The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has launched the new iteration of its Crown Hosting framework for the public sector that includes scope for hyperscale cloud providers to use its data centres.
It has renewed the Crown Hosting Data Centres joint venture with Ark Data Centres for a further seven years, following the indication in February that it would maintain the arrangement.
The new arrangement, titled Framework II, provides a shared infrastructure under which hyperscalers can use Crown campuses for their cloud services. CCS said this will eradicate challenges in security, proximity and latency when moving legacy technology to the cloud.
It is also aimed at given customers greater control and data transparency when using cloud tools such as AI and machine learning within the data centres.
Other new features have been added to the framework in the shape of discovery and project management support, along with migration services, to help customers with resource, data discovery, mapping estates, identifying interdependencies and finding cost-effective procurement routes. The latter includes a new Industry Customer Pathway under which partners and systems integrators can procure services from the framework on behalf of their public sector clients.
There has also been an incorporation of legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation, enhanced support services and an increase in report on security, social values, energy use, CO2 emissions, sustainability and information assurance.
Crown Hosting’s chief executive officer Steve Hall commented: “Since the set-up of the first framework in 2015, we recognise that the market has matured significantly, particularly due to the challenges, dependencies, mapping and complexity presented by IT infrastructure legacy debt.
“The expectation that everything will go to the public cloud has proven too complex for most organisations and is taking too long to deliver, so it’s imperative that the services we offer, evolve to reflect the needs of our clients and the technical solutions available in the market. We need to keep innovating.”
He added: “Framework II offers plenty to be excited about. We know that even in a tough economic climate, we have managed to create an offering with nothing but upside for the public sector.
“In over seven years, we have consistently helped our customers reduce their electricity costs by 75% and carbon emissions by 99%. The pricing has stayed extremely competitive, regularly benchmarked, helping protect taxpayers’ money, combatting the cost of living and empowering our customers to re-invest those savings into public services.”
“With the help of CCS’ market engagement and our customers feedback, we’ve listened and are in a unique position to provide a dynamic digital transformation platform, with a shared hybrid private cloud, enabling our customers to work at their own pace and to plan for predictable outcomes.
“We’re proud of our achievements through the last seven years. As we begin what promises to be a new, exciting period of transformation for the UK government, our aim is to ensure the new framework benefits everyone, from our existing customers to those yet to join us on our journey.”
CCS said that since the venture’s original launch in 2015 it had saved approximately £2 billion for public sector organisations.