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Met Police plans IT migration to Azure following cloud deal with ’boutique’ New Signature

PCs Nicholas Angel & Danny Butterman ready for action in the film Hot Fuzz. Image copyright StudioCanal/Working Title

THE METROPOLITAN POLICE, having just finished upgrading all of its Windows XP desktops, is now planning to shift large chunks of its data centre estate to the Azure cloud following a freshly signed deal with IT services boutique New Signature.

Procured via the government’s G-Cloud initiative, New Signature claims that it is the largest such deal struck over the framework, but they’re not telling anyone how much it’s worth.

However, the Met’s cloud migration plans are not new, having been outlined in the One Met Digital Policing Strategy 2017-2020 document, published in February last year – like PC Danny Butterman in Hot Fuzz, the Met isn’t the fastest of movers.

Dan Scarfe, founder of New Signature, told INQ’s sister site Computer Reseller News (CRN) that the deal marked a shift by the Met away from reliance on the big systems integrators that have traditionally dominated public sector IT procurement.

“They’ve been outsourced to the big GSIs [global systems integrators] forever, but this time around they wanted to do something different and work with a smaller, boutique cloud and decided to go with us,” he told CRN.

The Met wants to move to the public cloud, partly to get away from cumbersome in-house IT and partly, according to Scarfe, to avoid being tied down to unwieldy major services providers.

“I think they were looking for an organisation that was a specialist in this area, rather than the big GSIs that don’t necessarily have quite the level of experience that we have we with pure-play environments,” he said.

“They were looking for a company that could be more nimble and more closely aligned with their new digital policing strategy, which is all around innovation, agility and doing things differently.”

Metropolitan Police CIO Angus McCallum was naturally “very pleased” to appoint New Signature “to develop and implement our ‘Cloud-First Strategy’ transition”.

That strategy made clear that the Met would “adopt public cloud offerings as part of our ‘Cloud First’ principle”, according to the strategy document. 

It continues: “We will only maintain our own Met data centres for specialised services. Where we need specialised services, we will utilise virtual private cloud, and similar technologies, to provide consolidated, virtualised, commoditised infrastructure.”

It adds: “Our cloud approach will allow us to only pay for the capacity and facilities that we use. We will also be able to rapidly move solutions if required (for example, where there is a commercial advantage), and flex our capacity up and down in response to key operational events.

“Our cloud approach will also allow us to more easily deliver applications via the internet, opening up a range of possibilities for remote and mobile working.”

This would go hand-in-hand with a data centre consolidation programme that should cut costs, it added. μ

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Source : Inquirer

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