productivity cost-saving and innovation through secure, collaborative shared service working

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1 Case study productivity cost-saving and innovation through secure, collaborative shared service working In early 2012, the Department of Health (DH) took the bold decision to develop a true shared service environment to deliver high quality, agile and effective digital ICT services for use by the 9,500 personnel within the Department and its key agencies. By mid-2014, the live service had been up and running for over a year- and the results have been remarkable. All public sector bodies face similar challenges: how to become more costeffective and productive, how to enable better levels of IT service and collaboration, deliver a flexible, agile and modern desktop service, including enhanced, secure home and mobile working, and how to make these improvements happen within budgets that are under constant downward pressure. When the Department of Health s existing IT outsourcing contract came up for renewal in 2011, business and IT leadership decided to move in a new direction in order to make a performance breakthrough. The result was Open Service, a genuine shared service approach to IT provision that uses leading edge, virtualized technology to help DH and its agencies transform key aspects of operations, working practices and cost efficiency. Your business technologists. Powering progress

2 The Open Service concept Led by Bob Armstrong, Head of IT Futures and Shared Services, Open Service was developed according to a number of fundamental design principles, including: Cloud-based approach DH took the decision that they no longer wanted to own the IT resources (hardware and software) they use but instead wished to purchase virtualized components on a consumption-based, pay as you go approach. This meant that all IT elements would be seen as reusable components that could be configured rapidly for near-immediate provisioning, and be released back into the general pool for reuse when needed. This would lead to a complete transformation of cost-base, capital usage and cost accountability. Standardized but modular As a true shared service, the design set out core standards that would form the bedrock of a high quality, consistent service for use by all relevant agencies across multiple locations. Recognizing that one size does not fit all within this environment, however, the service was designed from the start to be highly modular. Different lines of business (IP telephony, WAN, and some business processes) could be taken or omitted, as appropriate, by different bodies. This meant that agencies already committed to existing business systems did not have to decommission these to adopt Open Service. Instead, they can mix and match components, and the contracts were flexible enough to permit this without financial penalties, as well. Civil Servant led From the very outset the DH team was determined to build a highly capable and expert systems integration and management team within the Department to lead, govern and control the service. In this way the Department has been able to build up an exceptionally high level of capability, Intellectual Property and expertise, which is now being shared more widely across the public sector. Most important, this has led to a simple and clear form of governance of a kind that traditional outsourcing sometimes struggles to deliver. 2 Productivity cost-saving and innovation through secure, collaborative shared service working

3 Strong external partnership DH selected Atos to be its partner after a highly competitive tender process. Having a powerful and extremely capable external partner has proved to be important for the success of the project, enabling the Department and its agencies to call on specialist expertise, skills and support resources when needed, while also accessing technology innovation to future-proof the service. Working with a large and capable partner provides a stable environment into which specialist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can be introduced securely and effectively. This adds value to the service and also fits in with the government s SME vision. Transition and transformation At the time of Open Service design, much of the technology being used at DH and its agencies was approximately 15 years old, having been delivered via a 10 year outsource contract, which was itself built on older foundations. Personnel had become used to their systems and were able to work around the shortcomings of the platforms without being fully aware of how far from current best practice they were. DH management took a brave decision to not only transition, but transform at the same time. The move to an advanced virtual platform was an ambitious one, but an important enabler for more productive and agile working whilst dealing with the significant organizational changes. Productivity cost-saving and innovation through secure, collaborative shared service working 3

4 Building the service The service is built on technology components that are now widely accepted as the de facto industry standard for cloud-based services: VCE vblock to provide integrated virtual computer and networking services on a highly modular basis; Storage as a Service based on EMC Avamar systems; secure and agile virtualized provisioning for on-demand use from VMware. Together these provide a fluid, consumption-based environment for on-demand working. The service is hosted from secure Atos datacentres located in the UK. These are highly resilient, include automatic fail-over and business continuity, while reaching the highest standards of efficiency in terms of power and emissions. The result is an environment that combines the best qualities of cloud (service selection from catalogue, move from CapEx to OpEx, pay only for what you use), with the security required for a vital public service. This is a secure multi-tenanted private cloud, combining flexibility for users with effective role-based access, identity management and data integrity. The service delivers everything users need to work productively and efficiently, including virtual desktop services, , telephony, business processes and core business applications. It delivers these services with greater speed, quality and efficiency than before, and all at much lower cost. In addition, the virtualized environment lends itself to efficient home-working, mobile access and transformational improvements in collaborative working, thanks to standardization of core systems, such as instant messaging, presence and calendar sharing. This is making a positive difference on a practical level to such emerging priorities as making more efficient use of the DH office estate, moving towards Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and enabling personnel to move easily from one location to another with no compromise to their service access. In all these ways the original Open Service vision has proved to be an extremely successful model for how public sector bodies can organize and redevelop their approach to IT in the future. Now that the service is fully in place and has reached maturity, it is possible to evaluate how the vision has played out in practice, and what lessons can be learned for use in future government and private sector programs. 4 Productivity cost-saving and innovation through secure, collaborative shared service working

