CCS takes on Crown Hosting data centres

Central service to share umbrella with other agreements to support ‘wider commercial conversations’ with government buyers

Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has taken over from the Government Digital Service (GDS) as the authority in charge of the data centre shared service for public sector bodies.

Data centre racksIt became the new custodian of the Framework Authority of the Crown Hosting Service (CHS) on 1 March, with its cloud and digital technology team responsible for setting the strategic direction and commercial delivery.

CCS said the current management team will continue working on Crown Hosting for the transition, but that the business was being aligned with other agreements. This would make it possible to include the service in wider commercial conversations with central government customers and to promote it better across the public sector.

It also pointed to one of the main aims of the service, to provide a transition point in supporting the Government’s Cloud First policy by making it easy for public sector customers to procure data centre services.

CHS was launched in March 2015 as a joint venture between the Cabinet Office and UK SME Ark Data Centres, with a forecast of providing savings of up to £105 million from aggregated buying. It comprises two sites run by the company.

Government chief technology adviser Liam Maxwell recently told UKAuthority that the CHS had been providing significant savings and a route for government bodies to get away from legacy providers; but that take-up had not been particularly strong in local government and that there was a need to “get the message out there”.

Image by Wikieditor243, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons