UKCloud, the multi-cloud experts dedicated to making transformation happen across UK public sector, has announced its completion of preparations to ensure that its assured cloud services are ready and able to help public sector organizations deal with the unpredictable effects of coronavirus (COVID-19).
UKCloud’s platform supports hundreds of public services across government, healthcare and the wider public sector, many of which underpin critical services used by citizens, businesses and public sector workers (such as health professionals) nationwide. UKCloud has reviewed its business continuity plans (BCP) and has undertaken a dynamic risk assessment to ensure it is able to maintain service levels, the supply chain or ability to access datacentres or operations centers. To support international efforts to slow the spread of the virus, UKCloud has imposed restrictions on its staff traveling to international events and conferences whilst continuing to support national events such as last week’s Digital Health Rewired conference and next week’s Partnering for Growth event where the risks are much reduced.
UKCloud has also conducted readiness checks by randomly requiring individual employees and some entire teams to work from home to ensure their ability to work effectively should self-isolation or imposed quarantine becomes necessary. UKCloud’s BCP team is meeting daily to ensure that readiness plans respond to changes in government guidance.
“In alignment with the Government’s action plan, UKCloud has worked with our customers, partners and suppliers to update our risk assessment and test our business continuity plans, thus demonstrating our readiness should the COVID-19 outbreak continue to unfold. Our customers and partners can depend on UKCloud to deliver the service, capacity, and assurances that will help them through this uncertain and unpredictable time.” – John Godwin, Director of Information Assurance and Compliance, UKCloud.
The UK Government’s coronavirus action plan states, “In the event of the outbreak worsening, or a severe prolonged pandemic, the response will escalate, and the focus will move from Contain to Delay, through to Mitigate. During this phase, the pressures on services and wider society may start to become significant and clearly noticeable.”
To help public sector organizations deal with these anticipated pressures, UKCloud:
- Is working with public sector organizations and their industry partners to support their dynamic risk assessments that are being conducted by providing education, reassurance and readiness statements.
- Has reallocated capacity to on-demand cloud services which can be used by public sector organizations to host citizen-facing and patient-centric services which reduce the need for in-person interactions (in support of the Contain and Delay phases of the action plan).
- Is helping customers and partners with the use of assured collaboration tools to enable public sector workers such as health professionals and civil servants to work effectively and safely even when not operating within a secure government facility (in support of the Contain and Delay phases).
- Provides skilled and vetted specialists for either short-term staff augmentation (contingent resource) or outcome-based project engagements (in support of the Research and Mitigate phases).
- Is responding to increasing demand from public sector organizations for a range of scenarios including disaster recovery (to mitigate the vulnerability/limitations of on-premises systems), ‘burst’ capacity (to mitigate effects on the hardware supply chain and to support data analytics as part of the Research phase), and multi-agency collaboration (to support the Research and Mitigate phases by breaking down silos within and between public sector organizations through the use of centralized, assured and securely connected cloud services).
“As the implications of the coronavirus become clearer, we undertook a rapid risk assessment that determined the potential need for additional capacity based on the increased demand for our existing and new services. In contrast with traditional on-premises IT environments, cloud services provided by UKCloud are inherently elastic and better suited to dynamic and unpredictable demands such as those caused by this coronavirus outbreak.” – Erik Bjontegard – President and Founder of Spark Compass UK.