5 Open Service in performance As with all major government department projects, Open Service was recently reviewed by the UK Government s Cabinet Office Major Projects Authority (MPA). The results were remarkable, leading to an overall Green status and one of the most positive reports issued by the MPA in recent years. The review revealed: Open Service has beaten all of its main performance targets. The initial goal was to cover 9,000 members of staff on 50 different locations. Today, the service supports 12,000 members of staff on 75 different locations: a 30% plus overperformance on these key indicators. Open Service is saving the UK taxpayer significant amounts of money. Average cost to serve per employee is estimated to be as much as 30% less than under the previous contract. In addition, the use of common standards for key technology components has made it possible to drive a more efficient procurement regime. Indications are that savings of around 50% are now being made by using the full buying power of the DH rather than procuring via different agencies. Open Service has extended beyond the core DH estate and is now being used by a wide range of agencies, such as the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on a shared service basis. This has enabled more open joint working than before and has also driven higher levels of home and mobile working. CQC, for example, has no less than 1,500 employees who are classified as home workers. They are all now able to access their full office services via their corporate devices. Today, enabling personnel from one agency to work productively at a separate location is no longer a logistical, technical and security challenge. Open Service has repeatedly proven its ability to provide personalized secure services to employees at short notice in many different locations, and that is transforming the ways in which employees work. Open Service is seen as being true leadingedge technology for government bodies. The MPA has clearly stated that Open Service represents best practice within the public sector and is a model that other bodies and departments could well emulate in the future. Bob Armstrong, who drove the development of Open Service, is clear about the ways in which the new approach is changing the operational realities. We are able to operate much more as an integrated team: people from different agencies can use the same instant messaging platform, can make appointments by checking each other s diaries and can even log on either wirelessly or through a wired network in any of the our buildings. That was simply unthinkable in the past. We are now also able to review use of our building estate to improve density of occupation and potentially make further savings by releasing locations that are no longer needed. The MPA review and the clearly identified benefits arising from this demonstrate that Open Service has exceeded its targets and is considered to be an outstanding success. Yet this is not the full story. The process of building, rolling-out and fully implementing the service has generated many key lessons, which are now available for reuse in similar projects for the future. We are able to operate much more as an integrated team: people from different agencies can use the same instant messaging platform, can make appointments by checking each other s diaries and can even log on either wirelessly or through a wired network in any of the our buildings. That was simply unthinkable in the past. Productivity cost-saving and innovation through secure, collaborative shared service working 5

