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044/2013 – Funding for essential organisational Information Technology upgrades, to address organisational risks, provide resilience and create the capacity to enable further service improvements – 14 May 2013

Executive Summary and recommendation:

It was identified in the Police and Crime Plan that investment in IT was a goal and priority to facilitate service delivery and reduce the burden of administration. An essential stage in achieving this is ensuring risks are managed, resilience is in place and capacity available to focus on future implementation. This decision notice is a key step in achieving this aim.

Work has been undertaken as part of the organisational desire to undertake a comprehensive infrastructure review and refresh on the following initiatives:

  • Move from a Microsoft select licensing agreement to a Microsoft Enterprise License Agreement (EA)
  • Provision of an additional Storage Area Network (SAN) to provide organisational resilience and meet the increasing storage demands of the organisation
  • Upgrade the existing SAN which is reaching end of life and experiencing general storage capacity issues
  • Accelerate and standardise (where appropriate) the move to a virtual server environment. This is directly linked to the move to a Microsoft Enterprise License Agreement and the SAN re-provision. It will also form the platform for moving towards a wider virtual environment, supporting the strategy.

These initiatives are intended to mitigate organisational risk associated with the current provision of technology and infrastructure. There will be further work undertaken to carry out an independent review of the IT infrastructure and this will inform the progression of a costed IT business case that will support delivery of the IT strategy.

Police and Crime Commissioner decision: approved

Signature Date 14 May 2013
Title Police & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire

Part 1 – Unrestricted facts and advice to the PCC

Introduction and background

As part of the organisational desire to undertake an infrastructure review and refresh, work has been ongoing on the following initiatives:

  • Move from a Microsoft select licensing agreement to a Microsoft Enterprise License Agreement
  • Provision of an additional SAN to provide organisational resilience and meet the increasing storage demands of the organisation
  • Upgrade the existing SAN which is reaching end of life and experiencing general storage capacity issues
  • Accelerate and standardise (where appropriate) the move to a virtual server environment. This is directly linked to the move to a Microsoft Enterprise License Agreement and the SAN re-provision. It will also form the platform for moving towards a wider virtual environment, supporting the strategy.

Currently the organisation faces a number of risks associated with the provision of technology and infrastructure. The review/refresh has been undertaken with a view to mitigating organisational risks in respect of Information Technology provision. These are:

  • Un-supported technology e.g. the force operating system for all desktops and laptops will be unsupported in 8th April 2014 as a result of the XP operating system being unsupported
  • Back end infrastructure, server data bases and email running on unsupported and out of date operating systems (prone to high failure rates)
  • Storage capacity – the current SAN is very close to it’s full capacity
  • Lack of a SAN Disaster Recovery provision
  • Front line business applications will become unsupported as a direct result of running on Microsoft old software versions.

In order to mitigate the immediate risks posed to the organisation it is proposed to address these high risk areas as a priority, and this paper seeks approval for the funding for these activities. Further activity is planned to progress an evaluation of the IT infrastructure and delivery in order to baseline the North Yorkshire Police (NYP) IT Department. The outputs from this work will be used to inform the progression of a costed business case for delivery of the IT strategy.

The Police and Crime Plan goal 3 seeks to provide more with less through collaboration and partnering, with goal 4 seeking to ensure NYP are fit for the future. Currently the organisation would be unable to achieve these goals due to the above articulated risks. Additionally, it is recognised that the workforce will have an aspiration when working for NYP that they would be working with cutting edge technologies and equipment. There is a significant risk that the organisation would be unable to attract the calibre of candidate it seeks to employ if we do not address the service provision.

Microsoft Enterprise License Agreement:

North Yorkshire Police currently purchase their Microsoft licences on an instance by instance basis. This practise had led to the current software versions on desktops being old and out of date. This in turn impacts negatively on the performance to the end user, and also creates risks associated with old and out of date software and incompatibility issues.

The adopted approach to purchasing software licences, where you buy the product and own the licences, means that you do not get all of the benefits from an Enterprise Agreement as detailed below. Typically this approach to purchasing software licences is something that is ordinarily seen in small to medium sized enterprises. It is not the approach that one would expect to see in an organisation, that needs to ensure it is ‘fit for the future’ and able to position itself to take advantage of new technologies as they emerge.

Having reviewed the current NYP licensing arrangements, numbers of licences and age of licences it has been identified that moving to an Enterprise Agreement would be the most effective way to cater for immediate licensing requirements and future licensing requirements. By adopting an Enterprise Agreement (with Software Assurance) the organisation will be able to move to current software versions. An example of this would be that we could move from a Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 desktop to a Windows 2012 or 2013 desktop. We would be able to provide increased support and resilience on the desktop as a result of standardised, current software version being deployed.

Additionally, as part of the agreement the organisation would license the physical servers and this will allow the organisation to achieve ‘scalability’ at a low cost option. It will also form part of the foundation to moving to a more up to date infrastructure, supporting the organisation aims of implementing virtualisation. This in turn will support the organisation in enabling instant roll out of new software versions as they arrive and as the organisation chooses to implement them.

