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MoJ to go all-in on public cloud as infrastructure modernisation push gathers pace

The Ministry of Justice claims modernising, retiring and migrating its legacy IT systems to the public cloud will help it accrue long-term savings of around 60% on hosting costs

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has vowed to go all-in on the public cloud, and claims doing so will help the department cut its overall IT hosting costs by 60%.

The organisation is working towards creating a Kubernetes-based cloud-native infrastructure, the MoJ’s head of hosting, Steve Marshall, revealed in a blog post, as part of a wider push to consolidate, modernise or retire large portions of its legacy IT systems.

“Where systems can’t be moved directly to modernisation infrastructure in the public cloud, we’re moving them to new, more cost-effective retirement infrastructure environments that give us more control,” wrote Marshall. “From there, we can work out how best to move them to the cloud or eventually turn them off.”

The blog post does not make it explicitly clear exactly how the department’s public cloud hosting requirements will be met, in terms of whether it plans to favour a single provider or engage with multiple parties to fulfil its needs.

In an interview with Computer Weekly at the start of 2018, the MoJ’s chief digital and information officer, Tom Read, referenced moving more of the department’s large legacy systems into the public cloud, where it already has engagements in place with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft.

In line with this, Marshall’s post goes on to state the department has already made great strides on its digital transformation journey, with all of the IT systems that support the prison and probation service now running in the public cloud.

“We want our teams to be able to deliver the best services they can, and continually improving our hosting estate helps do this while dramatically reducing how much we spend to run all of our services,” Marshall continued.

“We’ve made great progress on this so far. We’re saving tens of millions of pounds moving things out of retirement infrastructure and turning off things we don’t need. We’re also modernising our cloud infrastructure, and building new things with longevity and ease of maintenance in mind from day one,” he added.

On this point, the post goes on to talk about the work the MoJ is putting into ensuring its cloud setup is built in an “evergreen” way, that allows it to be continuously updated and improved with minimal impact on users.

“We’re also keeping an eye on other architectures (like serverless computing) to make sure we’re always ready for what’s coming next, and can keep moving our systems into the best hosting infrastructure the future has to offer,” he wrote.  

Read more about public sector cloud use

  • Public sector IT buyers are increasingly using G-Cloud to procure services from the hyperscale cloud community, prompting concerns about the impact this might have on the SME-friendly framework.
  • MoJ CDIO Tom Read is keen on doing his bit to tear down the Whitehall silos, creating collaborative, simple and effective digital services for staff and the public.

Read more on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

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