6 Lessons learned The DH senior IT team took the decision to break with the past where Open Service was concerned, and this led to a very intense and fastmoving implementation period, which brought challenges but has ultimately delivered benefits faster than might otherwise have been the case. Lessons include: Transition and transformation at the same time is challenging but vital. By moving directly to the cloud, the DH opted to transform key services, processes and applications so that they would run efficiently on a standards-based, virtualized environment. This was not easy, as the implementation team found numerous examples of highly customized legacy applications and systems which required careful preparation before they would run reliably in the cloud. There were many challenges that required considerable amounts of expert time to fix. Yet by going through a certain amount of pain upfront, the DH has acquired an environment that has been simplified, rationalized and optimized for a standard, cloud infrastructure. That is a major long-term benefit, which has been worth the short-term pain. Change management is more important than you think. The process of moving to the new environment proved disruptive for many users. Although the existing systems were not optimal and no-one would willingly go back to them, they were at least familiar. Many users needed support and guidance over a sustained period, demonstrating that significant time and resource must be dedicated to enabling change processes. Relationships are more important than contracts. Everyone in the joint delivery team, whether they came from the DH or from Atos, quickly became used to working as a single, collaborative group, focused on delivering for the users at all times. The Department of Health s leadership team remains glad to have selected a large and capable partner because the technology challenges required high levels of innovation and expertise. Yet problems inevitably arose and the key to making fast progress lay in the levels of trust and mutual confidence within the team. As Bob Armstrong puts it: It s important to avoid the temptation to reach for the contract when something goes wrong. The priority is to fix the problem first and check the contract second. Working together as partners, the DH and Atos have avoided blame-games and worked productively to deliver a successful service. Everything changes. The service has been designed to evolve and that means expectations rise, requirements change and service delivery has to respond. Key service levels have been reviewed comprehensively, for example, to ensure that user needs were being catered for and that the informed guesswork used to set service levels on day one was replaced by solid and achievable standards based on real world experience. To give just one example, password reset, which was guaranteed for 4 hours initially, has now been redefined at 30 minutes, as this is both what users need and what the system can deliver. Machinery of government is a key factor. Open Service was delivered at a time of major upheaval in the health sector in England, including a once in a generation reorganization of the NHS. The agile and flexible specification of the service has enabled users to be onboarded and start working smoothly, despite these changes. All public sector bodies are subject to unpredictable change, but Open Service has ensured that key business services for DH and its agencies will remain state of the art and unaffected, no matter what happens in the wider public sector context. The Open Service story is far from over It continues to evolve and develop in order to deliver higher quality levels and greater responsiveness to users. Lessons are now being absorbed and widely shared across government bodies, where the desire to emulate the benefits delivered by Open Service is very clear. The final word on this belongs to the man who initiated the project in the first place: Bob Armstrong. In the end, this is all about relationships. We have delivered thanks to a great team internally and an excellent relationship with our external partner: Atos. The question will always be how well can you work together? How well can you work as a single, integrated team following common goals? Trust and honesty are the keys, and technology comes after that. Nurture the relationship and everything else will follow. 6 Productivity cost-saving and innovation through secure, collaborative shared service working

7 Benefits in numbers Core services delivered: from obsolete legacy to Windows 7, Office 2010 and Lync Support for both thick and thin clients, with use of ipad and Windows 8.1 tablets Users from 6 different organizations, reaching 12,000 users on 75 locations Cross-organizational secure working via Calendar, presence, IM and Video Conferencing across organizational boundaries Improved Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery through two interlinked datacentres with automated failover Reduced duplication, with the DH leading commercial, financial and service relationships on behalf of users. This alone leads to estimated benefits of 500,000 per annum Procurement benefits leading to 1 million savings per annum through use of standardized hardware and software Cost savings estimated at 275 per user per year, leading to around 3.3 million saving each year, and rising. Simplification of the systems, also leads to cuts in license fees, generating further savings Pay as you go approach has led to efficiency savings across all organizations, with better cost control and transparency In addition, every month Open Service delivers: 2,000 video conferences Support to 6,000 home users 1 petabyte of storage consumed 20,000 help desk interactions 5 million s sent and received 4 million pages printed 200 million internet pages served. In the end, this is all about relationships. We have delivered thanks to a great team internally and an excellent relationship with our external partner: Atos. Productivity cost-saving and innovation through secure, collaborative shared service working 7

8 About Atos Atos SE (Societas Europaea) is a leader in digital services with 2013 pro forma annual revenue of 10 billion and 86,000 employees in 66 countries. Serving a global client base, the Group provides Consulting & Systems Integration services, Managed Services & BPO, Cloud operations, Big Data & Security solutions, as well as transactional services through Worldline, the European leader in the payments and transactional services industry. With its deep technology expertise and industry knowledge, the Group works with clients across different business sectors: Defense, Financial Services, Health, Manufacturing, Media & Utilities, Public Sector, Retail, Telecommunications and Transportation. Atos is focused on business technology that powers progress and helps organizations to create their firm of the future. The Group is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic & Paralympic Games and is listed on the Euronext Paris market. Atos operates under the brands Atos, Atos Consulting, Atos Worldgrid, Bull, Canopy, and Worldline. For more information, visit: atos.net For more information, contact: atos.net Atos, the Atos logo, Atos Consulting, Atos Sphere, Atos Cloud and Atos Worldgrid, Worldline, bluekiwi are registered trademarks of Atos Group. March Atos.

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