Guest Blog: Lessons from the UK Government's journey to the cloud

Without wanting to sound like an X-Factor contestant, ‘The Cloud’ is very much a journey and not a destination. CACI Information Intelligence Group have supported a range of government departments on their journey to Cloud, including the Ministry of Defence’s Information Systems & Services (ISS) organisation, the Met Office and Highways England. Here are some valuable lessons we have learnt in our experience that we would like to share with you:

Looking beyond simple migration


The cloud isn’t simply servers in someone else’s cupboard; it provides far more than the ability to just lift-tinker-and shift a few virtual machines . It can feel like an impenetrable and overwhelming set of everchanging services. Analysing and planning for one single approach or strategy for the Cloud often paralyses even the simplest of organisations as well as resulting in the delay of the benefits and opportunities that come with this new world. 

Start with something important but not mission critical

As the proverb goes, every journey begins with a single step. Start with something important but not mission critical; experiment, learn, iterate and then scale. Don’t wait to unearth decades of archaeological I.T. evidence to inform a grand migration plan. Use these first steps as a pipe cleaning exercise for unearthing all the other business change challenges such as Security, Legal and Commercial considerations, DevOps, Training and Talent. 

Aim for a hypothesis driven engineering culture

Create a sandbox; a safe space for hands-on, non-production proof of concepts and innovation. Furthermore, encourage knowledge sharing and continual collaboration on common resources such as infrastructure and pipelines as code. We have seen greater acceleration of sustainable cloud adoption in organisations that embrace transparency and validated organisational learning. A prime example is the Met Office Space Weather forecast system where CACI has enabled enhanced cloud based collaboration between science and development teams. Further details can be found here

Multidisciplinary problems require multidisciplinary solutions

There are some great resources available in the police and public sector market, tooling and best practice at the click of a button, but the technology is only part of the digital transformation challenge. A healthy dose of multidisciplinary pragmatism is what’s needed in a good agile delivery partner to jump start or bolster cloud success. CACI and Highways England follow this approach, and have recently won the 2019 “Best Small to Medium Digital Project” at the Digital Technology Leaders Awards. You can read more about this innovative project in this informative article in Highways magazine.


This piece was provided by:

Mark Gale
Chief Technology Officer
CACI Ltd – Information Intelligence Group

  • Jessica Russell

    Jessica Russell

    Programme Manager | Justice and Emergency Services
    T 020 7331 2031

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