Year in Review 2021

In this blog, we will recap on some of the many highlights of 2021. Highlights that led to UKCloud being ‘IT Vendor of the Year’ at the UK IT Industry Awards sponsored by BCS and computing.co.uk. This award, along with all our wins, successes and achievements are testament to the ongoing support of customers, partners and UKCloud colleagues throughout 2021. Here’s a roundup of our highlights from this year:

  1. The emergence of  Sovereign Cloud

Last year the pandemic proved just how essential data in the cloud is, and this year has underlined how valuable that data is – with the ever-evolving cloud market, it has become apparent the mass amounts of public sector data generated needs to be protected. Not just with residency but jurisdiction also, especially as concerns have been raised on how personal data and digital activity is being stored and used across the world. Which is why sovereignty is of increasing importance: at its core it is about the emerging data economy and protecting and unlocking the value of national, corporate, and personal data.

Our partnership with VMware showcases how UKCloud harnesses VMware’s Sovereign Cloud framework to power the UK’s Sovereign Strategic Cloud platform for the UK government. Our platform underlines how cloud providers supporting even the most regulated industries need to protect and unlock the value of critical data through sovereign digital solutions. Especially as governments around the world are facing pressure to implement more thorough data privacy laws. Read the case study here.

Finally, our commitment to data sovereignty does not end here. UKCloud are leading the sovereign cloud conversation, exemplified in our partnership with The Times and the Public Sector Technology report within the Raconteur. The report underlines what we can all do to safeguard our data, which has become an unquestionably valuable currency.

 

  1. Tackling digital inertia with Defence Cloud

Launched at this year’s DSEI, one of the first physical post-lockdown events, our Defence Cloud initiative is a full platform, service wrap and ecosystem of solutions designed to support every stage of the digital journey from ‘definition’ to ‘deployment’. UKCloudX wants to help defence organisations tackle digital inertia, whereby our security classifications and controls are tailored and monitored to suit defence organisations’ needs.

UKCloudX now provides the only UK Sovereign flexible multi-cloud platform capable of hosting workloads across higher classification levels – offering a high assurance cloud with no compromises. Whilst we are the first to pioneer Defence Cloud in the UK, we have created a digital ecosystem that combines our people, processes, and technology with frontline solutions from our  

“Hosted within UKCloudX’s secure and sovereign data centres, the CASE Secure Multi-Tenant Architecture has been designed from the ground up for sensitive and secure workloads.  The environment delivers public-cloud flexibility and features alongside a ‘Secure Data Vault’ and specific on-prem installed applications. It delivers a cost-effective, functionally rich, and secure environment addressing the projects and programmes of today.” Heath Groves, CEO at Sundown

To demonstrate the strength and specialist nature of our ecosystem, we showcased a selection of our defence and national security partners at our Transformation Week, to hundreds of viewers back in October. They explored strategic themes prevalent within the sector and addressed the digital challenges that lie ahead. All webinars can be watched on-demand now.

 

  1. Supporting ‘Data Saves Lives’ with Health Cloud

UKCloud Health has earned its standing as a trusted Cloud Service Provider for the Health and Social Care sector. We are committed to supporting and delivering the ‘Data Saves Lives’ vision for the NHS, as we understand the value cloud computing offers to the sector – it can change overall standards of public health, promote healthier lifestyles and provide preventative interventions amongst society.

With our Health Cloud none of what we do could be achieved without the partnership between UKCloud and UK health providers, who together help clinicians and the NHS to extract increasing value from their data. Collaboration is what helps realise our cloud goals. We describe Health Cloud as a ‘platform where ready-made digital health solutions meet our government-grade infrastructure’, and we believe it has the power to transform healthcare in the UK.

As such, we are committed to protecting patient data in the long term as we understand it can be vital to saving lives. Further to this our underlying infrastructure is a key enabling factor as Health Cloud covers everything from IaaS to SaaS, protects sensitive data, and offers native connectivity to HSCN.

