22nd June 2018 – UKCloud, the multi-cloud experts committed to making transformation happen for UK public services, today launched UKCloudX, a high assurance cloud platform for the UK’s most critical and sensitive systems. Operating as a new division of UKCloud, UKCloudX will enable a new level of innovation and collaboration for the UK’s most sensitive systems.
UKCloudX is a result of a significant investment of over £25 million in additional people, new premises (with enhanced physical security) and a new technology platform (which uses higher grade assurance) to create a trusted and neutral platform for better collaboration and faster innovation.
“Capitalising on the same cloud-first approach that has been so successful in accelerating digital transformation and reducing cost across central government, UKCloudX will bring the benefits of cloud computing to bear for secure communications,” commented Simon Hansford, UKCloud’s CEO. “By harnessing the potential of the cloud to overcome the long lead times, inflexibility and considerable fixed costs that have traditionally hampered secure communications, UKCloudX will enable far greater innovation and collaboration on sensitive projects.”
Bernard Brown, vice chairman at KPMG UK, added: “Cyber security is a real and growing issue for the UK. As the pace and complexity of cyber-attacks and the threats from nation states are increasing, it is necessary to find new and better ways of working so that we’re best able to both respond and pre-empt threats to our sovereign interests. UKCloudX enables government agencies and their UK industry partners to focus on the mission, collaborate more effectively and innovate faster to keep ahead of the threats as they emerge.”
UKCloudX is exclusively focused on addressing the needs of UK government agencies, by providing an infrastructure that meets the rigorous security requirements required for data at higher security classifications, and that does so at substantially less cost than the current arrangements for this level of sensitivity.
UKCloudX has already achieved significant support from dozens of solution providers including prime contractors such as Leidos and Leonardo, IT Outsourcers such as Capgemini, IBM and Sopra Steria and many other specialist IT service providers. Among the launch partners that will be working with UKCloudX from the outset are:
- CACI: “Working with UKCloudX, CACI’s specialist skilled staff will be focusing on enabling rapid innovation through application design and development for our clients in the defence and national security sector,” commented Martyn Orme, Head of Defence Services, CACI Information Intelligence Group.
- CDS: “UKCloudX provides a cost-effective, high assurance cloud platform for CDS to deliver greater innovation at SECURE and above,” commented Richard Bradley, Managing Director, CDS Defence Support.
- HiveLOGIC: “UKCloudX provides a transformative, secure, cost-effective, and agile set of solutions on which we can provide a variety of digital services for our clients. For us they are a default choice and a force multiplier,” commented Simon Moore, CTO, from Hive Logic.
- IBM: “Combining UKCloudX’s secure, cost-effective platform with IBM’s specialist skills and services in the defence and national security sector, will provide real value for our clients,” said Dr Quentin Vaughan, IBM VP & Executive Partner.
- Kahootz: “Combining our secure, cost effective secure collaboration solutions with UKCloudX’s high assurance cloud will provide a host of new opportunities for our clients in the defence and national security sector,” said Luca Leone, Defence Business Development Manager from Kahootz.
- Leidos: “UKCloudX will provide a technology platform on which we can drive innovation and transformation for our government and defence clients,” added Tim Crofts, VP Business Development and Strategy from Leidos.
- Leonardo: “Leonardo has safely handled the most secret data of our UK national and international customers for years. The UKCloudX initiative will provide a highly secure new platform, allowing our clients to benefit from new opportunities offered by the latest, most innovative and secure cloud-based services.” said Nik Beecher, VP Cyber Security & ICT Solutions at Leonardo Security & Information Systems.
- Nine23: “The combination of both Nine23’s highly focused secure mobile solutions (Platform FLEX), and the high assurance UKCloudX cloud platform, will allow a greater level of secure collaboration between government agencies and their industry partners,” commented Stuart Mckean, CEO from Nine23.
- ROC Technologies: “We welcome UKCloud’s investment in the UK’s first high assurance cloud platform and believe that it will add an extra dimension to the highly secure solutions that we deliver to the defence and national security sector,” added Matt Franklin, CEO of Roc Technologies.
- SiXworks: “Leveraging the UK’s first high assurance cloud platform will allow SiXworks to deliver innovative ICT solutions that support the Critical National Infrastructure more rapidly and at lower cost than ever before,” commented Rick Bounsall, Business Development Director from SiXworks.
- Sopra Steria: “Building on the successful collaboration between UKCloud and Sopra Steria across central government, UKCloudX will allow us to bring further innovation to the defence and national security sector on sensitive projects,” commented Vern Davis, Managing Director – Aerospace, Defence and Security at Sopra Steria.
Rapid advances in technology means that the UK and its NATO allies face an ever more daunting challenge maintaining an advantage over their adversaries. The wide spectrum of adversaries includes not only those that have access to sophisticated technology, but also those that adopt more rudimentary techniques that defy technological monitoring.
UKCloudX will provide a secure platform to accelerate innovation, rapidly adopt new technologies (leading edge technologies such as AI and machine learning) and foster more dynamic teamwork. Working with a set of blue-chip partners, UKCloudX will enable consortia to facilitate prototype development with far greater flexibility and speed as well as with access to the best skills in both industry and academia.
Additionally, just as UKCloud and UKCloud Health have provided a focal point for a thriving ecosystem of firms specialising in government and healthcare technology, UKCloudX will support a similar ecosystem of local technology firms that focus on the defence and security sector. In line with the government’s industrial strategy, this will provide a significant boost to the UK digital sector post-Brexit, creating valuable UK skills and jobs in areas like cyber, digital, cloud and assurance – starting with UKCloud’s own investment of over £25 million in UKCloudX that will create at least 50 jobs during 2018.