Editorial

Why an intelligent approach to legacy estate reduction can result in better public value

Simon Cole, CEO of Automated Intelligence, explains the benefits of Intelligent Migration for the public sector

Posted 13 July 2021 by Christine Horton


The benefits of reducing or decommissioning legacy platforms as part of a digital transformation programme are clear. The technology has often reached end of life, is no longer supported, is introducing risk, isn’t efficient, or in many cases, the upkeep is simply no longer cost-effective.

Moving to new, modern, agile, cheaper cloud platforms is the obvious solution to many of these problems.

But what if the public sector could approach cloud migration in a more intelligent way? One that would deliver additional benefits to the organisation, as well as result in better public value for money?

This enhanced approach is about taking control of the data at the start of a digital transformation process before any migration takes place.

This means knowing what data you have, removing content which has zero-value, understanding the risk within the information, identifying what the new platform needs to look like, and finally, organising your data and user requirements. Otherwise known as an Intelligent Migration.

More and more, public sector organisations are realising that reducing the legacy estate in an intelligent way results in a more efficient, secure, governed, structured and easy-to-manage data set once in the cloud.

Plus, with this method, they will get maximum value out of the public money spent on the Digital Transformation project.

How does the common ‘lift and shift’ migration from legacy platforms save the public sector money?

  • Removing cost of expensive legacy infrastructure: Terabytes of data is stored on legacy platforms which are costing tens of millions of pounds to run annually, including the cost of storage, network switches and power/cooling costs. On the whole, cloud storage is considerably cheaper than on-premise systems.
  • Removing cost of support and maintenance: Maintaining these legacy platforms can be costly, especially due to the patches and expertise required to handle the outdated technologies. Many public sector organisations are paying exorbitant extended maintenance fees for out-of-support platforms.

‘Lift and shift’ only moves the problem to new technology; how can public sector organisations maximise the benefit of digital transformation through intelligent cloud migration?

  • Increasing Data Protection and Security: Analysis has revealed that the Public Sector has been responsible for the biggest volume of fines handed out by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) for data breaches and information mismanagement. Through understanding data and ensuring information governance, such as access control, is baked into the migration process, organisations can significantly reduce the risk of data breaches, and with that, minimise the weighty associated fines. The process of defensible disposition as part of the Intelligent Migration from legacy platforms also ensures information that should have been kept is not under-retained or deleted, another issue which can result in considerable financial penalties.
  • Minimising Information risk: Personal information belonging to employees, customers and citizens that should have been deleted a long time ago is often buried deep in unstructured sources. GDPR requires organisations to only keep information for which they have a purpose to retain. Without understanding where this information resides, organisations run the risk of over-retaining information, resulting in potential, and substantial, GDPR fines.
  • Removing the cost of storing non-critical data: On average, 60-70% of government data brings no value to the organisation and is considered DROT (Duplicate, Redundant, Obsolete and Trivial). If migrated, public sector organisations continue to pay for this unnecessary data in the cloud. By removing this data before migration, organisations will pay for significantly less storage in the new world.
  • Eliminating the cost of inefficient processes: Through understanding, cleansing and categorising data first, operational inefficiencies are greatly enhanced in the cloud. Data is accessible to those who need it much quicker and time is not wasted trying to locate information which is buried in large volumes of data. Users do not spend time duplicating work or creating documents which already exist, and decisions are no longer based on old, outdated data. Users are more productive and resourceful and the intangible cost-savings resulting from that are considerable across large public sector departments and bodies.

Through an intelligent migration approach as part of a digital transformation programme, public sector organisations can not only manage financial resources better and significantly reduce information risk, but they also improve the quality of data their users are working with.

It enhances the customer experience by expediating the process of service delivery and reducing the time and effort it takes for public requests such as GDPR Subject Access Requests and FOI.

Legacy estate reduction is undoubtedly in your strategic plan, but have you considered the smart approach to supercharge your cloud migration for you, your users, your organisation, your citizens, and of course, the public purse?

Simon Cole is CEO at Automated Intelligence