Staffordshire County Council is empowering citizens with new mobile, cloud-based services. As it diversified its IT environment, how could the council protect data without allowing costs to spiral?
The council enabled comprehensive data availability across its hybrid cloud environment with Predatar BaaS from Predatar, built on IBM Spectrum Protect.
100% data restoreguaranteed by Predatar safeguards citizen data and enables high service continuity
80% time savingon creation of reports for data protection audits every three months
Frees upcouncil employees to focus on innovation and raising service levels
Business challenge story
Entering a new era for public services
People like convenience. Whether its private or public services, people prefer to consume them as and when they want. The digital revolution is making this possible on a major scale for the first time.
In the UK, local government organizations are getting in on the act. Staffordshire County Council, which serves 1.1 million residents in the UK, initiated a far-reaching digital transformation program to help it deliver more self-service options available round-the-clock.
Paul Hewitt, Infrastructure and Change Manager, ICT Department, Staffordshire County Council, explains, “Our goal is to create a more connected Staffordshire, where everyone has the opportunity to prosper, be healthy and be happy. One of the key principles that we believe will help us achieve this goal is being digital. Specifically, using technology to connect, inform and support our citizens.”
To enable change fast and avoid overloading the in-house ICT team, Staffordshire County Council embraced Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and other cloud-based offerings to drive its transformation. As its infrastructure evolved into a hybrid cloud environment, the team found it increasingly complicated to uphold its very high standards for data protection and security.
“For us, data protection can never just be good enough,” comments Hewitt. “At the same time, we want to concentrate on what we’re best at: serving citizens. Every three months, we have to report on how well-protected our data is to an external regulatory body, which was taking more and more time. As a shared services organization, we’re also under pressure to provide ICT services to other business functions that are the best possible value. We began looking for a partner that we could trust to be just as obsessive about securing data as we are, while limiting our costs.”
Taking a leap of faith
Staffordshire County Council chose to deploy Predatar BaaS, a data availability service built on IBM Spectrum Protect technology, from IBM Business Partner Predatar. With Predatar BaaS, the council can back up data on physical or virtual machines across its on-premises and cloud environments.
“Predatar understands that wherever data resides, whether it’s in our data center or the cloud, it’s still our data and we need equal control of it,” says Hewitt. “Predatar BaaS allows us to ensure data availability across a hybrid cloud environment, backed by the powerful capabilities of IBM Spectrum Protect.”
By taking advantage of an Embedded Solution Agreement from IBM, Predatar is able to offer Predatar BaaS on a pay-as-you-go basis. This proved a key selling point for Staffordshire County Council. Hewitt adds, “The pay-as-you-go model means that we can keep a tight handle on costs and provide better visibility of IT spend in individual business functions.”
Predatar BaaS includes a management portal, which offers both Staffordshire County Council and Predatar immediate insight into backup performance and costs for the council’s IT environment. Predatar built the portal utilizing IBM Spectrum Protect Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).
“We have built a very open and transparent relationship with Predatar,” remarks Hewitt. “Through the portal, they’re always accountable for performance against SLAs [service level agreements]. We have oversight of all backups through a single pane of glass, we can recover any of our data independently, and we can easily extract the information we need for audit reporting.”
Putting citizens first
With Predatar BaaS, Staffordshire County Council can innovate while remaining confident that all data is protected and can be restored rapidly in the event of a disaster. As a result, the council is making its vision of exceptional service continuity for citizens without limiting progress a reality.
“Built on IBM technology, Predatar BaaS from Predatar comes with a 100 percent data restore guarantee,” says Hewitt. “This gives us great peace of mind that whatever happens, we can keep services running for citizens and never compromise their data.”
Staffordshire County Council can now fulfill its audit reporting requirements faster and with less effort. Hewitt explains, “We’ve moved from manual reporting every three months to using the Predatar portal to pull together the information we need in 80 percent less time, a huge saving.”
Most importantly, the Staffordshire County Council ICT team is now free to focus on delighting the county’s citizens with new and improved services.
Hewitt concludes, “Protecting data has always been a priority for the council, and that hasn’t changed since we moved to Predatar BaaS. In fact, our backup success rate has jumped from 97.47 percent to 99.01 percent – near perfect! The combination of Predatar and rock-solid IBM technology means we can devote more attention to doing the best we can for Staffordshire and everyone who lives here.”
About Staffordshire County Council
Staffordshire County Council provides local government services to approximately 1.1 million people living in Staffordshire, UK. Employing more than 30,000 people, the council’s responsibilities include highways and transport, education and learning, health and social care, children and young people, and economic growth.
Take the next step
To learn more about IBM Spectrum Storage, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/products/data-protection-and-recovery
Predatar offers the perfect sidekick for any data protection superhero, enabling you to protect everything from servers to containers with a single platform. The company also helps value-added resellers establish new revenue streams through their own branded data protection offerings.