Central UK govt awards £12M+ contract to leave Google Workspace for Microsoft 365

The UK’s Cabinet Office is to migrate away from Google Workspace to Microsoft 365 — in line with the rest of central government — in a move set to cost up to £15 million in third-party project support alone.

French IT service giant Capgemini has been awarded a deal worth between £12 million and £15 million ($14.8-$18.6 million) to help the department, which co-ordinates strategy and policy implementation across central government, switch from the Google environment to Microsoft Office tools, according to a contract notice published earlier this month.

The project is expected to transfer around 15,000 users — including ministers and senior civil servants — onto the new personal productivity software.

The Cabinet Office includes Government Digital Services, which began its ‘journey’ with Google Workspace in 2010-2011. A separate Cabinet Office IT platform, which included the Google tools, was rolled out in 2014-2015.

In the contract documents, the government said the aim of the move from Google Workspaces to Microsoft 365 was “to align with the rest of central government and enable better collaboration opportunities.” The rollout is expected to start in September 2023, as the schedule set out in the documents indicates.

The point of the project — which burdens in-house tech teams as well as Capgemini — is to create efficiencies by “reducing the size/complexity of that IT infrastructure footprint, all by leveraging native cloud services.”

It will also meet the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) and Government Security Group’s (GSG) guidelines and be “easier and cheaper to run, allowing the IT infrastructure teams to focus on high-value high-complexity tasks, instead of commodity services such as patching,” the Cabinet Office said. The new platform would be more “user-centric, easy to use, and supportive of business user requirements,” it said.

The project will involve migrating all of the Cabinet Office’s existing data and information onto Microsoft’s platform “while transforming the department to align with both Microsoft’s recommended security best practices and recommended information and knowledge architecture.”

Quite why the Cabinet Office decided to go its own way with Google Workspace, the documents do not disclose, but the department renewed its faith in the productivity tools as recently as 2021.


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