DWP project to ‘address concerns’ over ageing tech in data warehouse

Written by Sam Trendall on 6 August 2021 in News

Department working to update hardware and software

Credit: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire/PA Images

The Department for Work and Pensions is working to update ageing technology in its data warehouse – a platform considered to be a piece of critical national infrastructure.

The system contains more than 230 terabytes – or 230,000 GB – of data relating to the department’s services and operations. This information is used by more than 800 staff across 80 teams throughout the DWP.

A recent audit identified “concerns with regards to the age of both hardware and software within the live data warehouse platform”.

Work to upgrade the ageing tech is already underway.

“The new hardware for the programme has already been purchased, delivered and deployed,” the department said. “A significant proportion of the remaining effort relates to the design, build and deployment of remediated applications to the new OPH (on-premises hosting) platform.”

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To support the construction and implementation of this software, the DWP has awarded a six-month contract to specialist firm BeDigital. The £734,500 deal took effect on 3 August.

The Cardiff-based firm will first be tasked with assisting with remaining design work for new software applications, and then providing “support for the delivery against these designs by the DevOps resources”.

This will then be followed by “completion of the application builds – up to gold builds – that the DevOps will then deploy themselves into the OPH environment configured for the remediated service”.

All this work will require BeDigital to provide “delivery management of the above by a delivery lead with all the required capabilities to lead infrastructure delivery”.

“[This] will involve planning, resolution of risks/issues and enabling the work of others within the team (i.e. securing approved user accounts for those who need access to servers, environments etc,” the contract said.

The document added that the DWP has made a conscious decision to work with a single provider to deliver the software upgrade.

“From our market knowledge and investigations, it is recommended to work with BeDigital for this work and not to separate it out to multiple providers,” the contract said. “This de-risks the programme, and provides greater opportunity to deliver on time, without incurring further cost." 

It added: “The data warehouse is deemed to be critical national infrastructure, so delivery of this remediation programme was set as a priority by [senior management].”

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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