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DVSA taps pan-govt AWS programme in £8m cloud deal with hyperscaler

AWS now the biggest digital supplier to the UK gov't

The UK's Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has made use of a new pan-government agreement with AWS to ink an £8.3 million contract with the hyperscaler for a cloud migration and adoption of scores of cloud services, from basic compute, to machine learning and data streaming.

The DVSA -- a Department of Transport subsidiary that has responsibility for driving and road worthiness tests, as well as out roadside checks on drivers and vehicles, and vehicle recall monitoring -- tapped January 2021's One Government Value Agreement (OGVA) for the sweeping contract.

What is the OGVA?

The OGVA is a three-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) negotiated between Crown Commercial Services (CCS) and AWS in early 2021. The MOU saw the cloud provider agree to treat the UK government and wider public sector as a single client, giving agencies access to preferential commercial terms.

Amazon has become one of the UK government's key digital suppliers in recent years, winning hosting contracts with NHS Scotland, NHS Track & Trace, the Ministry of Justice, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), and the Home Office worth more than £200 million since 2020 alone.

Over the past five years, AWS has won the most contracts under the G-Cloud framework of any government supplier (top 10 listed below by contract value, figures sourced from the CCS, rounded by The Stack).

  1. Amazon Web Services (EMEA) -- £229 million
  2. Capgemini -- £208 million
  3. Deloitte -- £182 million
  4. PA Consulting Services -- £176 million
  5. IBM UK -- £132 million
  6. ENTSERV UK -- £127 million
  7. Fujitsu -- £116 million
  8. Microsoft -- £108 million
  9. BAE Systems Applied Intelligence -- £107 million
  10. Equal Experts UK -- £105 million

What has the DVSA bought?

A contract award notice (which the DVSA notes came without prior publication of a call for competition because the CCS framework "enables DVSA and other public sector organisations to access AWS services compliantly using the Cloud 12 framework") suggests the agency's cloud ambitions are extensive.

The agency will be tapping Amazon CodeGuru, Amazon Detective, Amazon Fraud Detector, Amazon Kendra, Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka, AWS Chatbot, Amazon Keyspaces (for Apache Cassandra), VMware Cloud on AWS and AWS Rekognition -- a machine learning service that pulls metadata from image and video files to identify objects, faces, text and more.

The agency is nearing the end of an initial five-year digital strategy that has seen it swap paper-based driving test results for app-based ones, roll out new digital systems that let enforcement staff quickly see the history and details of vehicles on the road – age, condition, whether they have a valid MOT, etc., and also invested in new digital systems for the haulage industry.

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