Journey to the Cloud - 1

Journey to the Cloud – Four Years in the Making

  1. Introduction

I am writing this blog as the pace in which Derby City Council is moving to a cloud first model is picking up. As the title suggests this has been a four year process; and some of the reasons why will be explained in coming posts.

My purpose is to share experiences with peers who may be planning or undertaking a similar journey and as such this blog is being published on two platforms:

  1. The SOCITM knowledge hub group

  2. The SOCITM linked in group

My Journey starts in June 2013 and hopefully will end by December 2016.

Setting the Scene

Derby City Council had long out-sourced its main ICT function and started a seven year contract with Serco in April 2009.  A key part of this contract was for Serco to help the council achieve ICT enabled transformation.

I joined the council in October 2010 just before we moved out of an old council house whilst it was rebuilt inside. In 2010 it accommodated roughly 600 staff and by 2013 it had space for 2,000.  In between we undertook a full technology refresh of our server and client device estate, implemented virtual server technology, introduced new corporate enabling systems (CRM, GIS, EDRMS, Asset Management) and upgraded both the main finance and HR/Payroll systems.

So a lot was achieved in 30 months and certainly we could not have achieved the success we did without a good working relationship with Serco.

In Summer of 2013 we started to explore the options for what would follow the end of the current contract; and to explore the opportunity that both a maturing cloud computing market-place and the G-Cloud framework contract could help.

The main driver now was clearly set by the austerity agenda with year on year savings targets to achieve, with increasing demand on social care and with the prediction that the Council of the future would look very different.  Thus a need for more agile, scalable and flexible IT services and contracts was an increasing priority.

What Next

This blog will step through a number of stages recapping what has happened since summer 2013 until now (May 2015) and then continue through the journey as we move to adopt cloud first and migrate systems and services.

In parallel to the IT cloud journey is the journey the council is on as It adapts to the new financial and demand pressures, to the changing landscape in health and social care and with a need to offer more services digitally.  Moving to the cloud is not the business priority; using the cloud to meet the business needs is what we need and it can be all too easy to lose sight of that.


Nick O’Reilly

Director of Information Systems

Derby City Council

Security level: Public

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