The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has completed a major overhaul of their online services. Significant changes to their site infrastructure, together with a collaboration option for their partners, have enhanced their online presence and will have a long term financial impact on the Department – with savings of up to £5million for them and their partners over the next four years.
The first phase of the project was completed by web specialist Eduserv in March 2010, when BIS transferred their website onto a new content management system (CMS), Sitecore. BIS was formed as a result of two previous Departments merging, therefore there was a significant amount of legwork to be done. This included reviewing and migrating over 5,000 pages in three months, merging three websites and preserving existing URLs. By rationalising the number of websites and moving to the new CMS, BIS will cut costs by £2.5 million compared to the previous contracts over the next four years.
Neil Williams, Head of Digital Communications for BIS said “We are delighted with the new website. It’s been built to contain an enviable amount of flexibility, usability and control”.
In parallel with creating the new website, BIS also moved their website on to a new hosting service, using Eduserv’s Government Ready Platform (GRP). The GRP is a shared virtualised hosting platform that has been built specifically for government organisations.
Stephen Butcher, CEO of Eduserv, highlights where the idea for the GRP came from “We had a number of contacts in government departments who were making references to shared hosting – they wanted to receive the benefits associated with sharing space, including reducing costs and carbon emissions, but were worried about security. By tailoring the solution so that only government departments shared server space, we were able to allay any security concerns and offer this unique service.”
BIS and Eduserv are now working on the second phase of the project, migrating BIS partners on to the BIS website platform and the GRP. When all the partners are migrated to the new platform, BIS expect their partners will be saving £700,000 each year on hosting alone (£2.8 million over four years).
David Gwyther, Secretary of the British Hallmarking Council, a BIS partner who recently migrated their site, said “the new website has been really quick to put together and has given us a far more professional online presence. We’re really looking forward to making the most of the dynamic features in the future.”
Each of their partners will also be able to benefit from savings in carbon emissions, as the GRP fulfils the recommendations of the government’s Greening Government ICT agenda. In the previous year, The Department for Education moved to the GRP and was able to reduce the physical servers it used by 76%, drastically reducing its carbon footprint and lowering costs by 24%.
Kevin Herrman, Senior ICT Project Manager for BIS is proud of the progress made so far, commenting “It is the most successful and collaborative project I have had the pleasure to work on in my five years as a Civil Servant and demonstrates that well managed ICT projects can be procured and delivered to a high standard”.
Notes for Editors
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy.
Eduserv is dedicated to developing and delivering technology services for education and the public sector. They are a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity, governed by a board of Trustees.
They specialise in web development and hosting for the public sector, education sector and not-for profit organisaitons.
About The British Hallmarking Council
There has been a statutory duty to mark precious metal since 1478. The UK is one of only a handful of countries in the world who have such a rigorous hallmarking system to protect the consumer and the trade.
The British Hallmarking Council have the duty to uphold and protect a system which has been established for several hundred years and which is envied by many other countries around the world
British Hallmarking Council:
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Robert Driver, Marketing Executive
Tel: 01225 470485