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BJSS Industries: Public Sector

FCO Crisis Hub helped British nationals impacted by Typhoon Haiyan. It provided FCO staff around the world with immediate access to crucial information.

Government is focused on using Open Source software and Agile delivery techniques to drive down cost. 

Public sector IT is undergoing a period of dramatic change. Responding to cost pressures, whilst reducing dependency on a small number of traditional suppliers, the Government is driving the adoption of Open Source software and focussing on more iterative and Agile delivery techniques. Via the G-Cloud procurement framework, BJSS is one of the largest providers of IT services to the UK Central Government and the NHS. We work extensively with public sector organisations and have deployed the BJSS Enterprise Agile risk-first, architecture-centric approach to ensure a successful transition to Agile development within these organisations more familiar with traditional Waterfall approaches.

Mike Buck

Head of Public Sector

Prior to joining BJSS in 2010, I worked entirely in end user teams in the manufacturing, retail and utility sectors. I have managed most of the different functions of IT including service management, architecture and development. In 2007, I completed an MBA which has provided a great general understanding of the businesses I’ve worked in. It perhaps wasn’t the wisest of moves to start the course, move house, change jobs, get married and have 2 children whilst trying to focus on my studies!
Mike Buck
Mike Buck
Head of Public Sector Practice

Thought Leadership: Public Sector

Can the G-Cloud framework balance control?

There was a time before G-Cloud when public sector IT contracts were as large as the sector itself.

Procurement processes would place projects with the largest organisations; offering a brief to create a project over months or even years within a set budget. Once briefed the public sector would cut all ties; relinquishing full control and leave the organisation to interpret the project in any way it saw fit. Once a few years went by, the organisation would return to the public sector client, attach all the bells and whistles to its new baby and look for praise for all its hard work.

However, this wasn’t always the case. Most found the interpretation of the brief didn’t meet expectations and most of the time, along with public money, was spent building an outcome not fit for purpose. The government had gone too far in one direction, giving too much control to the organisation and becoming less effective. The government realised every pound of public money had to produce the best possible outcome as well as remaining under its control. To make this possible, it implemented the very successful G-Cloud framework.

The UK Government G-Cloud initiative was created to ease the procurement process for public sector bodies, allowing them to purchase services when needed, with smaller contracts and without running a full tender process. It has been the forerunner to the digital transformation many organisations are now experiencing. The service has been in place since 2012 and now has over 1,200 suppliers, 80 per cent of which are SMEs, offering 13,000 services, including Open Source and Cloud. G-Cloud has successfully allowed the government to cut costs and deliver the best results, while regaining full control of the projects; heading the complete opposite direction from the past.

So where does G-Cloud go from here? If it’s going to strive for continued success, it has to adopt an Agile approach, learning from previous mistakes and becoming more effective. In the past the government was too far one way. It gave too much control to the organisation and mistakes were made. Now, it has gone too far the other way.

The government has too much control over the projects, potentially restricting an organisation in its creativity. G-Cloud needs to move towards the Agile middle ground and balance its control. Allowing the organisation space to create, while also keeping regular contact to ensure the outcome matches the brief. It’s the agile methodology and its effectiveness which will become the back bone of a successful G-Cloud in the future.

BJSS Public Sector Successes

Delivering FCO Crisis Hub

BJSS was engaged by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to re-engineer the system used to capture and disseminate information about UK citizens affected by crises abroad. The project – FCO Crisis Hub – delivered a number of ’firsts’ for the FCO. It was the first system delivered using Agile rather than a Waterfall delivery approach. It also used Open Source Software to minimise licensing and on-going support costs and vendor lock-in. Hosted via public Cloud technologies, this BJSS system achieved UK Government information security accreditation on its first attempt. >>Read the FCO Media Release

The Merger of VOSA & DSA

BJSS is contracted to provide a combination of Application Integration and Infrastructure delivery services for the DVSA IT Modernisation programme. The principal engagement has been to replace the existing MOT application used by over 22,000 garages to service over 20 million vehicles. The initial scope of the engagement incorporated Assurance of the software delivery, Non Functional & Integration Testing and Release Management as well as providing a Project governance assurance role. Leveraging its experience in DevOps, BJSS built the Dev/Test environments and was subsequently awarded the contract for the Infrastructure delivery.

Advisory Services for DEFRA

BJSS was tasked by DEFRA to provide technical architecture advisory services for its content management solutions. The scope of the engagement included document management, intranet blogging, micro-blogging, Wikis, external collaboration and records management. Working closely with DEFRA and its other services providers, BJSS created the technical vision and roadmap. BJSS also managed the technical architecture of the programme of work. The programme followed an iterative approach by deploying a number of solutions to several business teams in order to understand the requirements through live use whilst delivering immediate business benefit.