Posted on: 18/11/2020

If the spring of 2020 has taught us nothing else, it has taught us that we need to be prepared – for anything. In a matter of weeks, countries across the globe moved from everyday society to isolation and lock-down. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted every part of everyone’s lives: it was the catalyst for transformational change in Technology Departments across the UK and abroad.

The organisations that UBDS had worked with and transformed were prepared to face the disruption – they had already embraced cloud technology and agile working. Within hours, they organised COVID-19 response teams, reordered backlogs, and scaled remote access solutions – sometimes by as much as 400% – and this minimised the impact to frontline service.

One client of UBDS, a large Central Government department, had recently implemented its Hybrid Cloud Services. When COVID-19 hit the UK in late March 2020, the demand for the department’s support was unprecedented: it had to deal with over two million calls in a single day and process close to two million applications within a six-week period.

Because the department had a ready-to-consume cloud platform, its remote access solution could be quickly scaled to facilitate the thousands of remote workers that were supporting the new demand.

Another Central Government department was able to seamlessly move from office working to remote working during COVID-19 – as a direct result of UBDS’ prior implementation of a scalable Cisco AnyConnect solution.

However, organisations that were still reliant on physical infrastructure and service management processes were caught off-guard. Although leadership helped address the gaps in some areas, this pandemic, like any significant transformation, has once again proven that we need more than just leadership to survive or grow more robust in a crisis.

COVID-19, we hope, is the exception, but the need to transform, adapt, and change is the norm. Budget cuts, mergers, acquisitions, new market entry, new technologies, new competitors, and changing cyber threats, require organisations to become more responsive and agile while reducing costs and inefficient practices.

COVID-19 may have exposed some of the challenges that organisations face, but it is the tip of the iceberg. Over-reliance on legacy infrastructure and processes and an out-of-touch workforce can leave organisations exposed to cyber-attacks and loss of data. These inefficiencies and setbacks will reduce profit margins, which often results in firms struggling to attract and retain the best talent, and ultimately, running the risk of becoming obsolete.

UBDS has many examples where organisations that have transformed to agile delivery, using seemingly infinite scalable cloud services like Microsoft 365 (Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive), are organised for this modern world. They have the culture, the processes, the technology and tooling to respond to this new norm and the uncertain road that lies ahead.

UBDS helps organisations by providing:

·         Digital Transformation – many organisations are familiar with a waterfall, ITIL, ITSM modes of delivery for managing their IT services, with packaged releases every six months and the steady chain of incident management, problem management, change management, release management, and so on. UBDS uses proven processes and tools to help organisations transform so they can benefit from modern digital delivery. We help organisations transform how they receive incidents and new feature requests, backlog ticketing, automated and continuous testing, security checking and deployments. User requests can move from request to fully live in minutes.

·         Strategic Cloud Services – UBDS provides strategic help to make the best use of Cloud Hosting, Cloud-Enabled Networking, Machine Learning and Internet Enabled Devices. This ranges from moving applications, products and services to the cloud to using data augmentation for optimising your supply chain and both human and other critical resources.

·         Digital Security – Technology landscapes have changed across all aspects of digital technology services including applications and infrastructure, especially in the use of Cloud services for application delivery, network transformation and the implementation of datacentres. Operating models have also changed as we move to agile delivery and more collaborative ways of working. However, there remains a persistent threat landscape, ever increasing with more sophisticated methods and technologies. UBDS helps organisations implement an information and cybersecurity framework and single security operating model to provide clarity and efficiency for people outside, as well as inside, the security teams.

·         Cloud-Ready Networking – The traditional walled garden network, with a single secure gate in and out, no longer meets the needs of data-centric organisations that increasingly use Cloud Services. Staff need high-speed access, via the fastest routes possible, to Cloud services.  They expect and require an experience similar to using superfast broadband at home. This network paradigm shift requires careful planning to protect the organisation from both internal and external security threats. At UBDS we have a proven track record of designing, building and migrating to next-generation enterprise networks for some of the biggest organisations in Europe. We help our clients on a journey to rapidly transition to a cloud-ready hybrid network and ultimately the path to a ‘zero trust’ network. Our experts implement a variety of the latest cloud and virtual networking technologies including Software Defined Networking, Cloud Access Security Brokers, Network and Security Virtualisation.

·         Migrating to Cloud at Pace – UBDS has developed a robust cloud migration method and has proven this through migrating over 150 applications to cloud. These migrations have generated savings for organisations of over £30 million per annum. The model works at scale and has proven it can achieve a velocity of at least 2 applications migrated per week. This includes processes, governance, technical solution (landing zone), operating models and site reliability engineering practices. We work with our client partners to review the end-to-end delivery approach to enable the successful transition of services without impacting production services.

·         Implementing Agile Product Delivery – During the past few years, organisations have significantly transitioned from managing their IT estate in a local communications hub or datacentre, to using hyperscale cloud providers like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. These modern platforms are more secure, resilient, cost-efficient and have access to the very latest and best technologies and tooling. However, companies can reap many more benefits if they go beyond hosting applications in the cloud to building cloud-native applications. A cloud-native application has supporting processes and agile practices which can reduce ‘time to release’ for bug fixes and new features from years to minutes – critical in today’s highly competitive environment with constant global risks and threats. UBDS offers the processes and tools to help organisations become truly cloud-native.

With our digital transformation processes, we have proven, time and again, that technology enables organisations to be faster, more competitive, and better able to adapt to our fast-paced, modern world. Whether through self-healing, auto-scaling, self-maintaining cloud-hosted applications, artificial intelligence-led bots, low-cost highly secure networks, or fortifications against cyber threats and vulnerabilities – we can help your organisation transform for the future. �