Doing the right thing….
It’s a phrase that gets bandied about a lot, and very few suppliers to government wouldn’t claim to be living by it. Maybe that’s to be expected, doing the right thing is all about delivering the best service to citizens – it’s about personifying value in all that you do. Who wouldn’t claim to be doing that?
But what does it actually look like?
Since 2011, UKCloud have set our sights on answering that question in the service and solutions that we provide. By enabling, supporting, sharing and adapting.
Originally, we existed to be the public cloud for the public sector. Offering multi-tenant cloud solutions to an industry stuck wondering if cloud even existed for the public sector.
But when hyperscalers moved into the market, cloud solutions for smaller public sector organisations became less than ideal – cloud just didn’t seem to fit.
These customers wanted to do more with cloud, but unable to find the right solution, they either overspent on unfit for purpose solutions, or stopped at the block in the road.
This prompted our shift to become Multi-Cloud focussed, finally offering the Choice, Assurance, Flexibility and Support that the whole public sector, big and small, needed.
We then, recognising the complex and specific needs of different areas of the public sector, split our focus across three brands. UKCloud Health, focusing on Health and Social Care; UKCloudX focusing on Defence and National Security, and a more refined focus for our UKCloud brand, addressing Central and Local Government, as well as Education and other civil public sector departments.
This meant we could deliver much more ideal solutions to these specific market segments, develop strategic relationships, and create a much healthier value offering.
This has all culminated in where, and who we are now – the Multi-Cloud experts.
As we expanded, so did our definition of true Multi-Cloud. It meant offering more choice over location – offering public and private cloud solutions, and even hybrid cloud. It meant developing a community of Software as a Service (SaaS) partners to help make the move to cloud cheaper and easier – allowing organisations to buy rather than build.
Our Multi-Cloud solutions also offer flexibility through scalability, and the choice of mix-and-matching multiple cloud technologies – developing your ideal solution, and allowing you to modernise and transform.
The full story of how we built the first public sector cloud can be found here.
Ultimately, every decision, every direction change has been a result of trying to do the right thing by the public sector – by the taxpayer.
And now, with our State of Cloud Adoption in the UK Public Sector survey showing clear as day that the conversation is no longer ‘Why should I adopt cloud?’, but actually ‘How do I adopt cloud?’, there must be a clear plan for ensuring every public sector organisation gets the best value out of their digital transformation.
UKCloud’s Memorandum of Understanding with Crown Commercial Services
The results of the survey concluded that there was an unquestionable demand for cloud adoption, but that the inevitable was being inhibited by factors which needed to be addressed.
Skills shortages, cost and affordability concerns, compliance issues and vendor lock-in worries, were among the biggest blockers. The below statistics show the percentage of public sector organisations that consider these factors as blockers to their cloud adoption:
Our eBook ‘Addressing the 12 blockers to IT modernisation with a multi-cloud strategy’ covers how to work around these inhibitors in much better detail than this blog ever could. The report in fact concludes that the inherent nature of multi-cloud can itself address many cloud adoption blockers.
Ultimately, we understand though that these reservations, and in fact the inhibitors themselves, can not be completely addressed through the single avenue of multi-cloud. And, just as importantly, there is always more cloud providers can do to offer better value, to continue to do the right thing.
Becoming a strategic provider of cloud services to government was the next step for UKCloud in delivering on our promise to always do right by the taxpayer. This position means we there is regular engagement with UK Government to ensure IT modernisation and digital transformation is being provided and accelerated at the best possible value, and in the simplest possible way, for public sector organisations.
Our commitments through signing the MoU can be split into three sections:
✅ Quarterly reviews of our commitments.
✅ Operational alignment with CCS and the One Government Cloud Strategy (OGCS).
✅ Joint publicity.
Value for Money
✅ Fair and transparent pricing for all public sector organisations, big or small.
✅ Shared economies of scale (EoS).
✅ Whole life costs.
Government Grade Services
✅ Government grade data and information governance.
✅ Equitable terms and conditions.
✅ Social Value commitments.
These commitments show that recognising public sector priorities is not just about commercial compromises, but it’s also about what effect every action of your business has. It’s about evolving with the market, it’s about leaving no organisation behind.
However, a significant game changer is the role the OGCS plays in levelling the playing field for all government departments: treating government as a single customer so smaller organisations can benefit from Economies of Scale.
This is not just commercially beneficial, as it allows organisations to spend less time focusing on contracts and paperwork, and more time focussing on strategy, providers, and transformation.
The Memorandum of Understanding builds on this, as we commit to share our EoS with customers to bring prices down, and drive value up.
Doing the right thing through delivering Social Value
Our commitments do not stop there. In fact, our recent commitments to delivering Social Value, which have always been a key component of our day-to-day business, have been significant.
We were recently awarded the Level 1 accreditation of the Social Value quality mark, a testament to UKCloud’s commitment to the wider society. And with Social Value becoming an ever-prominent commitment, necessary to win government contracts, understanding and delivering social value is crucial.
Our Social Value commitments include:
✅ Donating 2% of annual profits to charity.
✅ Being carbon neutral and committing to be carbon negative.
✅ Not penalising customers for exiting standard services.
✅ Allowing 1 charity-day per year for all staff.
✅ Matching all staff fundraisers.
✅ Investing in our future, through our undergraduate and apprenticeship programmes.
And many more…
We also deliver value to our customers through discounts on our services. Examples of just some of our value-for-money initiatives include:
✅ Significant discounts on Cloud Services for Tier 2 classifications.
✅ Discounts on Desktop as a Service offerings to sustain COVID recovery (up to 19%).
✅ Discounted day rate for expert UKCloud project resources.
✅ Deeper discounts on secure and scalable cloud storage (up to 20%).
✅ Future discounts associated with aggregate demand and scale.
Doing the right thing through delivering industry-leading support and service
We have always committed to delivering the best support possible, not just to customers, but the whole public sector. Our focus as Multi-Cloud experts means we can deliver support through solutions and give provider-agnostic advice.
Technology can go wrong, and when it does, organisations need to feel assured they can pick up the phone and get the problem sorted. We’re big enough to cope, but small enough to care, and we always have staff on-hand to make sure your services are never disrupted for longer than they have to be.
Support is also about delivering Professional Services to those organisations who need a helping hand on a more comprehensive level. Innovation is not always the spoken language of public sector, especially those working with less-than-ideal IT solutions for years – sometimes extra strategy-based analysis and support is needed.
If you want to learn more about our Memorandum of Understanding with Crown Commercial Service, click here. Also, learn more about what Multi-Cloud can do for your organisation here. Alternatively, get in contact with one of our cloud experts today to kickstart your digital transformation.