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UK’s Cardiff Council Sees HR Transform

Cloud migration enhances performance management of over 14,000 employees.

Cardiff Council
Public Services
Public Services Human Resources


Minimizing silos, standardizing HR processes

Cardiff Council is the unitary authority for Cardiff, the capital of Wales, also its largest city and the tenth largest city in the United Kingdom. It is the biggest council in Wales, delivering services to an estimated 478,000 citizens. The Council, with a net budget in 2020-21 of £656 million and an employee base of over 14,000 people, had embarked on a major review with an objective of being a “high-performing provider of value-for-money services for its citizens and customers by transforming ways of working to make better use of skills, knowledge and assets”.

The HR and payroll department of the Council was reviewing staffing and systems as it had no Employee Self Service (ESS) and Manager Self Service (MSS) capabilities at that time and used non-standardized processes. The department operated in a transactional way with limited ability to view and monitor compliance. The knowledge management system did not use enterprise-wide policies and procedures. There were multiple variants of forms and processes that led to end-user confusion. For example, 88 payroll forms were used for 11 processes.

The cost of a full-time equivalent (FTE) was approximately £3.6 million per annum. Multiple systems were used for the same function and existed in silos. For instance, 11 document management systems and 13 case management systems were used along with paper-based processes.


TCS builds a cohesive, comprehensive HR management solution.

Cardiff Council chose TCS’ Framework Oriented Architecture (FOA) model that customized and extended existing commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products, to build an appropriate solution. We proposed an integrated solution with TCS DigiGOV™, an IT enabler framework, to configure the Council’s HR business processes as per their policies to integrate with an existing SAP payroll solution. The core SAP payroll modules were retained, while a complete HRMS solution was delivered using the flexible and scalable DigiGOV™ framework with Rapid Transformation Methodology.

TCS DigiGOV™ Human Resource Management System (HRMS): Features and Benefits

  • Migrated the entire solution on the Council’s ‘private cloud’ (built on a Microsoft stack)
  • HR functions encompassing the entire HR lifecycle of an employee—from recruitment to retirement—as a shared service across various council portfolios 
  • Intuitive HR ESS and MSS business functions available through the internet (very few councils in the UK have ESS and MSS, and even fewer can access these online)  
  • HR shared services platform  
  • Functionality to identify real-time financial implication as a result of sickness absences across the Council  
  • Ability to monitor and review individual performance with clearer objectives online
  • A single view of the employee enabled through a personal electronic file; 24x7 access to ESS and MSS over the internet via browsers and staff app; rationalization of all processes impacting HR and payroll functions
  • Smartphone compatible solution
  • Enabled the Council to implement the 1997 National Joint Council Single Status Agreement, affecting a minimum of 12,000 employees
  • Responsive web design — compliant and accessible on all devices. The DigiGOV™ Staff App (the ‘Working for Cardiff’ app) now available on the Apple and Google apps and Play Stores, allowing candidates and staff easy access
  • Enabled internal users (council and school staff) to create, track, and monitor requests for respective business processes via the self-service channel
  • Flexi clock system that allows employees to record their working time in line with the Flexible Working Hours Scheme designed to provide flexibility in service delivery to internal and external customers
  • Delivered a ‘Digital Communication Platform’ atop the DigiGOV™ framework, which now helps the Council reach out to their staff anytime, and anywhere. For example, when the pandemic erupted, the platform helped the Council stay in touch with employees
  • The implementation leveraged the technology pillars of Business 4.0™ – agile, intelligence, automation, and cloud – to deliver an 'Integrated Enterprise platform’ for Cardiff Council as an organization.

“The Council has a clear ‘digital by default’ vision to meet the changing demands of our citizens, customer and staff. With this very much in mind, I am delighted to announce the launch of the new digital staff app, created specifically for you to use, and (to) access information relevant to you, at a time that suits you.”

-- Paul Orders, Chief Executive of the Council


TCS leverages its DigiGOV™ framework to bring about enterprise-level transformation

Benefits that arose from the use of the cohesive DigiGOV platform included:

  • Organization, workflow, audit and access management
  • Document and case management
  • Authentication and authorization
  • Executive dashboard, analytics, and management reporting
  • Interconnectivity through adapters and interfaces: The solution enables the council to safeguard its investment in existing IT systems by “wrapping around” or interconnecting various systems and applications. For example, the solution is interfaced with the SAP payroll system, the Commander Telephony solution used by HR Shared Service Team, and with the Recruitment Portal and integration with MS Office 365 (i.e., for single sign on (SSO) implementation over intranet and to allow managers authorizing leaves and claims from email / Outlook).

Overall value additions

  • Potential for economies of scale and higher level of efficiency through simplification and standardization 
  • Flexibility to configure new business processes on-demand and achieve desired benefits rapidly
  • More reliable, richer, and consistent management information, enabling efficiency and cost savings  
  • Potential for quantifiable improvements to customer service and customer satisfaction  
  • Potential for greater staff satisfaction demonstrated by a shift toward more value-added activities  
  • Flexibility of workforce to meet peaks and troughs in the workload and deal with policy changes
  • Professional shared services capability that the Council can take to the market to generate new revenue and meet the mandates put forth by the Welsh government
  • ‘Transparent’, Proactive’ and ‘Customer First’ approaches that are key to any successful partnership. Time and again, proactive propositions have helped the Council achieve results when it mattered most and has strengthened a decade long partnership further and motivated both the customer and TCS teams
  • Contextual knowledge of the industry and co-innovation agenda helped in keeping pace with the trends in industry and changing user expectations
  • Scalability and flexibility of service to meet new challenges as the council transforms and evolves  
  • Technology-enabled flexibility to deal with new policy changes  
  • Technology to support the implementation of single status to eliminate gender-based pay gaps; introduce an “equality-proofed” pay model; and harmonize the pay and terms and conditions between former manual and non-manual workers.

Year-on-year, the Council has been able to realize tangible and intangible benefits by leveraging the ‘Integrated Enterprise platform’ built on the DigiGOV™ framework. Furthermore, adhering to the organization’s vision and digital strategy, the framework currently drives various digital transformation implementations.

“Having worked with TCS since the beginning, I can tell you how much we appreciate the relationship and the flexibility that TCS brings to working with us. I am always of the opinion that it is the people that matter in relationships and we have been very fortunate that the TCS teams we have worked with have all been excellent – I know that won’t be due to luck but must be something that TCS fosters,” 

-- Phil Bear, Head of ICT, The Cardiff Council, on TCS’ role as its growth and transformation ally.


Employees can now access payslips via DigiGOV™ and a staff app every month; The HRMS system digitized the payslip generation mechanism


Cashable savings (approx.)

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