Department for Work and Pensions improves service delivery time

Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud technologies help DWP eliminate silos, improve efficiency and drive IT automation, resulting in new cloud-native services delivered more quickly to end users.

Red Hat has collaborated with the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to accelerate its benefits claims processes with an open hybrid cloud strategy, providing critical financial assistance for its 22 million claimants. Working with Red Hat to deploy Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Red Hat OpenShift, the DWP has reduced deployment times for new services from around nine to 10 hours to just 15 minutes - a reduction of up to 97.5%.



The DWP is the UK’s largest government department, with more than 93,500 employees. It provides services such as state pensions and a range of worker, disability, and illness benefits. One in three UK citizens regularly claims from the department - and this number rose by three million more in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, after a record surge in unemployment.



Pandemic-accelerated digital transformation



DWP Digital, the organisation’s 5,000-person strong technology department, historically operated in siloed teams, with isolated processes across its hybrid environment including its multi-cloud environment, spanning Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. This led to complex and redundant procedures for claimants, with applicants often required to provide the same personal information on multiple forms to apply for different benefits. Some services, such as identity verifications, still required paper-based applications which required citizens to visit local offices or send required information via post.



In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DWP identified a need to streamline, digitise, and automate processes. DWP Digital suddenly faced a tremendous surge in demand and a requirement to provide services remotely.



DWP Digital enlisted Red Hat to help them adopt a distributed IT infrastructure approach, which would provide broader access to data and application programming interfaces (APIs) across its business and technology teams. The team deployed Ansible Automation Platform along with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift, generating benefits across the board, including faster deployment times, simplified access to services and reduced infrastructure costs.



Broader access to resources, lower IT costs and enhanced knowledge with Red Hat



Ansible Automation Platform helps automate processes at scale using human-readable, reusable playbooks, shared across teams and environments. This allows the DWP to quickly access environments and resources for new projects, and deploy new services faster, with the DWP’s automated API platform now handling more than 500 million calls per month.



Automation also enables the DWP to more quickly react to policy changes. For example, when changes were made to the UK government’s Universal Credit policy to simplify payment claims, DWP Digital built and launched an API for automated identity verification in 2-3 weeks, as opposed to the 5-6 months such a transition would usually take.



In addition, Red Hat’s hybrid cloud infrastructure allows DWP Digital to provide broader - yet protected - access to citizen data across the department’s back-end IT systems. Instead of completing multiple paper-based applications, citizens can provide information just once, digitally, that can be shared across the relevant agencies and services.



The open source roots of the DWP’s new infrastructure enables departmental standardisation of IT systems. With common operating and support models now in place through Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift, DWP has significantly lowered costs across the organisation. Additionally, the shift from operating services directly on AWS to running them in containers on Red Hat OpenShift has reduced hosting costs.



As part of the collaboration, DWP Digital engaged Red Hat Consulting for guidance on best practices for optimising its deployment of Red Hat’s technologies, and the team also completed Red Hat Training to build their skills for Ansible, OpenShift and DevSecOps to support the transition. DWP Digital’s success using automation and containerisation has inspired other teams in the Civil Service to explore the benefits of these technologies.

Innovation enhances efficiency and functionality for Dev-Ops real-time analytics.
Industry leaders intend to redefine the transportation landscape with a continuous functional-safety certified, Linux-based in-vehicle operating system.
Research commissioned by Lenovo reveals CIOs are more involved than ever before in areas outside their traditional technology purview, such as business model transformation, corporate strategy, and sustainability.
Global technology provider Arrow Electronics has signed a pan-European agreement with DevOps and hybrid cloud specialist Cycloid, adding its entire portfolio to ArrowSphere, Arrow‘s cloud management platform.
Anypoint Code Builder helps developers manage disparate systems with minimal configuration and rich code-editing features.
VMware has launched ‘The State of Kubernetes 2022’ report, revealing that Kubernetes has now entered the mainstream, with 99% of respondents saying they have realised benefits from deploying the technology. Developers are also taking advantage of multi-cloud strategies, with two-thirds now running Kubernetes in multiple clouds.
MontaVista Software, in partnership with Foundries.io, announces MVEdge, a 'groundbreaking' solution focusing on the Intelligent Edge - providing a ready-to-deploy embedded Linux operating system with state-of-the-art security and software update technologies, coupled with commercial grade support and maintenance options.
Partnership leverages low-code to accelerate hyper-automation, time-to-market, infrastructure modernization, and improve processes in manufacturing, retail, public sector, telecommunications and financial services.