Heritage Sector

Helping museums, archaeologists and historic departments benefit from 21st-century technology.

Making Transformation Happen

The United Kingdom has a rich and extensive cultural heritage. In fact, in a recent Soft Power Index, the UK clinched the top spot due to its attractions of museums, galleries and theatres.

There are over 10,000 sites across the UK, also including archives and public libraries, all providing vital education, inspiration and knowledge to children, tourists and other visitors. These sites are of the utmost importance and it’s vital that the rich historical and cultural artefacts contained within them are preserved for current and future generations to continue benefiting from.

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Challenges faced by the Heritage sector

Galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAM) face a variety of challenges.

  • Budget
  • Digitisation
  • Technology
  • Budget

    Public sector spending cuts are often highlighted by the media but, of the public sector, GLAMs struggle more to achieve priority against other education, economic, medical and mainstream government activities.

    Additionally, GLAMs are highly segmented, with organisations of different sizes and types receiving varied grants and, in some cases, surviving on only private funding. The reality is that government support is less than 0.09% of GDP, for services that provide an economic impact of more than £25bn, but with enormous societal benefits that go beyond the financial aspect.

    The heritage sector has huge ambitions and is continually trying to improve the experience for its visitors as well as preserve artefacts.

    Digitisation

    A key challenge facing GLAMs, particularly museums and galleries, is the need to digitise items and artefacts. Given the extensive collections held by these organisations, it’s impossible to display all of the artefacts at any one time. By digitising these assets, it not only enables them to be viewed in other ways (see below) but also preserves them for the enlightenment and education of future generations.

    This process is not quick and while 4.3 million exhibits at the Natural History Museum have already been digitised, there are still over 75 million left. Time is just one challenge; the more pressing issue is the sheer volume of data this represents and finding a way to store and access those images and scans in a cost-effective manner. Finding a suitable storage solution is not a problem constrained to this sector, it affects all industries, sectors and organisations.

    Find out how Genomics England store, manage and analyse 21PB of data here.

    Technology

    Technology has changed the game. By making artefacts and collections available online, it provides yet another way of engaging with audiences. Assets such as artefacts, books, paintings and fossils can all be given a new “digital light” and be shared with a much wider audience with no limits to access whilst utilising new technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and electronic learning.

    While the buildings are iconic and will remain part of the heritage, online access enables greater awareness and education to a larger percentage of the audience. The challenge here is knowing where to start, as migrating information onto a cloud platform is easier said than done. Questions regarding servers, storage requirements, data sharing, app development, together with finding the right cloud provider, can be difficult and time consuming.

    The enormity of the opportunity is understood but organisations need to collaborate and partner to overcome these challenges.

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    How can the cloud help?

    Cost-effective storage – Storage of objects such as images, scans and media are much more cost effective in a cloud environment, preserving assets for generations to come.

    Enables innovation – The cloud is the underlying engine for modern application development. Together with technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), this can help and enrich the learning experience for the heritage sector.

    Facilitates agility and step-change – Organisations in the GLAM sector are varied in scale and resource. The cloud can help with the journey to digitization regardless of size.

    “Museums need to rise to the challenges of the digital world and become more than they are in the physical world. They will always be a great day out but can still be so much more digitally. They will need to seize new connectivity and technology opportunities. It will require new ways of working within themselves and together across the sector. New partnerships beyond this are a necessity not an option.”
    David Thomas
    Research Chair of Digital Cultural Heritage, Corsham Institute

    UKCloud for Openstack

    UKCloud for OpenStack is the perfect platform for organisations who want to build their digital transformation around open source. By hosting your applications on UKCloud for OpenStack, you can start to deliver a true cloud-native experience and can begin to enjoy the benefits of elastic infrastructure as code and rapid deployment times.

    Powered by Red Hat’s OpenStack Platform, this service provides a full suite of modern, highly scalable and flexible IaaS services that address the needs of DevOps and WebOps communities.

    UKCloud Azure Stack Hub

    Is Microsoft Azure your organisation’s endgame? If so, then UKCloud Azure Stack Hub offers the perfect opportunity to apply these emerging skillsets to legacy workloads.

