HMRC picks IBM for £11m project to exit Fujitsu datacentres by June 2022 deadline

Vendor will provide project and delivery managers across 15-month engagement with tax department

Credit: WilliamsCreativity/Pixabay

HM Revenue and Customs has signed an £11m contract with IBM to support the department’s urgent vacation of three Fujitsu-owned datacentres.

The project forms part of the ongoing Securing our Technical Future (SoTF) programme, a £300m-plus initiative through which HMRC intends to extricate itself from long-standing outsourcing agreements and adopt cloud services

The central strand of the programme’s remit is to enable the department to move 557 services out of the Fujitsu-run infrastructure and into either Amazon or Microsoft public cloud services, or facilities operated by Crown Hosting Data Centres – a joint-venture between the Cabinet Office and hosting firm Ark that solely serves public-sector customers.

The deadline to migrate these services is “the end of the current contract [with Fujitsu] – for which there is no opportunity to extend beyond June 2022”, according to a contract notice published by HMRC in July.

At the time of that notice – which sought “a supplier to provide a delivery-management service” – a total of 48% of the services in scope of the migration programme had “already been migrated to cloud or decommissioned/converged into other platforms”. 

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For those that remained in the Fujitsu facilities, “the majority of discovery has been completed and most projects are either in design or delivery phases”.

To ensure that the remaining 290 services were successfully and safely moved by the impending deadline, IBM has been contracted to provide “an ‘architecture-as-a-service’ capability to support architectural decision making, impact assessment and architectural guidance to the SoTF programme and each workstream within it”.

“[HMRC] needs a robust architecture and delivery management service,” the notice added. “This service will be responsible for the management of integrated plans, risk, issues and dependencies across migration delivery partners, stakeholder groups and HMRC teams. [The department] requires the ability to engage with the right architectural expertise to facilitate an architectural decision-making process to deliver secure and integrated architecture across the entire programme.”

IBM will provide technical and project-management professionals to support existing teams of civil servants and staff other suppliers.

The vendor, which was one of 21 firms to bid for the contract, entered into a 15-month contract with HMRC on 15 November. A total of £11m will be spent across the lifespan of the contract – a figure which may increase if the department takes up the option of a three-month extension. 

The Securing Our Technical Future scheme has been through various iterations and evolutions, beginning with HMRC’s programme to gradually exit its £10bn Aspire contract, an IT outsourcing deal with Capgemini and Fujitsu that began back in 2004.

In answer to a question posed by a supplier during the bidding process, HMRC said that, if the deadline for migration is not met, it does ” have a contingency plan beyond June 22″. This is reflected in signing IBM to a contract that does not conclude until February 2023, it added.


Sam Trendall

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