Here’s to 2020, and our vision of a bolder, brighter national capability.
I’d like to start with heartfelt thanks to our customers and partners for continuing to entrust us with supporting your digital transformation – whilst also challenging and inspiring us to develop better services! The highlights below wouldn’t have been possible without you.
As I reflect on 2019, I’m reminded that it has been an eventful year for public sector technology. We’ve seen renewed commitment to digital transformation which provides citizens, businesses and public sector workers with a much-enhanced experience of public services. Look at examples in Health (such as the creation of NHSX), in Defence (such as NavyX), indeed, in every public sector community that we serve. That said, I think many of you will share my frustration that modernisation and transformation is not happening at a faster rate.
But one thing remains… as a community devoted to public sector technology, we must develop a more ambitious vision for the UK’s digital capability. A vision where genuine choice and competition drives sustainable innovation and growth. A vision where we treat our unique and precious data as the national asset that it is. I’ve explained more in my recent blog – so my request is for you to please take a moment to add your views to the conversation and encourage our new Government to invest in our national digital capability.
It’s been another big year for UKCloud and the customers and partners that we support. So, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and leave you with just five of our highlights from 2019.
Simon Hansford, CEO
Award-winning Customer Satisfaction
UKCloud has changed a lot since we started out in 2011. Originally, we took the ‘hyper-scaler approach’ to customer service – i.e. provide a portal, an API and some documentation and let our customers get on with it. But we soon realised that public sector organisations expect and deserve better. So, we made some significant investments in building an award winning customer services function, led by our COO Karsten Smet.
And those investments paid off – we’ve seen our NPS score (a measure of customer satisfaction) regularly hit 100 for individual support interactions, and our overall score has improved by 70 points to +56. We’ve recently picked up a Service Excellence award at Inspire19 too! We’ve tried very hard to achieve this, but it wouldn’t be possible without the support and feedback provided by you, our customers and partners – thank you.
Digital Alpha Investment
UKCloud has grown rapidly to become a leading Cloud Service Provider, supporting hundreds of digital transformation projects across the UK public sector. We’ve regularly adapted our strategy in response to changing demands from our customers and the continued evolution of the cloud market. The investment from Digital Alpha this year was a significant validation of our differentiated business model. Digital Alpha, a strategic collaboration with Cisco, invested £25m to help accelerate the expansion of our multi-vendor, multi-cloud, multi-classification platform – including closer collaboration with Cisco’s portfolio of multi-cloud technologies.
“I’m delighted to see UKCloud attracting funding from international investors to scale up their operations. This is another vote of confidence in our talented sector and will help us maintain our reputation as the leading destination in Europe for inward investment.”
Former Minister for Digital, Margot James
UKCloudX: One Year On
We announced our intention to build UKCloudX, a business focused on the specific needs of the Defence and National Security community at CyberUK 2018. A year later, we’ve invested tens of millions in secure premises (including new datacentres and SOC faciliites), additional technology environments to meet the accreditation requirements of Tier 2, and more people with the skills and experience to help customers harness this disruptive new capability.
In particular, Gerry Cantwell joined UKCloud after a 34-year career in the civil service to lead UKCloudX. Gerry is the former CIO of the National Crime Agency and also worked at GCHQ for 26 years before joining the Ministry of Defence as Director of Information Systems. Based on this previous and extensive experience, Gerry has genuine empathy of the challenges and opportunities facing organisations in the Defence and National Security community.
More services, more innovation
Fuelled by the Digital Alpha investment, we announced a massive expansion of services and capabilities in time for G-Cloud 11. Having been on the framework from its first iteration, G-Cloud 11 was an opportunity to unveil a number of new services designed to help public sector organisations tackle the complex challenges that inhibit their digital transformation:
a. We announced a range of “Expert Support” service – from Professional Services engagements to help with discovery, assessments, business cases and migration through to Managed Services to help organisations operate effectively in a world of mange clouds.
b. We announced a range of “Software and Solutions” designed to make it easier for customers to tap into specialist capabilities from UKCloud and our partners – such as our AIOps platform with Moog and CloudSOC an innovative cyber security service developed in partnership with e2e-assure.
c. We announced a further expansion of our multi-cloud platform – from the ability to host workloads on Oracle SPARC to extending our Microsoft Azure capability to include Microsoft’s global Azure platform as well as their Azure Stack (Arc) private cloud offering.
And unlike previous years, we didn’t stop with G-Cloud. In 2019, we made a concerted effort to make our services available via multiple public sector procurement frameworks; from NHS SBS Cloud Solutions Framework to the Scottish Government Cloud Services Framework, from YPO to DOS4, and many more.
Accelerating Transformation in Health and Care
Launched in 2017 we’ve been delighted by the success of UKCloud Health, focusing on the unique opportunity to drive exceptional patient outcomes through better use of data and technology. We’ve assembled an amazing community of specialist partners, from large System Integrators like Sopra Steria and Capgemini to innovative SMEs like IMMJ, Mayden and Spectra Analytics.
As UKCloud Health evolves from being the platform for specialist SaaS solutions, to also being the platform for more general datacentre modernisation, we worked with specialist consultancy Shaping Cloud to develop the Transformation Accelerator – a unique package of software and services that we featured at HETT that is designed to help healthcare organisations get to grips with how cloud can enable their digital transformation.
So what’s to come for 2020?
Given all the recent political machinations, I’m sure many of you have high expectations that 2020 will see the end of the inertia and uncertainty that has plagued public sector IT for the last few years. We believe that this will cause a step change in demand from public sector organisations to become more agile, to more quickly deliver improvements to public services whilst addressing the obvious waste and inefficiency of legacy IT environments.
In January we will be publishing a new report on the Current State of Cloud Adoption in Public Sector – If you would like an exclusive look at the findings and a pre-release copy of the report, please register for our webinar here.