We support the Department of Work and Pensions’ journey to the cloud

We support the Department of Work and Pensions’ journey to the cloud


The Department of Work and Pensions’ (DWP) journey to the cloud started in 2015 when a new chief technology officer was appointed to modernise the critical national infrastructure that underpinned the delivery of benefits to the taxpayer.The DWP had been contracted to a specific service under the Standard Services Business Allocation (SSBA) for 24 years, which had reached a critical position where no further extensions were permitted. This meant there was an urgent need for the DWP to evaluate its technology footprint and accessibility options for its clients.

Maintaining its cloud first methodology, the DWP started creating and populating its own private cloud hosting environment by constructing two data centres under the Government Cloud Hosting Framework.

Once they’d created the physical environments, they focused on the method of hosting and the migration processes required to minimise disruption and ensure the applications would work smoothly. They built a new command centre in the newly opened DWP IT hub facility in Manchester. Crucially, the facility was to be manged internally so they could monitor the rehosting of legacy applications to ensure uninterrupted operations.

The DWP had served notice on the SSBA contract and all systems, processes and applications needed to be rehosted by February 2018.


Investigo joined the project in April 2016 to provide programme leadership advice and guidance. This appointment allowed the DWP to start the planned application migrations to the new private cloud infrastructure. Investigo took accountability for the method and outcome of the migrations, coordinating a team of delivery managers and overseeing the suppliers engaged to transfer the applications.

The success of this engagement was underpinned by the Department’s recognition of responsibility and accountability, granting the programme director a senior civil service grade 1 position within the extended leadership team. This, along with a twice weekly decision-making forum and the rigorous governance process overseen by the Budget Office, allowed the senior officers in charge of the programme to make the right decisions at a rapid pace.

The solution
The Outcome


The SSBA contract was exited on the 23rd February 2018, on time and well within budget. This programme had delivered a 50% cost reduction to the operations of the DWP digital unit. The Department had a contractual commitment under the SSBA contract of £154m per annum in 2015.

From March 2018, Investigo was asked to continue its engagement within the Department. We took responsibility for the transitional hosting team as it migrated residual applications, which were not hosted in the private cloud, to hyperscale public cloud hosting. This represented the conclusion of the DWP’s vision to cloud first.

Investigo formed a team of delivery managers to transfer the residual applications to cloud-capable hosted applications, managing a number of suppliers and service providers in the process, ensuring that all the applications in scope were migrated to the control of the DWP public cloud facility under contracts with AWS and Azure. These migrations concluded in April of 2020, saving the Department a further £50m in the operation of its estate.

The engagement allowed Investigo to demonstrate its ability to lead, collaborate and execute, generating a sustainable landscape of applications that distribute in excess of £260bn of benefits on behalf of the UK taxpayer annually.