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Met Police begins move to Microsoft Azure as cloud-first push gathers pace

The Metropolitan Police has enlisted the help of G-Cloud supplier New Signature to support its cloud-first ambitions, as it pushes ahead with plans to migrate applications and its on-premise server capacity to Azure

The Metropolitan Police is pushing ahead with its pursuit of a cloud-first IT strategy by setting plans in motion to start moving some of its applications to Microsoft Azure.

The London-based force has enlisted the help of Microsoft partner New Signature to assist with migrating its on-premise applications and server estate to the software giant’s public cloud, in line with the digital transformation goals set out in the One Met Digital Policing Strategy.

 The accompanying policy document, which sets out the Met’s digital ambitions for 2017 to 2020, says the organisation is intent on using public cloud services, as long as doing so poses no threat to its adherence to various data protection laws or its IT security posture.

“We will adopt public cloud offerings as part of our ‘cloud-first’ principle,” the document says. “We will only maintain our own Met datacentres for specialised services.

“Where we need specialised services, we will utilise virtual private cloud, and similar technologies, to provide consolidated, virtualised, commoditised infrastructure.

“Our cloud approach will allow us to only pay for the capacity and facilities that we use. We will also be able to rapidly move solutions if required, and flex our capacity up and down in response to key operational events.”

New Signature’s appointment reportedly constitutes one of largest procurements to be carried out via the G-Cloud Digital Marketplace framework to date, with the Metropolitan Police describing the move as an important step in its work to give all staff access to the IT they need to serve London’s 8.63 million residents.

Angus McCallum, CIO of the Metropolitan Police, said the organisation chose New Signature in part because of its track record in overseeing similar cloud migrations.

“They bring significant expertise and impressive experience of supporting other organisations on the journey to the cloud,” he said.

“The Met is committed to ensuring all of our people have the right technology to do their jobs with excellence, and New Signature’s involvement is a critical part of building our capability and achieving fast results.”

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The first phase of the application migration is earmarked for completion by early 2019, and New Signature is also being tasked with developing a network operations centre for the Metropolitan Police to support the ongoing management of its cloud environment.

New Signature founder Dan Scarfe said the Met’s decision to entrust its data to the cloud should give other organisations confidence in using the technology to underpin their own digital ambitions.

“Choosing to entrust their systems and applications in the cloud is a strong validation of the security and capabilities it offers,” he said. 

“Being able to help them on that journey, over larger systems integrators and previous providers, is a watershed moment.  Like many other organisations, they have recognised the benefit of working with a cloud specialist to unlock new opportunities and create an agile, future-proof technology environment.”

Scarfe added: “This is also a huge opportunity for us to work with other security-focused organisations and help them to transform in the cloud.”

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