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UKCloud finalises services without disruption to public services, says minister

Written by Wed 14 Jun 2023

UKCloud, a cloud company used by government agencies that entered liquidation last October, has finalised services without unexpected disruption to public services.

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Jeremy Quin MP, said all UKCloud customers have successfully migrated their services on to alternative platforms.

“As such, it is deemed unlikely any claims on the indemnity will be made post-liquidation. We, therefore, assess that it is unlikely that there will be any cost to the public purse as a result of this contingent liability,” added Quin.

Before it entered liquidation, UKCloud had customers across the public sector including local governments, police agencies, the Ministry of Defence, the NHS, University of Manchester, and Genomics England.

The liquidation is expected to be completed in 2024. The process has reportedly brought with it a ‘peak funding requirement’ of £20 million.

Although the business initially succeeded in providing public sector services, it encountered difficulties as public agencies began to purchase more services from larger cloud companies and hyperscalers.

As one report suggested: “The game was arguably up for the provider when hyperscalers like AWS won the trust even of the UK’s spy agencies, with a deal worth up to £1 billion with AWS in 2021.”

In September 2021, UKCloud submitted a filing to Companies House confirming that it had appointed investment advisers to help bridge a £30 million gap in funding.

The shutdown has not been completely seamless, however. Shortly after the liquidation was announced, a UKCloud customer and IT company providing managed services to the NHS issued a complaint that their charges had increased by 700%.

All issues were resolved and it appears that the changeover was completed without undue interruption of service. This is particularly important, as UKCloud provided services to government agencies where any interruption could have a knock-on effect on access to critical public services.

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Written by Wed 14 Jun 2023

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