back to article UK's Health Department desperately seeking service provider to run IT after 'cloud-first' shift

The UK's Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) needs first aid with IT service management as it implements the cloud-first technology programme, and has £25m set aside to pay to bring in external help. In a tender notice, the government department said it has "transformed" services "to enable smarter working and moved a …

  1. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Arse first planning?

    "Our aim is to continue our transition to the cloud where possible ...

    The plan was first to move to infrastructure and platform-as-a-service models, but more recently there has been a push to shift departments onto deep enterprise SaaS applications ...

    So the technology choice, not the business objective, drives the decisions. "Cloud" is magic that solves all ills, isn't it. Or is it?

    I would have thought that the most effective strategy would be to define what the business was trying to achieve and only then decide on the most appropriate technologies, but to do both before embarking on implementation. But I forgot - this is government, spending someone else's money.

    1. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Re: Arse first planning?

      Security of course, easiest way of sharing our data with NSA, China and Russia at the same time is a cloud platform.

  2. RockBurner

    Govt contract?

    You mean Crapita and/or Dido Harding haven't already been given it?

    1. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Re: Govt contract?

      Of course they have, just at matter if working out how much the tax payer is teamed for it

    2. ITMA Bronze badge

      Re: Govt contract?

      If they have it will most likely be through ineptitude than planning.

  3. karlkarl Silver badge

    "you know the drill. Tens of millions of pounds up for grabs"

    Yep, put in your bids. You don't stand a chance in hell to get the contract because they have already decided on Microsoft. They just want your bid to help them negotiate a slightly lower cost.

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Facepalm

      re: because they have already decided on Microsoft

      No, they've already decided on Amazon. But don't let the fact there's a real evil tech corporation exploiting low paid workers globally distract you from moaning about the company that ripped off other people's tech twenty five years ago.

      It's the 21st century, move the fuck on.

  4. Ken 16 Bronze badge
    Facepalm

    Cloud First

    I've heard that before, expect it usually turns out to be cloud first unless it's more expensive or slower or needs us to retrain, or cloud first then look at the monthly charges or cloud first then try to hand over to operations and integrate with current systems management.

    Cloud first sounds great but is never defined in a useful way, then all the second choices that drag you down. Don't even ask which flavour of cloud.

    1. Piro Silver badge

      Re: Cloud First

      No, "cloud first" doesn't sound great.

      1. ITMA Bronze badge

        Re: Cloud First

        Sounds like the usual "cloud cukoo land"....

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "£25m set aside to pay to bring in external help."

    That's external help they'll have been told they wouldn't need by whoever sold them "cloud first".

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Devil

      Indeed, but is Matt Hancock's mate from down the squash court with a nephew who knows PHP up to the job? Allegedly.

  6. Juillen 1

    Useful for optimisation.

    Cloud has a definite use case. But that's when you really understand your infrastructure and data flows (and requirements) very well.

    Most of the time I see cloud focus, it's done by people with little to no knowledge of their infrastructure, how mature it is, how it'll share data (or even if they can actually recover their data if the contract expires) or a myriad of other issues.

    It looks uncomfortably like another business unit desperately trying to hammer an entire tree into a square peg hole.

  7. Dave 15 Silver badge

    Only

    Only over priced foreign companies need apply. Especially welcome are those big companies who have screwed us before. Of course we ADORE paying 2500 or more per man day for someone in Bangalore on 1000 a month allowing the foreign company a healthy tax payer funded profit in return for a nice little backhander

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Devil

    "the government department said it has 'transformed' services"

    I very much doubt that.

    The only thing that has been "transformed" is the internal memorandum on how services should behave - and even then, the only change made was to replace the word "server" by the word "cloud". I don't think anyone in the high spheres of administration have an effing clue about The Cloud (TM), nor do they actually know what their services are doing on a daily basis.

    But hey, UK Gov has tens of millions of pounds to spend, so . . .

    1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

      Re: "the government department said it has 'transformed' services"

      Transformed:

      "verb

      past tense: transformed; past participle: transformed

      1.

      make a marked change in the form, nature, or appearance of."

      I think you'll find they have transformed the NHS and its services, although maybe not in ways of which you approve.

  9. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    How *DARE* the NHS buy IT services from other people. Capitalist profit-making running dogs! The NHS should branch out into IT services.

    And food production. How *DARE* they buy food from private companies.

    And electricity generation. How *DARE* they buy food from private companies

    And water collection, cleansing and distribution. How *DARE* they buy water from private companies.

    1. TechnicalVault

      It's not that they're buying IT services from other people, they've had that outsourced for years. It's that they are doing it badly. Whilst IT might not be a core competency of the NHS, Information is and must remain so.

      There is a reason why practically every hospital has a different patient records database and the links to GPs are poor or in some cases non-existent. They need the people who understand the IT + the information flows to be in the position to make the decisions rather than the bean counters if they want to achieve "transformation". Until they do they are going to keep failing and blowing money.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well yes...

        But the NHS is massive (and anybody who thinks it's "the NHS" just doesn't understand the unfathomable myriad of people and organisations that smash together to make up "the NHS") - there was an old advert from years ago about cowboys herding cats - I laugh/cry every time I go and watch it because it's the most accurate thing I've ever seen.

        1. FlamingDeath Silver badge

          Re: Well yes...

          The NHS is just a collection of companies feeding off of peoples ill-health

          Just like charities and all other industrial complexes, it would be corporate suicide if they ever imagined their supposed mission statement

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Well yes...

            No...it's not

            Do companies have their income set and capped by others, yet have to continue delivering regardless of how high demand and costs are? Any company forced into the situation NHS trusts have to deal with would fold pretty quickly.

  10. John70

    The usual useless outsource services just saw £££m not just £25m

    1. ITMA Bronze badge

      I think your first (crossed out) choice of wording was the more accurate...

      After all - if "outsourcing" can run your systems better (which virtually always translates, at least in the promises to "cheaper") than your own in house team(s), with all their detailed and historical knowledge and understanding of your systems and business. Then either:

      - You've employed the wrong people.

      - The mob you're outsourcing to will ipso facto do a piss poor shite job.

  11. Pen-y-gors

    Going out on a limb here...

    But, just a wild, crazy thought.

    How about employing some staff with the necessary skills, on a decent salary, to create some sort of in-house 'department' who can do the work. For a lot less money!

    1. FlamingDeath Silver badge

      Re: Going out on a limb here...

      Outsourcing is the name of the game, if you want to steal from the public purse

  12. FlamingDeath Silver badge

    Cnts are everywhwre, beware

    Some time back a company went into administration, I forget the name, but its name indicated it had solely been set up to service government contracts, it was some cleaning company.

    When this happened it seemed to take everyone by surprise, how can a company with assured income from the public purse ever go bankrupt

    After some extensive digging and about 12 shell companies down the rabbit hole, I discover this UK company was actually owned by NEC in Japan!!!!

    WTF?

  13. FlamingDeath Silver badge

    The Cloud™️

    Come stand on our ethereal platform made of cloud, and we’ll take you on the ride of your life

    This is the message right?

    25 new user interfaces later, I wanna get off, how the fuck do I stop this....this... thing?

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