Sungard Availability Services provides technical know-how and support to meet the transformation agenda and help organisations achieve their cloud ambitions
In publishing its transformation agenda, the government has boldly and publicly committed to change the way it does business to “deliver public services effectively and at speed”, in response to people’s expectations.
While noting “the UK government is one of the most digitally advanced in the world”, Ben Gummer MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, who is spearheading the transformation programme admits that “government has been slow to use the transformative potential of digital technology to change the way it does business.”
The strategy document outlines how government intends to change that through a sweeping programme of digital transformation, which it explains is, “in essence a change of working, of culture and of disposition – changes that are made possible by digital technology. That technology is not change itself; it enables the change that is so transformative.”
Finding they lack the resources or specialist expertise in-house, some central government departments and local authorities are turning to Sungard Availability Services, (Sungard AS) a leading provider of custom production and recovery IT services, to help them meet the technology aspect of this transformation challenge. Sungard AS partners with government departments, local authorities, housing associations and other public sector organisations to successfully transform the IT infrastructure on which their public services depend.
IT transformation in practice
Local authorities are starting to reap the benefits of switching to a more flexible, agile and resilient IT infrastructure, and embarking on digital transformation programmes towards the end of their outsourcing or managed IT services contracts. One forward-thinking local authority saw it as an opportunity to grasp the flexibility and cost-savings achievable through exploiting cloud technologies across the entire IT operation. Providing vital services to the borough’s 400,000 citizens, this council relies heavily on its IT infrastructure and therefore needed a seamless transition, with no degradation of services.
The council turned to Sungard AS to guide it through a phased transformation programme with aggressive timescales. With many streams of activity, the complex programme to transition the council’s solutions into the Microsoft Azure cloud was completed, with some legacy systems hosted in a secure, resilient environment. The migration was successfully executed on time, within budget and so seamlessly that many council employees and supporting agencies were unaware it had even taken place.
The council is now benefiting from highly available and secure infrastructure – many environments with SLA-backed levels of uptime – considerably lower IT running costs and greatly enhanced IT flexibility and scalability. This is in addition to more predictable IT infrastructure spend as costs have moved from the CapEx to OpEx budget, and greater cost-effectiveness as the council pays only for services used.
Control without the headaches
Sungard AS works many central government departments, supporting them to achieve ‘cloud first’ ambitions with tailored, government-approved secure cloud services.
One such department needed a cloud partner it could depend on to host 4 important applications and provide a disaster recovery service to minimise downtime. It contracts Secure Government Cloud Services from Sungard AS via the digital marketplace. Under G-Cloud contracts, Sungard AS provide enterprise class, multi-tenancy, scalable IT infrastructure from a secure hosted environment, resiliently connected.
Departments retain control over their all-important applications without the burden of owning and managing underlying infrastructure. Although this comes with the assurance of 99.99% uptime, many departments also contract additional cloud-based recovery to cover their hardware and operating system.
In this age of high-profile cyber attacks and platform outages, keeping data secure and IT infrastructure up-and-running has never been more important. OFFICIAL data is hosted within 2 UK-based data centres, supported around-the-clock by a dedicated, security-cleared operations team. In addition, solutions need to scale up quickly and easily according to demand.
Whatever the IT environment, Sungard AS works with it
In a very short period of time, cloud adoption has moved from experimentation to mainstream production workloads. But, as many organisations have found, migrating applications to a cloud environment is not easy, contrary to the hype. To start with, one size does not fit all. The needs of the applications are what determine the right infrastructure and cloud choices and, consequently, some 85%1 of organisations are adopting a ‘multi-cloud strategy’ – choosing different clouds for different applications.
However, some legacy systems are not suitable for the cloud so Sungard AS works with whatever infrastructure the organisation has, including the most complex Hybrid IT environments. Hybrid IT is a reality for most with almost 3 out of 4 organisations forced to rely on legacy systems that are not suitable for cloud, adding to the complexity of their IT environment.
Rapid technological advances married with the history of procurement strategies across the public sector has resulted in a mix of legacy hardware, complex data inter-dependencies and contract restrictions. Consequently, many public sector clients value Sungard AS’ comprehensive consultancy support to avoid making costly mistakes.
This starts with listening to their business requirements. We then work with the department or council concerned to identify which applications are cloud-ready, which are best served in a physical environment and build a plan to migrate. We then help architect and manage the right environment for the all-important applications and even provide the resources – skilled subject matter experts – to deliver the technology transformation as part of the delivery team, thus avoiding the potential pitfalls that many of these programmes experience.
Let us know if you would like more information about how Sungard AS can help you meet the transformation agenda.
1 IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry Predictions 2017
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Please note: this is a commercial profile