Met Police chooses Azure as basis for ‘cloud-first’ transformation
London force to move applications and infrastructure to Microsoft public cloud environment
The Metropolitan Police Service has picked Microsoft Azure as its platform of choice as it prepares to roll out a “cloud-first” transformation strategy.
The London force has signed a two-year deal with US-headquartered cloud firm New Signature, which claims it will “onboard and optimise the Met’s new Azure cloud environment”. This will involve the migration of existing applications and datacentre infrastructure, as well as new “cloud-native apps” that the force will adopt in the future.
Construction of the new cloud environment and migration work will take place over the coming months, with the first wave of applications due to go live on Azure in early 2019.
Angus McCallum, chief information officer at the Metropolitan Police, said: “We are very pleased to have selected New Signature to help us as we start to develop and implement our cloud-first strategy transition.”
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The Met last year published its One Met Digital Policing Strategy which laid out its technological ambitions over a three-year period.
Among the core principles of the strategy was: “we will adopt a ‘cloud-first’ principle and use public cloud offerings whenever possible”.
The strategy added that the force would “only maintain our own Met datacentres for specialised services”.
The document identified Microsoft’s Office 365 as the force’s preferred “core office productivity platform”.
“Our cloud approach will allow us to only pay for the capacity and facilities that we use,” the strategy added. “We will also be able to rapidly move solutions if required – for example, where there is a commercial advantage – and flex our capacity up and down in response to key operational events. Our cloud approach will also allow us to more easily deliver applications via the internet, opening up a range of possibilities for remote and mobile working.”
The Met also indicated that it would take a flexible approach to the cloud world that allowed it to gain greater efficiencies in the future.
“As the cloud service market matures, we expect to exploit the further commoditisation of services available to continue to drive down costs,” the strategy said. “As a result, we will design in flexibility for our future ambitions. We will ensure that contracts are not longer than they need to be and that we have a clear exit route and data migration plan in place for all services.”
Earlier this year, the Met issued a quartet of contract notices seeking to appoint IT managed services specialists to support its in-house technology professionals in enabling the force's digital-transformation plans.
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