The challenge this customer faced involved converting existing resources and procedures into a new digital form. Their objectives were to enable easier operation by their employees and better accessibility for their citizens.
They needed a readily available Azure cloud landing zone that linked to their internal networks and conformed to their governance policies. They wanted to maintain reproducible consistency of any systems deployed to the cloud and required that they be controlled through Infrastructure as Code, multi-environment phases, and DevOps pipelines.
“Requests from departments to deploy new applications were backlogged due to an inability to provide infrastructure at speed and at a quality level that supported the operational requirements of the new system. We had to do this in a responsible way by paying attention to the National Cyber Security Centre’s 14 Cloud Principles, and by using industry experts who understood best practice.”Head of Enterprise IT Governance for the Bi-Borough Council
We recommended a Microsoft Azure-based reference architecture, which would be a secure, scalable, and well-designed space to efficiently host the applications that Council departments were constantly pushing to deploy.
There were three main aspects of this engagement:
- Development of an Azure Reference Architecture
- Establishment of a Cloud Governance Policy
- Cloud Landing Zone
The Landing Zone
Using Azure DevOps, as well as a pipeline automaton and a base infrastructure, all necessary components, configurations, and connections were established to build a suitable Landing Zone that was prepared to conform to and address ongoing needs of the Council.
In order to meet the customer’s request for systems with an expedient pace, while also adhering to their guidelines as a company, our recommended system on Microsoft Azure allowed the Council to continue to move in a forward trajectory for any future cloud usage. Azure also guaranteed that the service could be controlled, managed, and be policy compliant, without creating any conflicts with their on-premise systems as well as be seamlessly integrated.
Throughout this process of migrating to Microsoft Azure, we conducted interviews and workshops with individuals involved in the Council, including stakeholders from all business units. This working practice allowed the Council team to up-skill in new areas and be a part of the design decisions.
In order to further help the employees of the Council, we spent an extensive amount of time working with the Council team during their transitioning process to ensure that there was maximum learning and knowledge transfer amongst their employees, who could then use their systems to their full potential.
With the blueprint architecture in place, the Council team can now comfortably integrate new departmental applications and migrate key legacy applications into this new structure. The first of these applications, the Library application, has recently been migrated onto the Landing Zone. In this new system, the application has a robust management structure, role-based access control and policies, as well as the live network infrastructure to reduce time, effort, and the possibility of misconfiguration and uncontrolled systems within a framework of the best practices and security principles.
“It’s like building a secure, scalable, virtual garage then giving the customer the keys so they can park all of their applications and data in one central location and have confidence that it is safe and secure.”Cloudreach Consultant
We were able to offer the Council multidimensional support to aid the transition to the cloud, which impacted areas outside of IT such as finance, security, governance, and HR. We anticipated the needs of the customer, drawing from our years of experience with large scale, complex migrations, allowing the customer to make the best practice recommendations to support all business areas during the transition.
By providing the Council with an Azure Reference Architecture, that can confidently support official sensitive workloads, they are now in a position to drive forward with the delivery of online citizen services and propel themselves into a 24 x 7 service model. In time, as services are fully migrated to the cloud and on-premises services can be turned off, the Council will benefit from the cost advantages of a pay-per-use infrastructure together with the agility already provided by cloud. We continue to deliver ongoing managed services to the Council to ensure they can deliver 100% uptime and implement cost optimization activities.
London Borough Council
As one of the largest cities in the world, London's population of approximately 9 million residents is divided up into boroughs. One of these prominent London boroughs partners with a neighboring borough to deliver local, corporate, IT, and other services to their 268,553 bi-borough residents, in an effort to modernize and facilitate better access to their systems.