It should be noted that the Enterprise Agreement will not cover every single Microsoft product and it will still be necessary to purchase some additional licences in smaller batches, for example not every NYP member of staff requires Microsoft Project licences. These bespoke software licences will be subject to separate purchasing arrangements to ensure that we are only paying for what we need.

The Enterprise Agreement will also provide access to a number of services that will be required to bring our software up to date. As part of the agreement we will be accessing consultancy days and it is the intention to use those days for Microsoft to support the organisation by producing a ‘roadmap’ for roll out of new software versions.

The ‘roadmap’ will prioritise those areas where we know that software will become unsupported in 2014 (XP). It will also enable us to plan our delivery to our customers, which will need to include any training that is required for the new software versions.

Upgrade current SAN and provision of an additional SAN:

The organisation currently operates with one SAN, which is fast approaching an ‘end of life’ position and additionally, is close to reaching its capacity.

Recently consideration has been given to the requirement for a SAN disaster recovery solution. As part of this work it was considered prudent to take a more rounded view of the whole structure and delivery of storage and SAN. It was recognised that the pace of change and technological innovation could result in the organisation securing a greater benefit from leasing equipment. This would provide benefits in respect of:

  • Upgrading to newer technologies as they emerge
  • Fits with the strategic goal of strategic partnerships to support and enhance technical service delivery by having modern up to date infrastructure with capacity
  • Reduce the costs associated with end of life disposal/decommissioning
  • Support the Police and Crime Plan goal no. 3 – More with Less
  • Support the Police and Crime Plan goal no. 4 – Fit for Future

By adopting a ‘leasing’ approach it would enable the organisation to easily upgrade/replace solutions as new technologies come onto the market that can provide greater benefits.

Accelerate the move to a virtual server environment:

Some work has progressed in implementing a virtual server environment. The proposal to lease a SAN solution (rather than purchasing the associated hardware and software), offers the organisation the opportunity to accelerate the move to a virtual server environment. This can be provided as a leased option and implemented by the supplier.

An accelerated move to a virtual server environment will provide for a number of significant organisation benefits. Some of these benefits are articulated below:

  • Support the organisational strategy to move to an increasingly virtualised environment
  • This in turn will support the organisational strategic objective to have a mobile and roaming work force that can work from any location
  • There will be a cost saving as it will reduce the costs associated with the medium/long term capital rolling programme for technology and infrastructure
  • There will be a benefit to the organisation as they will be able to quickly and easily facilitate test environments, and software roll out
  • Additional organisational resilience in respect of disaster recovery through the ability to quickly and effectively ‘clone’ environments
  • System availability will improve as will recovery times in the event of failures
  • It will support a centralised administration of technologies, which in turn will provide reduced costs and increased efficiencies.

In respect of the server virtualisation element of this proposal, it is the intention to undertake further due diligence work to assess the market, providers and costs, ensuring NYP secures best value. However, costs have been secured and included to provide an indication of the financial impact of progressing server virtualisation and approval is sought to undertaking this activity and the spend, based on what is believed to be a reasonable estimate of delivering server virtualisation (leased option).

In respect of all of the above elements, there would be a requirement to produce a project timeline to ensure that the solutions could be implemented in a managed and controlled way. However, we would be seeking to implement the SAN solution at an early opportunity. It is the intention that HP would implement the proposed new SAN solution, thus freeing up internal resources to deliver a number of other priority technical initiatives. We will also work with Microsoft to produce a ‘roadmap’ for the rollout of new software versions from the Enterprise Agreement.

Matters for consideration

In considering the approach and requirements for the delivery of technology for North Yorkshire Police, consideration has been given to the risks associated with the current infrastructure, equipment and approach to service delivery. These are set out below:

  • NYP current have an XP operating system which will be unsupported on 8th April 2014. There is a requirement to upgrade the operating system to an appropriate and more recent version of Windows operating system across the force that will be both ‘fit for purpose’ and supported by Microsoft.
  • Storage is currently at capacity and additionally there is no Disaster Recovery in place due to only having a single SAN provision. NYP will soon be unable to store data and in the event of a disaster would have no resilience or fall back position. By moving to a leasing agreement for a new additional SAN and also include the replacement of the current (at capacity) SAN as part of this provision we would provide both additional storage capacity and a Disaster Recovery solution for the force.
  • The force currently operates on very old version of Microsoft Office products. Staff struggle with legacy software applications, and some of these products are causing inherent risk due to their being unsupported (Access ’97). A move to a Microsoft Enterprise agreement to support the roll out of current/up to date software will ensure that NYP is ‘future proof’ and best placed to provide continuous service improvements.