    Our private Azure Stack Hub service is delivered from within our award-winning government-grade platform – addressing the service, connectivity and diversity requirements of UK Public Sector organisations. UKCloud can also support your deployments on Azure public as a Tier 1 Cloud Service Provider (CSP), providing a hybrid solution for your Microsoft Azure environments.

    UKCloud for Red OpenShift

    Refactor, rearchitect or rebuild legacy applications with UKCloud Red Hat OpenShift.

    We offer a secure, private deployment of Red Hat’s OpenShift container platform so you can develop and deploy your applications with government-grade assurance. Allowing your developers to divorce themselves from physical hardware and package applications so they can be deployed anytime, anywhere. Focus your team on delivering value further up the stack with the rapid delivery of quality-controlled code.

    UKCloud for VMware

    A trusted, connected and flexible VMware cloud, we provide our customers with an interface that replicates the experience they already know and love. UKCloud for VMware provides self-service provisioning of Virtual Data Centres (VDCs), Virtual Machines (VMs), storage and networking.

    And with native backup and disaster recovery solutions, performant storage options and government-network connectivity – you have all the tools you need to rehost enterprise applications in the cloud.

    Public Services Network

    Owned by the government, the PSN serves as a high-performance network for all public sector organisations. Helping increase interoperability amongst departments and reducing repeat work. 

    At UKCloud, our native connectivity provides access to most central, local and devolved government organisations. Cleared to carry both Assured and Elevated workloads  now even your most sensitive systems can move to the cloud. 

    To use this network, your organisation must have a PSN compliance certificate. 

    Restricted LAN Interconnect (RLI)

    RLI is a high-security network with pre-approved connection options for the defence community and industry partners.

    Available as part of our multi-cloud offering, defence organisations can quickly access the critical information they need to deliver new and existing services in the cloud. Not only will your data be hosted in our state-of-the-art facilities – but you’ll also benefit from direct access to one of the UK’s most secure networks.

    Connection to RLI is subject to vetting and approval from the MoD.

    Health and Social Care Network (HSCN)

    HSCN is a high-speed data network dedicated to health and care – replacing the previously used N3 network. As with PSN, RLI, and Janet – this network was launched with the hope to improve interoperability amongst its incumbents.

    Built on the crown campus, UKCloud offers native access to HSCN – providing healthcare organisations with the opportunity to take applications with dependencies to this network and deliver them in the cloud.

    JANET

    Janet – owned by Jisc – is a high-speed network for the UK research and education sector. Janet currently serves over 18 million users and is the most active National Research and Education Network in Europe – carrying 1.5 petabytes worth of data each year. 

    Built on the Crown Campus, UKCloud offers direct access to the Janet network so the education industry can access the data and resources they need to deliver new and existing services in the cloud. 

    Assured Official

    The UKCloud Assured OFFICIAL cloud platform previously achieved CESG Pan Government Accreditation (PGA) and is PSN accredited to host OFFICIAL data (including OFFICIAL SENSITIVE) which is accessible via native connectivity to DDoS protected internet, PSN, HSCN and Janet networks dependent on relevant accreditation. You can also connect private connections, and the platform undergoes regular audits and CHECK tests.

    Elevated Official

    The UKCloud Elevated OFFICAL cloud platform previously achieved CESG Pan Government Accreditation (PGA) and is PSN accredited to host OFFICIAL data (including OFFICIAL SENSITIVE) which is accessible via native connectivity to PSN, RLI and other secure or/and encrypted government networks dependant on relevant accreditation.

    You can also connect private connections, and the platform undergoes regular audits and CHECK tests. This isolated platform allows UK public sector organisations to create highly secure workloads in the cloud, whilst segregating data and compute functions into either the Assured or Elevated platforms to ensure data is secure.

    Above Official

    UKCloud offers uncompromising security and integrity.

    As the only UK sovereign Strategic Cloud Provider with government-approved secure facilities and security-cleared staff, we bring the power of the cloud into the most secure and sensitive environments. Making it easy to connect and share information between security domains.

    Your mission-critical systems operating at Tier 2 or SECRET require the highest levels of integrity and availability – and our platform is ready to deliver superior levels of resilience.