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IBM joins Google, Microsoft and Oracle in signing preferential cloud pricing deal with UK government

Public sector organisations set to reap the benefits of CCS's latest preferential pricing deal, in support of its push to accelerate the adoption of cloud across central government and the NHS

IBM has become the latest public cloud giant to sign a three-year preferential pricing deal with the UK government’s procurement arm, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS).

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) will pave the way for central government, local authority, education and NHS organisations to procure cloud services from IBM on “preferential” commercial terms to encourage them to move more of their IT off-premise.

IBM said in a statement: “As the public sector embraces an increasingly digital future, it can capitalise on the speed and agility of the public cloud, while balancing the need for security and compliance through advanced security capabilities such as pervasive encryption of data at rest, in flight and in memory.”

The IBM deal is the latest in a string of similar MoUs that the CCS has signed in recent months with the likes of Google, Oracle, Microsoft and public-sector focused IT services provider UKCloud.

These have all been taken on in support of a joint push by the CCS, the Cabinet Office and the Government Digital Service (GDS) to promote the cross-functional adoption of cloud technologies in the public sector through its One Government Cloud Strategy (OGCS).

A big part of this initiative centres on encouraging public-sector organisations to source cloud services from a variety of providers with the aim of avoiding supplier lock-in.

The deal provides IBM with a means to build out its public-sector customer footprint further, given that the company has already secured £115.35m in IT spending through the CCS G-Cloud procurement framework.

This includes sizeable deals with the Home Office, the Department for Work and Pensions and Army HQ, and the company is also known to have local hosting presence within the UK government datacentre campus that it runs in conjunction with Ark Data Centres.

CCS CEO Simon Tse said MoUs like the one IBM now has in place are designed to help organisations “across the entire public sector” save time and money when procuring IT services.

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“This agreement with IBM provides great value for public-sector organisations as they continue to innovate and improve essential services for citizens throughout the UK,” he said.

Janine Cook, vice-president for public sector at IBM UK and Ireland, said the deal will position the company even better to support public-sector organisations in their digital transformation plans.

“As the public sector continues its rapid digital transformation, government organisations crossing many industries need a reliable, resilient and secure technology environment to meet the needs of citizens and address complex security and regulatory requirements,” she said.  

“An open hybrid cloud platform, built and managed with IBM’s deep industry expertise, can allow the public sector to accelerate its innovation and offer a more agile way to develop new digital services and take the next step along their cloud journeys.”

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