Requirements

Shaping Cloud’s mission is simple “Always be on the customer’s side”. We use the power of cloud IT to transform a public sector that has traditionally been under served in technology and innovation. When Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) approached us to see if we could help them to bring control of their IT infrastructure back in house and at the same time migrate 80% of their data centre estate to Azure, it was a call to action that we felt compelled to answer.

Working with Shaping Cloud and supported by Microsoft, WBC were able to realise £0.5m savings per year, representing around 25% of their annual IT budget for this scope. They have also improved the resilience of their service.

They achieved this, in part by using the SC:Strategy and SC:Transform services to harness the power of the Microsoft Cloud.

The Public Sector landscape has traditionally been dominated by large System Integrators delivering outsourced services. Local government in the UK is going through unprecedented austerity and uncertainty over its future. Aligned to this is the critical need for them to develop a truly digital government; both for citizen services and their own internal staff.

SC:Strategy and SC:Transform are services that specifically addresses the needs of Public Sector organisations looking at digital transformation. They have been designed to guide customers through what can be a long and complex process when moving to Microsoft Cloud . We work as a trusted partner to help customers exploit the benefits of cloud, taking a customer from thinking about how cloud can help their organisation, through to a fully working cloud and hybrid environment.

The Challenges of a Pioneer

WBC was one of the first councils to make such a large move to Azure, engaging Shaping Cloud in mid-2014. As Gold Cloud Platform partners, we have a wealth of technical experience in the platform, however this project would prove to throw up specific challenges where often we were into new and unchartered territory.

Many of the key technical building blocks on which the project relied – such as Express Route and Azure Site Recovery, were still relatively new to the Azure platform. We worked in close partnership with Microsoft in creating a hybrid cloud that would serve as the core platform for delivering their ambitious plans.

The Journey Begins

The first step in SC:Transform is “Initiate”, a small consultancy project that provides justification for the adoption of cloud. With this in place the project moved into “Discover” and “Plan”. This is a consultancy and architecture process that maps the full current infrastructure along with the future state cloud architecture.

With the planning completed Shaping Cloud could begin the “Migrate” phase; building the hybrid infrastructure and migrating business applications to cloud. Throughout the project we encountered a wide variety of challenges both internally and externally but continued to focus on working in partnership with WBC in order to achieve the project vision

The council are now running and supporting their own IT services with Shaping Cloud offering 3rd line technical support on Azure.

Matthew Pope, Wokingham Borough Council

When we made the decision to move our digital services to Azure it was then a case of finding the right Microsoft partner. Shaping Cloud came highly recommended and their consultancy and delivery offerings have enabled us to lay the foundations for our ongoing service redesign. We have been able to realise significant cost savings and now have a strong and reliable platform that will support our transformation vision for the delivery of 21st century local authority digital services.

Reduced cost

£0.5m savings per annum, c25% of IT budget

Flexibility and scalability

Can move up and down at short notice

Modern IT

Enables digital transformation and better customer services