Other options considered, if any

As part of the work to review and produce a Technical Business Case, there has been consideration of a number of alternative options. These include:

  • Purchase of hardware (SAN and Servers)
  • The risks associated with not making changes
  • The benefits of virtualisation
  • Organisational sustainability
  • How the organisational strategic objectives could be achieved in order to position the organisation to be able to take advantage of new technologies as the emerge.

The team have briefly looked at other storage provision(s) that are available in the market. It is recognised that there may be other solutions, however, it is felt that at the present time the risks to the organisation from the lack of storage and Disaster Recovery provision are so great that immediate action should be taken to mitigate the risks. By adopting the proposed approach and procuring through the Sprint II framework we will be able to mitigate immediate risks, and provide the capacity/space to enable a more considered/informed approach to future storage requirements. To this end we are seeking to insure that identified risks are mitigated immediately, and will seek to explore other options as part of the ongoing continuous improvement programme of IT activity.

Contribution to Police and Crime Plan outcomes

This proposal contributes to the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan outcomes, specifically to Goal 3 (More for Less). The proposal, if adopted, would provide the foundation for a fundamental change in how technology services are delivered within NYP. It will be the platform on which to build and enhance the corporate strategic aims for technology provision; to provide:

  • Virtualisation
  • Communications (Networks and Telephony)
  • Mobile Working
  • Electronic Document Management Systems
  • Server and Hardware Consolidation
  • Security Enhancements to support the Agile working approach

There will be a further piece of work that will be undertaken to articulate and cost the Information Technology Strategy (as per the identified activities above)

Consultations carried out

Consultation has not been undertaken with the wider organisation, but there have been discussions within the IT Department, with the IT Programme Manager, Service Delivery Advisors and colleagues in Finance in order to understand the procurement routes and financial implications of these proposals.

Financial Implications/Value for money

The table below sets out the costs associated with the proposal:

Activity Cost Current Budget Provision Funding Shortfall
Capital Revenue Capital Revenue Capital Revenue
Microsoft Enterprise Licence Agreement £Nil £326.2k £Nil £183.0k £Nil *£143.3k
Upgrade of SAN and provision of Disaster Recovery facility £350.0k £40.0k £200.0k £Nil £150.0k *£40.0k
Indicative costs for Virtualisation of Server environment (this will be subject to further due diligence work around contracts and costs) £60.7k £Nil £Nil £Nil £60.7k £Nil
Total £410.7k £366.2k £200.0k £423.0k £210.7k £183.3k

*An amount of £240.0k set aside (but not utilised) for these purposes in the 2012/13 forecast outturn has been carried forward in the final accounts process and this will be utilised to fund the 2013/14 shortfall and contribute £56.7k towards the 2014/15 shortfall

It is recognised that there is potential to generate savings from the current capital rolling programme of replacements as a result of the virtualisation activity referred to above. To this end it is the intention to reduce the IT Capital Rolling programme by an amount of £126,600 in 2014/15, and for 2015/16 onwards to reduce by £183,300 per annum. This amount will be returned to revenue by way of reduced RCCO to bridge the revenue shortfall articulated above. The IT Department will manage the impacts of the reduction in capital funding, up to the point that the benefits of the virtualisation work can be achieved.

Legal Implications

Having read this report and having considered such information as has been provided at the time of being asked to express this view, the Force Solicitor & Head of Legal Services is satisfied that this report does not ask the PCC for North Yorkshire to make a decision which would (or would be likely to) give rise to a contravention of the law.
Risks presented in this report are not configured or presented in such a way as to be meaningful within the context of the NYP risk management methodology and infrastructure.

Ideally this should be rectified. However, unless the Commissioner considers otherwise, rather than delay the paper by advising that this work be done in advance of the matter being determined, it would be desirable for this to be attended to immediately afterwards. The author is advised to contact the Head of Risk Management in that regard as soon as practicable.

Equality Implications

There are no negative Equality Implications as a result of this proposal. However, it is recognised that by moving to later versions of Microsoft it will provide a platform for the organisation to deploy technology that will provide enhanced technical solutions for colleagues with visual or auditory impairments.

Originating Officer Declaration:
Author: Julie McMurray Collar: 6038 Date: 7th May 2013

Tick to confirm statement √
Director/Chief Officer has reviewed the request and is satisfied that it is correct and consistent with the NYPCC’s plans and priorities. Julie McMurray, Collar 6038, 7th May 2013
Legal Advice Legal advice has been sought on this proposal and is considered not to expose the PCC to risk of legal challenge. Simon Dennis 7 May 2013
Financial Advice The CC CFO has both been consulted on this proposal, for which budgetary provision already exists or is to be made in accordance with Part 1 or Part 2 of this Notice Jane Palmer 004364 9 May 2013
Equalities Advice An assessment has been made of the equality impact of this proposal. Either there is considered to be minimal impact or the impact is outlined in Part1 or Part2 of this Notice. Julie McMurray, Collar 6038, 7th May 2013
I confirm that all the above advice has been sought and received and I am satisfied that this is an appropriate request to be submitted for a decision Julie McMurray
Date: 9 May 2013
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