Clouds kept failing for a customer placing the public at risk. Pace worked out why

Client A Government Department
government icongovernment
professional services iconprofessional services
process improvement

A Central Government Department was using its data to make critical, real-time decisions, but the data was unstructured and very easily mis-read or incorrectly reported, creating a material risk to the lives and wellbeing of millions UK residents.

The organisation wanted to improve the way it stored, categorised and accessed its data. Moving from an on-premise data storage solution to a cloud-based solution, and upgrading the applications and systems used by the organisation made sense. This also provided an opportunity to unpick a conglomerate of IT providers and platforms within the organisation because of years of iterative fixes.

The task itself of moving 350tb of data from four data centres and 31 servers was not a complex task in itself. It was the structure of the organisation and a general fear from internal teams around moving critical data (affecting 30,000 users) that restricted many routes to achieving things simply.

The beginning of the project was not smooth. Pace was challenged by constant blockers from internal policies, stakeholders and external IT providers. The newly hired IT Director was rightly technical and interrogated proposals comprehensively, but often the answers were unknown. An early significant error with a failed migration of data over a weekend and loss of service put the project on the back foot. The tensions on the project were laid bare and sparked some quick thinking by Pace.

Pace realised that it couldn’t rely on information at face value and had to break down the siloes preventing the flow of information. It adapted and used its culture to its advantage to delve as deeply as possible into any problem and be totally sure of the solution before actioning. Above all, Pace expected its team to be faultless and consistent, or own up when it couldn’t so solutions may be found.

It was this approach that began to open up the culture within the organisation and prompted the better flow of information amongst previously sceptical internal stakeholders. The IT Director gained trust in Pace as technical challenges were now met with comprehensive answers. Engagement in testing procedures increased from three internal stakeholders to 24 through consistent communication. External IT providers who were previously blocking progress due to commercial and contractual constraints were removed and slowly terabytes of data were being successfully and flawlessly moved to the cloud solution, without service outage.

Upon completion, the project saved in the region of £5m on annual IT spend by removing legacy platforms and with the cleansing of data, scope for further savings were found by reducing the excessive amount of storage that the organisation was using. Pace unpicked the internal quagmire of who controlled what and closed legacy backdoor access permissions which improved security risks.  The silos between internal teams were removed so information (data) flowed freely and new projects and initiatives were born.

However, more importantly it was discovered during the project that critical geographic map data being used to make real-time decisions was out of date by two years and inaccurate! This was resolved – quickly.

Pace continue to enjoy a close working relationship with this organisation, looking for further opportunities to marry autonomous thinking, process, and systems to save cost and improve services.

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