Home Office plans for big data in immigration IT

Department looks for specialists to support its Digital, Data and Technology team on a series of projects

The Home Office has begun to bring big data into its plans to manage immigration, with a programme to spend £6-8 million over the next two years on staff to develop the relevant capability.

UK border at airportIt has posted an opportunity notice on the Digital Outcomes and Specialist framework of the Digital Marketplace, saying it wants big data teams to support the immigration IT portfolio.

It requires them to work on architecture, development and engineering, and third line support for projects in setting up and maintaining solutions for portfolios and programmes.

They will be expected to use cloud systems such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, big data technologies like Hadoop and HortonWorks, and other database systems such as PostgreSQL and Oracle.

The Home Office says the solution is already in development, so any supplier will have to work with existing code, and collaborate with the department’s Digital, Data and Technology unit.

It also asks for the ability to supply up to two teams concurrently and respond quickly to any surges in the workload. This could make the contract more challenging for smaller companies.

The potential for using big data in the Home Office has been increased with the consolidation of its IT under the Technology Platforms for Tomorrow programme. Using Hadoop can make it possible to run analysis across the various databases in bulk.

Image by Danny Howard, CC BY 2.0 through flickr