Cloud hosting is the key to business transformation and continuity

Published Tuesday 12th September, 2017 by Roy Wood, Managing Director, IT Services - Advanced

The world is changing. We are dealing with more sophisticated threats and reputational risks than ever before, yet we must remain ‘business as usual'. In many cases, this means keeping pace with digital solutions that will enable business transformation. But to remain as compliant, risk averse and up-to-date as possible requires large teams of skilled professionals, all of whom come at a price.

Investing in a hosted provider on the other hand, which can minimise regulatory risk and security threats and remove the IT headaches, enables in-house teams to focus on mapping IT insight to business strategy, ensuring they are adding operational value at every opportunity.

It’s this dependence on a trusted technology partner, as the route to enabling business transformation and continuity, that is taking place on the UK’s major roads.

We recently announced our partnership with Highways England to help it deliver secure and compliant IT infrastructure hosting. The collaboration comes as no surprise as more and more businesses see the value in working with third party IT providers. In fact, according to Forrester Research, global business and government spending for IT outsourcing and hardware maintenance reached more than $440bn in 2016 alone.

Highways England is committed to delivering a much smoother, smarter and more sustainable strategic road network (SRN) across the country, and cloud hosting is the silver bullet for supporting its key initiatives. It is moving to a new Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS) software solution provided by Kapsch, while Advanced provides mission-critical IT infrastructure hosting for the ATMS solution that adheres to stringent performance and availability targets.

We will be delivering a tailored approach incorporating all the mission-critical services required. This includes 24x7 infrastructure management, backup and disaster recovery services in the event of an emergency, while also being agile enough to embrace ongoing innovation and be as cost effective as possible. The services are delivered through an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) environment, a form of Cloud computing, freeing Highways England from the burden of managing them in-house.

It’s this level of support that’s mission critical. After all, there are around 40,000 devices connected to the Highways England road signs network and linked to the emergency services. Any failures – be it a technical glitch or a cyber security breach – and the consequences to drivers on British roads could be devastating.

It often isn’t until a major incident occurs that we are reminded just how important business continuity is – and how a hosted solution in the Cloud is key to ensuring organisations can continue to service and support their clients in the wake of an incident. But, for Highways England, failure isn’t an option and it is taking proactive steps to ensure business continuity on the highways.

Advanced hosting the IT infrastructure for Highways England will improve journeys for millions of road users. Not only this, outsourcing traffic management and hosting will enable Highways England to focus on aligning its IT expertise with business needs to deliver greater value add. That means less resources required for managing on-premise solutions. The pace of innovation and change in the technology industry is accelerating and now Highways England is joining the growing band of companies on this journey.

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