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Guernsey to revamp digital local service delivery following double datacentre build-out

The State of Guernsey’s ongoing push to revamp how it delivers digital services to its citizens continues apace with the completion of two new datacentres on the island

The States of Guernsey parliament has confirmed the completion of a double datacentre build on the island that will underpin the delivery of digital services to its citizens for at least the next decade.

Working with its long-standing IT provider, Agilisys Guernsey, the government commissioned the datacentres to replace its ageing IT infrastructure with two facilities that would form the foundation of its push to transform the delivery of public services to the island’s citizens.

At the same time, the States of Guernsey said the facilities also have an important role to play in the island’s post-Covid-19 recovery, while hailing the fact the completion of these server farms occurred on time and within budget against the backdrop of the pandemic.

Side-stepping the travel problems and supply chain disruption caused by Covid-19 was made possible through teamwork and collaboration, said the Agilisys team in a statement.

As such, a virtual team of datacentre specialists working for both the Guernsey and UK-based arms of Agilisys were drafted in, with additional local support business technology providers JT and Logicalis, who are also responsible for providing separate hosting capacity for these two datacentres.

This local support came into its own during the project, as Covid-related travel bans introduced challenges with regard to getting datacentre equipment from hardware provider Dell to the island, while making it tricky for the technicians tasked with installing it to make it to the sites as well.

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As time went on, Dell was able to prioritise the delivery of this equipment to Guernsey via air freight, after the initial plan to ship it in by road and sea had to be altered due to the onset of the pandemic. “Against this backdrop, it is nothing short of incredible that [Agilisys] have completed the new datacentres on time and to budget,” said Sean Cowan, head of digital for the States of Guernsey.

“During the build, Agilisys worked with local technology businesses JT and Logicalis, as well as drawing on their relationships with global IT providers such as Dell, to ensure the skills and equipment were available when we needed them. Overall, a great testament to what can be achieved through positive partnership working.”

News of the project’s completion comes a year on from the announcement that Agilisys had signed a 10-year digital transformation-focused deal with the States of Guernsey, having secured preferred partner status for the delivery of the island’s £200 million Future Digital Services Programme.

“The new datacentres represent the foundations of a modern IT service for the States and are essential for us to deliver our vision for improved public services,” continued Cowan.

Part of this vision includes the delivery of the SMART Guernsey initiative, which aims to combine cloud computing, data science, robotics and the latest in IT software development techniques to modernise the delivery of public services to the island’s 67,000 residents.

Shona Leavey, head of IT services at Agilisys Guernsey, said: “This is a significant achievement for the SMART Guernsey Partnership and is a watershed moment on the journey to delivering a modern IT service for the States.

“The new datacentres lay the foundations for ‘IT that just works’ for States employees and ensures the future reliability and security of public services for the whole community. It is technology that allows the States to completely reimagine our public services. We’re proud to be playing a part in making that change happen.”

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