Crown Hosting Data Centres: COVID-19 Statement

Making a difference – a guest blog by Saurav Sarkar, Crown Commercial Service

I’ve always believed that no matter which job you do (and for whom), the biggest and toughest question that you can ask yourself is ‘Did I make a difference?’

As I write this today, post pandemic, the Public Sector has never faced tougher challenges. The economy has begun (what promises to be) a very long, hard road to recovery and our country’s whole infrastructure is still reverberating from the shockwaves of a global crisis.

Add the ticking timebomb of climate change into the mix, then how do you even begin to make a difference to issues of that scale? Well, in short, I believe it starts with every day incremental changes bringing about continuous improvements and marginal gains that stand the biggest chance of making a broader impact.

Crown Hosting was born around six years ago and when I reminisce about the time when the decision to integrate Crown Hosting into Crown Commercial Service was made, the potential value it represented to the Public Sector was barely known, least of all as a service that could offer real tangible value. At that stage, it simply represented another item on a framework, and carried the perception of an elephant graveyard where organisations could park their legacy kit, rather than a stepping-stone to the cloud or an opportunity to re-platform important services.

Fast-forward to today and that perception is almost unrecognisable. Over a 6-year period, there has been radical changes within the Public Sector, and I’ve seen a real desire to deploy forward-thinking and dynamic solutions which are genuine organisation enablers. In my view, the appetite was always there but the vehicle was conspicuously absent. The introduction and awareness of Crown Hosting represented a real game-changer and a first of its kind. A unique blend of Government assurance, integrity, scale, and capabilities of the Public Sector combined with the speed of execution, agility and flexibility of the Private Sector.

The promise of untapped potential

The biggest impact which I’ve seen within the organisations that leverage Crown Hosting is undoubtedly ‘choice’. Despite the varying roles of each Public Sector organisation, they all share some clear common ground which include a pressing need to dramatically reduce their legacy debt, cost, and carbon footprint, which in turn, requires a meaningful and accessible solution for the sector as a whole.

The great thing about a framework of course, is that it creates the ultimate level playing field to serve these needs, no matter the size or function of the organisation. DWP for example, is unquestionably an impressive success story which illustrates the benefits of leveraging the Crown Hosting platform for a large entity but what many people don’t realise, is the same flexible pricing, security and sustainability benefits are also accessible to the entire of the UK Public Sector. Therefore, in my view, the service itself, and the opportunity Crown Hosting represents for the UK economy is currently under-utilised by the breadth of organisations it could potentially serve– and that has to change.

To empower that change, it’s our responsibility to increase the awareness and to ensure the message of accessibility is conveyed more clearly. No matter where you are on your transformation journey or your size, you can take advantage of highly secure data centre facilities, inter-data centre connectivity, remote hands services and dashboard reporting from day one. Whether you’re looking to move your legacy technology to a more efficient model, migrate from an existing supplier, re-platform services onto new technologies or require a steppingstone to the cloud, the flexibility of the framework enables you to significantly reduce operating costs, while increasing operational efficiency, resilience, and security.

Bringing Social Value to life

Policy changes promoting, facilitating, and incentivising could serve as one such motivator to migrate more Public Sector organisations regardless of size. Take the introduction of the Procurement Policy Note 06/21 (PPN06/21), which outlines the requirements for Carbon Reduction Plans in the procurement of major contracts. This policy alone represents a genuine opportunity for all organisations to leverage the Crown Hosting platform to produce quantifiable outcomes and achieve their Social Value goals.

We know for example that we can improve the average efficiency of server rooms almost four-fold and reduce the electricity consumption by three quarters down to 25%. We can therefore demonstrate a 75% electricity saving, simply by relocating. If you can then guarantee the consumed electricity is green, then Public Sector organisations have tangible, reportable outcomes that give them much better control of their sustainability targets from day one along with cost savings and process efficiency.

Putting the Public Sector back in control

My personal journey over the years is testament to the fact that the Joint Venture has never been viewed as a transactional relationship but a collaborative, partnership, one which drives real tangible value for the people and the organisations that we serve. Together, we all share the same roadmap to success which supports the UK Government aspiration for ‘Cloud Appropriate Digital Transformation’.

The question is are we making a difference? Well, the numbers are certainly on our side. We have the data driven evidence to demonstrate that we save £3 for every £1 spent, combined with the capability to produce 99.9% carbon emissions reduction by relocating the ICT to Crown Hosting. We’ve ensured that the framework is accessible to everyone with transparent ‘pay-for-what-you-use’ pricing, flexible terms, with no barrier to entry and crucially with no surprises. These are all outcomes to be proud of but if you were to ask me if we’ve done enough, then in all earnest, I’d say that we’re just getting warmed up.

If the pandemic served as a sobering reminder that anything can and will happen, then it’s our role to empower every Public Sector organisation in their digital transformation journey come what may. The UK may be facing a tough recovery period, but we know that we have a model which helps put our Public Sector customers in better control of their destiny and we’re doing that every day – that’s where we can make the difference today.

 

 

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