Build a platform to enhance security, save time and decrease costs.
There were 40+ developer teams facing the challenges outlined above, and the Home Office recognized the need for teams to own services from the beginning to end in a consistent, secure and cost-efficient manner.
A secure, ease-to-use platform that enabled digital delivery at scale
Appvia saw an opportunity to solve these problems and enable digital delivery at scale with the creation of a centralized cloud native development platform that was secure-by-default and enabled capabilities and services that developers could hook into. Adhering to the Cloud First model of utilizing public cloud, the platform was built on Amazon Web Services (AWS), who had an established relationship with the Home Office.
With a foundation of Kubernetes in AWS, the platform fully supported the software development lifecycle from development to production, and instilled best practice security guardrails, which helped create a cloud operating model, allowing the Home Office to host “UK Official-Sensitive” workloads.
The platform allowed teams to be confident and efficient in their cloud usage and significantly reduced their delivery times, providing the following principles …
Consistent framework for delivering services
Implemented supporting services for developers to iterate their applications through to production. This included standardized CI/CD pipelines. It became vastly easier to move engineers across projects, because they are working with the same platform and tools
Simple self-service for development teams
Short lived, just in time access and automation enable teams to self-serve the resources they need from what they’re able to access without asking for permission every time.
Reduced delivery time to market
On average, project delivery time dramatically decreased from eight months to as quickly as two weeks.
Minimized hosting costs
On average, the shift to central hosting reduced hosting costs by 86% across all projects. Predominantly through the aggregation of shared services, spot instances and scheduling workloads down outside of necessary operating hours.
Less reliance on DevOps and cloud architects
Adhering to the DevOps principle of ‘you build it, you run it’, developers were able to access all of the resources they need without knowing the ins and outs of cloud and Kubernetes. The ability to self-serve resources across projects is a huge time unblocker, also contributing to a steep reduction in the DevOps to developer ratio. With an average of 1-2 DevOps resources for each project before the platform, most product teams were able to remove the need for this capability which resulted in recurring annualized savings of at least £8m per year.
Improved security posture
We’ve instilled the NCSC cloud security principles in the platform and built on this by defining a defence in depth approach to immutable infrastructure that heavily minimized the attack surface for intruders.
Integrated training and support to leave teams with autonomy and control
The platform made managing services from end to end simple and secure. But taking it a step further, we provided comprehensive support to development teams within the Home Office so that they could fully and easily utilize the platform.