Moving a Council to “Infrastructure Free” on a shoestring

One council created quite a storm at the recent Public Sector ICT event by announcing that they will soon be the country’s first, completely cloud based council. Rocco Labellarte, CIO at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, has spent the last 12 months transitioning the council to Public Cloud based infrastructure. This was done at a cost of only £250,000 - about one third of the cost of data centre refresh. Rocco said: “It really is possible to move to the cloud without having to outlay vast sums of money up-front. Our data storage costs have gone down to a tenth of what they were, from £1.2 million down to £120,000 per year, savings which more than cover the cost of the migration work, even in the first 6 months.

In addition to this, the council spent approximately £10,000 on 900 new mobile devices which look to save the council 60% on previous mobile bills, and allow browser based access to a number of key applications.

Cambridge based SME Arcus Global, kicked off the council’s journey to the cloud back in 2010, when they were asked to develop a five year ICT strategy. The strategy focused on future, scalable public cloud technology and was well ahead of its time, but it laid the groundwork for the council - 2011 / 12 were spent lining up the business case, understanding council data, systems and major risk areas. By 2012/13 most of the technologies underpinning the strategy became available in the UK, via the G-Cloud. RBWM have begun implementation in January 2013, and will complete its journey by March 2014.

Arcus Global have helped RBWM in their transition to cloud provider Amazon Web Services for its core infrastructure. Skills transfer and training of RBWM IT staff, was a key part of the decision to work with Arcus: Rocco explained that it is important to keep in-house expertise: “Not only does it save on costs in the longer term, but it allows us to be more flexible to future ICT demands. Plus, it means that we are in a better place to ensure we are getting the best service possible from our cloud providers.”

RBWM is not stopping here. They are pursuing exciting new projects in areas of application consolidation and enterprise platform development, where their collaboration with Arcus continues. Watch this space!

Company NewsMichael Lakeland