Procuring Cloud Solutions in the Public Sector

In 2019 the NHS Shared Business Services Cloud Solutions Framework was officially launched. You might ask, why another framework? Put simply it’s to provide the most straight-forward, OJEU compliant route for the NHS and the wider public sector to purchase cloud solutions. 

Following a rigorous exercise to evaluate who would be accepted onto the framework, Automation Logic were confirmed to be listed on Lot 4 End-to-end Cloud Solutions as one of just twenty-four suppliers. 

Last week Public Sector Connect ran a one day conference to provide more information on how to engage with the framework, the benefits and also to share some insight on best practice in cloud adoption. 

On the Day

We were lucky to be treated with a fantastic venue for the conference and were hosted at the Institute for Civil Engineering in Westminster. There were many interesting, thought-provoking presentations on the day including one from Government Digital Services (GDS) Tom March who gave practical advice on how to really optimise for cost saving in the cloud, dispelling a few common misconceptions along the way.

Richard Teale, Head of Architecture and Technology for NHS Shared Business Services spoke on how organisations need to shift the focus from talking about the technology to addressing the business challenges and how cloud can deliver value for end-users. 

Automation Logic took to the stage just after lunch to talk about the challenges and benefits of public cloud adoption. Our Client Engagement Manager Greesh Saib was joined by AL client Joe Sach who is a Solution Architect at Met Office and also heads up their central Cloud Team.

Greesh and Joe kicked-off by sharing why Met Office had opted for a cloud-first approach, explaining how the volume of data they produce (200 TB per day) and the number of visitors they receive a day (up to 6 million unique visits) led them to go “all in” with AWS public cloud.

Most interesting perhaps were the lessons they’ve learned since setting up a central cloud team, namely the importance of staying on top of and investing in 5 key things – leadership, skills, remit, culture and effective partnerships. All of these lessons are business-oriented, further demonstrating that technology choices shouldn’t be the priority!

Greesh’s advice to the audience centered around creating strong partnerships based on shared values and a common goal. He stressed the importance of using a common language (particularly when technology buzzwords can so often create confusion), taking the time to define measurable deliverables and running a well planned ‘Discovery’ phase upfront to connect planned work with user needs. 

Using the GOV.UK service lifecycle approach, the Automation Logic / Met Office team have delivered a number of fantastic outcomes from delivering the platform as a product to applying automation wherever possible, saving costs and reinvigorating the Cloud Communities of Practice to promote collaboration and knowledge sharing. 

Summing up their talk, Greesh and Joe gave their top 3 tips for the audience to takeaway when looking to accelerate cloud adoption:

  • Focus on people – embed within the existing team, build trust and work as one team. This, along with investing in skills, will help drive high-performance
  • Balance freedom and control – understand how you can empower teams to experiment while providing guidelines and best practice to realise the intended benefits of cloud.
  • Use the AWS Well-Architected Framework available here to get started.


What Next? 

It was great to meet people from across the public sector last Wednesday. We spoke to people from NHS Digital, Crown Commercial Service and Department for Transport to name just a few. 

If you’re interested in making use of the NHS SBS Cloud Solutions Framework here’s a quick reminder of the benefits this could have for your procurement activity;

  • It is simple to use, saving you time
  • A rigorous tender process has ensured that only those that can provide the highest quality of service are listed
  • You can direct award when you’ve identified the right partner for you
  • It is possible to run mini-competitions to meet bespoke requirements

For more information on the framework or on moving to the cloud using DevOps principles get in touch with us for a chat. 

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