UK Council’s digital facelift leads to significant savings

Derby City Council confirms 60% savings on its data centre provision since move to Crown Hosting Services Framework.

In line with the UK Government’s Cloud First policy to help drive efficiencies and provide better services for the public, Derby City Council has confirmed a 60% saving on its data centre provision following its switch to Crown Hosting Data Centres.

Since the move from a legacy IT estate to a hybrid strategy with Crown Commercial Service (CCS), via its Crown Hosting Services Framework (CHS), the council has predicted to break even within just two years, with this revenue saving to be continued through the life of the contract.

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The savings are an example of efficiencies offered by the Crown Hosting Framework, the joint venture between Ark Data Centres and the Cabinet Office, particularly at a time when public sector bodies are under more pressure than ever to maximise value-for-money and flexibility within IT services.

Initial analysis of the project showed that whilst around 60% of the council’s data applications could be moved to the cloud, the complex nature of its legacy estate required a hybrid plan that also included on-premise facilities.

A partnership between CCS and Crown Hosting Data Centres, the CHS framework offered an easy to buy, highly efficient, and co-location and data hosting, all on a flexible contract basis.

Alistair Taylor, senior project manager for Derby City Council has said: “We recognised that any short-term costs involved in migrating to Crown Hosting were far outweighed by the significant revenue savings that came from highly efficient data centre provision, as well as the contractual flexibility that now enables us to continually examine our IT estate.”

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“Getting to grips with a new Government IT Framework could have been complicated, but everyone at Crown Hosting Data Centres was there to help. We were looking for something that could provide a rapid service and give us a clear and flexible programme plan to completion. That is exactly what we got with Crown Hosting.”

The Crown Hosting Services joint venture between Ark Data Centres and the Cabinet Office was agreed after a comprehensive tender process to identify the best value against critical Government criteria; including energy efficiency, resilience, security, sustainability, and both contractual and deployment flexibility.

Steve Hall, CEO of Crown Hosting Data Centres, said: “From the outset it was clear that Derby City Council were absolutely committed to the Cloud First strategy, but as they discovered and in their own words, ‘Not everything plays nicely in the Cloud.’

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“Crown Hosting gave them the opportunity to take data centre space which removed the need to extend often expensive contracts, and offered them a commercial arrangement with real flexibility. They also had the ability to swap out legacy systems for new virtualised solutions, without penalty.”

The council now has a technical solution that it can adjust as needed, in line with its own business and IT transformation strategy. Other Public Sector bodies to benefit from the Crown Hosting Services Framework include the Department of Work and Pensions, Office for National Statistics and the Ministry of Defence. Other Government Departments, Local Authorities, Blue Light services and the wider public sector, are coming on board on an almost daily basis.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...