Mandy Griffin, CIO at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust who is a UKCloud Health customer said, “After a lengthy evaluation, we chose UKCloud Health as they could come in to support us to take things forward and get us moving on our digital transformation journey – the team at UKCloud Health are the ideal choice to move digital and cloud strategy from ambition to action”

To learn more about Health Cloud please read our ‘Transforming with Health Cloud’ blog. In addition to Health Cloud, a number of our key partners have detailed how their solutions are transforming patient lives and are helping to digitise the NHS. Exemplified in our work with Open Medical – Harnessing technology to tackle the surgical backlog  whereby the adoption of digital technology can be the saving grace to help Trusts effectively manage the backlog, enabling elective surgery to return to pre-covid capacity  and WASP Software – by Integrating NHS 111 First Appointment Scheduling .

 

  1. The State of Digital and Data Report

Earlier this year, UKCloud surveyed over 300 public sector organisations on their use of digital and data in line with the key goals of the National Data Strategy, to see how they compare. From our findings, we created the State of Digital and Data Report 2021. It revealed how many public sector organisations were interested in new technological innovations and prepared to undergo digital transformation. However, it was the 45% of respondents who said they feel apprehensive when sharing their data, that stood out to us. Their concerns around compliance and security were inhibiting collaboration, a concern that is of course justified, but showed us exactly how we could help… View the On-Demand Summit here

 

  1. Launch of Strategic Data Practice

In August, we launched our specialist Strategic Data Practice to help unlock the potential of UK public sector data, drive innovation and improve public services. Given that data is the golden thread throughout all digital initiatives, we can provide that much needed guidance and help bridge the skills gap – enabling public sector organisations to take their initiatives from idea to reality.

Our recent strategic partnership announcement with data virtualization leader Denodo complements the ecosystem of partners we already call upon in this space. You can read the joint solution brief here.

“Denodo the world leader in data integration and data virtualization and UKCloud have come together to form a partnership. Denodo felt that the leading position UKCloud holds in the UK sovereign cloud along with their deep understanding of the UK public sector makes them the obvious choice to help Denodo expand their presence within the UK government sectors”. Denodo.

 

  1. Advancing with VLS

A year on from the launch of the VMWare License Service in April 2020 and we have seen significant uptake with organisations such as University of Manchester benefitting from in year cost savings.

This innovative solution for on-premises support of VMware licences, developed by UKCloud and VMware, has been positively received and adopted by many organisations across local government and education for its subscription principles and flexibility.

“UKCloud worked quickly to understand the challenges we face in Higher Education and identified how they could provide a solution that would both reduce costs in the short to medium term and also provide us with the flexibility to exploit the latest VMWare capabilities as we continue to expand and change our needs. They are a UK based cloud organisation and are very focused on helping public sector and Higher Education exploit cloud services in the UK market — they have demonstrated their ability to help us and I am confident they could do the same for others in the UK Higher Education sector.’’ Malcolm Whitehouse, CIO, University of Manchester

VLS is also proving exceptionally popular with CDW as we continue to develop our partnership this year.  VLS is perceived as being a unique offering, that enables CDW and many other customers to differentiate itself and allowing it to win new business away from its competitors.

 

  1. Measuring What Matters – Social Value

UKCloud is committed to doing the right thing for the UK taxpayer, from paying our taxes to offering carbon neutral cloud solutions. The many things we do as an ethical, green, socially conscious technology company has been independently validated and has resulted in the award of a Social Value Quality (SVQ) Mark 2. Making us the first technology firm in the UK to receive this award. It recognises the immense efforts undertaken by UKCloud to consistently strive to make a positive and measurable impact in the communities we serve, from our early careers scheme, hiring undergraduates and apprentices to our work with the Armed Forces covenant. You can read the full report here.

“UKCloud is standing behind the government’s commitment to “build back better” through job creation, skills development and retention, economic growth and prosperity, tackling climate change and levelling up the UK. Any supplier that wants to do business with government will now need to be able to demonstrate the wider value it is creating for the UK. Social Value is here to stay. This Social Value Quality Mark provides clear and independent evidence of our commitment to being a leader in the UK tech industry” – Simon Hansford, CEO, UKCloud

We were also present at this year’s COP26 summit, in which we joined the Defra E-alliance to build upon its carbon neutral credentials, to mobilise the UK government technology (govtech) community to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030, ahead of the UK’s broader target. To learn more, please read our COP26 blog.

 

We wish everyone the very best Christmas and look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year.