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Bank of England opens bidding for cloud partner

Bank of England opens bidding for cloud partner

The Bank of England is seeking a cloud build partner as part of its One Bank Service Transformation strategy.

The UK central bank says it requires "an experienced partner to assist in design, construction and assurance of a modern, fit for purpose cloud environment."

The targeted length for the new contract is two years.

The central bank was hauled over the coals by a Common Select Committee in March last year, in a searing critique of its outmoded technology estate, culture and procurement activities.

The Parliamentary Select Committee said the Bank's practices offered a glimpse into the past, and called for further action on staff diversity, outdated processes and the overall vision for modernisation.

"The Bank's ICT systems are expensive and need updating, its procurement systems are not fit for purpose, there are too many job titles creating complexity and cost, and the estate is too large for its needs," the report noted. "The Bank has not routinely and systematically benchmarked the costs of its central services with the public and private sectors."

The Bank is currently undertaking a 'One Bank Services Transformation' project, which will entail the move to a roles-based structure, and the replacement of 25 central services systems with a single cloud-based system. This is expected to save £15 million a year in running costs from 2021-22.

In its public procurment notice, the Bank says it wants to access the capabilities provided by public cloud services, including the flexibility of platforms and infrastructure as a service (PaaS, IaaS).

"The Bank is seeking to improve and build upon existing capability in order to better understand best practice of identifying, configuring and delivering the optimal service that our business expects and so this opportunity is to provision these initial services to set us up for ongoing success.

"This is a step change for the way the Bank has hosted services in the past, but with advances in security and vendor offerings such that the Bank can see real benefits to its operations.

"Additionally, it is anticipated that this new operating model and approach will further improve legacy items within the estate that could be considered candidates for Cloud Adoption."

The Bank's technology team has consulted with peers in other public sector functions and have identified a hybrid cloud encironment as the optimal approach.

Bids for the work are open until midnight on 5 February, with work scheduled to begin on 1 April.

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