of £15,000. 

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

Up-to-date design hardware and software is required to enable the graphic designers within the Creative team to fulfill their duties as described in their job descriptions:
•    to develop creative concepts in response to briefs and supply high quality design work across an integrated mix of channels
•    promote the work of the Mayor and London Assembly

Design hardware includes equipment such as Apple Mac hard drives, monitors and keyboards etc. Industry standard software includes applications such as Adobe creative suite: Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and also Apple Mac operating systems. 

Creative Cloud, the latest design software, released in 2013, is required in order for the Creative team to keep up with trends and deliver best practice. Creative Cloud would work most effectively with latest Apple Mac operating system - Sierra.

The hardware and software in current use is now well behind industry standard and as a result some of the issues faced include:
•    Files received from external suppliers have usually been created using newer software which currently cannot be opened or accessed as they are not compatible with old versions of software. Time is wasted in going back and forth to get legacy versions that can be opened
•    Old operating systems do not support new software and this affects access to web browsers so many websites and other applications will not display
•    Older hardware and software are slower as technology moves forward. More up-to-date hardware and software are faster to open and operate

In order to be up-to-date with industry standards, both hardware and software needs to be compatible. 
New software cannot be installed on old hard drives and old operating systems as they are created to run on faster hard drives and the latest operating systems.

Hardware which needs to be purchased includes but is not limited to: 
 

Item

Unit cost

Quantity

Cost (£)

Mac Pro

£2,499

3

£7,497

16GB memory

£80

3

£240

512GB storage

£240

3

£720

27in Monitor

£1,000

1

£1,000

Mouse

£40

2

£80

Keyboard

£40

1

£40

15in MacBook Pro

2.5GHz Processor

512GB storage

£1,999

1

£1,999

Lap top case

£60

2

£120

Ipad pro cover

£50

1

£50

Laptop mini display adaptor

£25

2

£50

Laptop Ethernet connector

£25

2

£50

Total

£11,846

Subscription to Creative Cloud will be met by TG through their business account.

The equipment could include but is not limited to: 3 x hard drives, 1 x monitor, 1 x laptop and accessories including keyboards, mice and adaptors.
 

Objectives and expected outcomes

The objectives of procuring new design equipment are:
•    Ensure the graphic designers within the Creative team can undertake their roles to effectively communicate the work of the Mayor and London Assembly through creating engaging campaigns for Londoners
•    Improve day to day workflow ensuring more efficient working 
•    Deliver value for money through making use of other creative software available on Creative Cloud. For example, there is the capability to create/convert animation into rich media which would otherwise have to be outsourced.

The expected outcomes of procuring new equipment is that suitable equipment is bought and that the team is using current, industry standard software to carry out their duties.
 

Equality comments

The procurement process for this activity shall be undertaken by the Technology Group in accordance with the Authority’s Contracts and Funding code. 

The purchase of Apple Mac hardware in particular is because they are specifically made for design  and design software. They are also very well made and generally keep their value.

 

Other considerations

a) Key risks and issues

Benefits to the business include:
•    Subscription to Creative Cloud means that software is updated automatically rather than having to be purchased and installed regularly – so the versions of software available are always the latest
•    New software always contains new functionality that streamlines processes – this can speed up the time spent on design and is a more efficient way of workin
•    Creative Cloud comes with additional software that can be used to create other formats, such as rich media 
•    Subscription to Creative Cloud can be accessed via log in which means work can be easily accessed remotely or from a different location

Risks of not purchasing new hardware for the Creative team:
•    Unnecessary time is spent on either attempting to seek alternative solutions to open files or requesting suppliers to re-save and re-send files to a version that can be opened by older software 
•    Slower and less streamlined design processes
•    There is no support for using old software so when problems arise the only solution is to reinstall the same older version of software

b) Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

Use of new equipment would continue to be in line with the unit’s core responsibilities detailed within 2015-17 GLA business plan plan:

•    to communicate the work of the Mayor to Londoners and businesses in clear, engaging and innovative ways.
•    Deliver integrated marketing campaigns utilising both digital and traditional marketing assets which allow the Authority to promote its work effectively 
and listen to Londoners’ opinions and concerns.

c) Impact assessments and consultations

Communication channels and technology are evolving at a fast rate. The procurement of this new equipment is to ensure the team is able to continue to deliver an effective and efficient service for teams across the GLA. 
 

Financial comments

5.1    The estimated cost of up to £15,000 for this proposal will be contained within the External Relations Budget for 2016-17. Any changes to this proposal, including budgetary implications will be subject to further approval via the Authority’s decision-making process. All appropriate budget adjustments will be made. 

 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

The equipment will be procured upon approval through Technology Group in December 2016.