Department’s annual accounts claim move to cloud will help reduce costs
The Department for Work and Pensions claims it saved almost £50m on technology last year through initiatives including the adoption of cloud technologies and effective management of contracts.
The department recently published its annual report and accounts for the year to 31 March 2022.
In its performance report, the document provides an update on ‘commercial digital’ activities during the year.
It says that the DWP is pursuing a “hosting strategy of using a ‘cloud first’ approach [that] continues to embed”. The strategy involves “moving production workloads from on-premise hosting to public cloud”.
“By transforming services in this way, we are seeking to reduce the capital expenditure required to sustain and refresh on-premise hosting,” the report says. “Across all… teams, we continue to support increased demand and continuously evolve our operating model to support this in the most effective manner.”
The move to cloud – coupled with “sourcing and contract-management activities” – enabled the department’s digital commercial team to achieve “significant savings” of £45.7m in FY22.
Of this, £20.5m is “realisable cash savings that can be released for other spend”, while the remaining £25.2m represents “efficiencies” achieved by getting “more for the same money or [through] cost avoidance”.
Elsewhere, the annual report provides an update on activities dedicated to “building digital confidence and capability across the department”, the aim of which is “to support transformation and change, and also as a driver of more effective and efficient ways of working”.
During the year, the “programme of activity has been significant”, including a one-day digital skills training programme that has been delivered to 24,516 new hires. another 4,500 departmental officials have attended “shorter digital confidence and capability sessions” over the course of the year.
The DWP also delivered a number of digital platforms through which staff can boost their tech skills, including “a digital confidence and capability channel… offering a more flexible approach allowing users to learn at their own pace”, as well as “an intranet site… with a community of more than 12,000 colleagues encouraged to share learning and find out about the next innovations”. Staff have also been provided with an online “Digital Confidence and Capability Framework” service, which allows “colleagues and line managers to identify current levels of digital capability”.
The accounts show that overall spending that fell within the department’s ‘Digital Group’ stood at a little under £970m last year – down from £1.04bn in the 2020/21 year.