We’ve seen a few interesting parallels between the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in general society and what we’re seeing in the digital world.
The diseconomy of scale
Take supply-and-demand for example; with news of the impending ‘lock-down’ people flocked to the major superstores and cleared the shelves. Whilst there were plenty of stories about smaller specialist stores having adequate supplies to serve their loyal and local customers.
It feels a bit like that online. Major digital platforms like Netflix and YouTube have implemented measures to reduce the quality of their streaming services in order to cater for the heightened demand. And we’re aware that customers of global cloud platforms are experiencing variable service levels as those platforms scramble to handle the huge spike of demand from such a diverse set of customers; media services, retailers and online gaming, to name a few.
Whereas, like your local specialist, UKCloud operate a specialist cloud platform that is dedicated to the secure and sensitive needs of organisations across the UK public sector. Last year, we announced that we would use the recent investment from Digital Alpha to scale our platform, and so we have the capacity that our public sector customers need – just as they need it most.
We sometimes refer to this as a ‘diseconomy of scale’, the global cloud platforms are so large that they struggle to ‘scale down’ and treat the smaller customers the same way as those with the biggest budgets. They have to deal with use-cases and requirements that are not common across public sector. Whereas, we’re entirely focused on serving public sector organisations across the UK and so are fortunate that we don’t have to deprioritise ‘non-essential’ workloads, as we don’t host them in the first place.
At your service
Last week, UKCloud CEO, Simon Hansford, wrote a letter to many leaders across the public sector to offer support to those with an immediate need to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on public services. In response to the letter, we have seen a highly positive reaction.
UKCloud has received various specific requests for help, as well as, a general increase in the use of existing workloads. New solutions are also being deployed to give guidance or advice to citizens/patients on the COVID-19 topic. Unsurprisingly, we have seen a surge in requests to help NHS staff continue to work safely by using remote working solutions such as VMware and Citrix, and to be able to continue to securely access sensitive NHS systems. For example, we’ve explored solutions to keep vital services like clinical consultations available remotely, which will ensure people are still able to seek medical help safely.
UKCloud also provisioned extra capacity to our valued partner, Aseptika so they could provide free usage of the Activ8rlives app which helps people care remotely for family members. Activ8rlives is already used to provide services to NHS patients, so UKCloud provided the extra cloud computing capacity to support the Activ8rlives solution during this time of unprecedented demand.
Outside of the NHS, we have seen an increase in organisations asking for guidance with increasing resilience (i.e. disaster recovery), and also from organisations seeking additional secure and scalable capacity, to accelerate their adoption of digitally enabled solutions that facilitate social distancing.
UKCloud is here to help
Last week UKCloud published its Business Continuity Plan in response to the coronavirus outbreak, setting out our readiness to continue to deliver our cloud services which many public services depend on. Earlier last year, UKCloud secured investment from Digital Alpha, which enabled us to scale our platform and ensure that we now have the spare capacity and resources to support the emerging demands from Public Sector organisations, no matter how big or small they may be.
UKCloud’s employees are also using their own personal compute capacity via distributed computing to support the Folding@Home project which is focused on disease research. As a team, UKCloud ranks in the top 6% (13,988th out of 242,519) and has folded 61 work units – we are expecting that this will continue to increase as more UKCloud employees (and their families) join the challenge.
Here are three ways UKCloud could help your organisation deal with the effects of COVID-19:
- UKCloud has cost-effective and scalable cloud services (across VMware, OpenStack, OpenShift, Oracle, Azure and cloud storage) optimised for the public sector.
- UKCloud has proven heritage in providing secure and elastic remote access solutions to secure and sensitive public services.
- UKCloud has friendly, UK based (and security cleared) experts that help public sector organisations focus on delivering its services through the use of modern digital solutions.
If you would like to speak to a member of our team for some free impartial advice, please contact our multi-cloud experts.