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UK gas supplier outsources to the cloud with HCL

Cadent is modernising its IT operations through a five-year outsourcing deal with Indian IT services supplier

Gas supplier Cadent has signed a five-year infrastructure and application management service deal as part of a digital transformation that will modernise the IT provided to its staff.

The company, which supplies 11 million UK homes with gas, has chosen Indian IT services supplier HCL to provide cloud services, including the use of Amazon Web Services’ cloud. The deal includes managing Cadent’s SAP software.

The combination of IT support expertise and knowledge of the latest technologies makes IT service providers an attractive option when modernising. “IT is mission-critical to Cadent as a business, therefore it is essential we have the highest levels of IT support,” said Cadent CIO Tina Sands. “At the same time, we recognise the need to modernise our IT environment in order to increase our business efficiency and the overall productivity of our mobile workforce.”

Most of the company’s workforce of 4,500 are field engineers who need to be connected to core business systems.

Cadent said it selected HCL after a tender because of its expertise in improving the user experience, implementing automation technology and managing multiple cloud services.

Last August, HCL launched its DRYiCE autonomics and orchestration service. This suite of services, products and platforms uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology, IT automation and robotic process automation.

Businesses in the utilities sector often face challenges when embarking on digital transformation because of a lack of in-house expertise in the latest enterprise technologies.

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Peter Schumacher, CEO at the Value Leadership Group, which advises businesses on outsourcing said: "Adopting cloud-based delivery models will help Cadent capture meaningful improvements in agility, flexibility, speed, productivity, and also employee satisfaction."

Meanwhile, cloud services are increasingly the chosen method of outsourcing for many organisations, with traditional outsourcing contracts declining in number and value.

According to figures from ISG, which measures IT and business process outsourcing contracts worth €4m or more, the value of cloud-based services sold in Europe, the Middle East and Africa was up by 41% in 2017 compared with 2016, reaching €3.9bn, while the total value of traditional IT outsourcing contracts fell by 8% to €8.3bn.

Schumacher added that  infrastructure management services now represent about 38% of the HCL's total revenues  and is its fastest growing IT services offering.

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