The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is a government agency, responsible for maintaining over 48 million driver records in Great Britain and over 40 million vehicle records for the whole of the UK.
As part of its digital transformation efforts, the DVLA had deployed several services on cloud platforms (predominantly AWS). Although the projects had started with the best of intentions, attempting to harness the benefits of the cloud, over a three-year period, these projects had been quite siloed in nature. As a result, many separate cloud instances led to higher than planned cost, lack of standardisation and consistency in how instances were built. A lack of automation tooling also meant slow build and deployment times – up to 10 hours in some cases. Adequately-skilled permanent cloud staff were also challenging for the DVLA to resource, meaning it was difficult for the existing services to scale.
These issues, particularly the time it took to deliver cloud infrastructure, affected the whole ICT delivery function.
The DVLA set bedigital the objective of building a cloud enablement squad with the objective of defining a common set of tools and processes to reduce deployment times, increase standardisation, and facilitate deployment across multiple cloud platforms.
From the outset, it was agreed that in the long-term an internal DevOps capability should be built, i.e. the team building the solution would run the support of it ‘in-life’. Initially, the team comprised of a mix of DVLA staff as well as experienced external cloud engineers. Once the internal resources were up to speed and automation tooling was in place, bedigital reduced the number of external cloud engineers to leave a smaller team (less resource required due to the efficiencies made possible by automation).
Although bedigital had a good understanding of the business issues prior to starting, it was important to agree what the DVLA wanted from the team and what success looked like (build and deployment times etc.).
A key principle bedigital used throughout the project was to take the DVLA team on a journey rather than just presenting them a solution. With this approach, the DVLA felt involved during the whole project – helping with the rate of upskilling and a feeling of empowerment. Throughout the project, regular ‘agile ceremonies’ and one-to-one meetings were held, further fostering a collaborative environment.
Reduced deployment times by 99%
Within four months, all infrastructure and tooling were deployed from code. The added benefit being it could be deployed on a variety of cloud platforms.
High performing in-house team
Facilitated the building of a high performing in-house cloud enablement team. Today, the team is fully functional and updating all automation tooling themselves.
Quick and efficient infrastructure deployment times
Containerisation enabled more efficient utilisation of cloud infrastructure. Using Kubernetes technology allowed for very quick deployment of whole infrastructure platforms within seconds. Additionally, talentbe developed a common set of deployment patterns in agreement with the Enterprise Architecture community.
bedigital helps the DVLA reduce deployment times by 99%