The UK government has signed a deal with IBM to initiate quicker access to cloud services for public sector organizations as well as the National Health Service (NHS). It is a three-year-long public cloud agreement between Crown Commercial Services, the UK Cabinet Office, and IBM that allows public sector organizations to innovate with digital solutions and services.

Along with balancing the need for compliance and security, the deal will allow the public sector to capitalize on the agility and speed of the public cloud.

Under the deal, all central government organizations, including local authorities, education, and the NHS, would benefit from preferential commercial terms to transform mission-critical workloads and develop new services.

Simon Tse, Chief Executive of Crown Commercial Service (CCS), said: “This agreement with IBM provides great value for public sector organizations as they continue to innovate and improve essential services for citizens throughout the UK.”

It includes more than 190 cloud-native APIs, such as AI, blockchain, Internet of Things, serverless, and DevOps, that helped IBM’s public cloud built on a foundation of open-source software. This will provide organizations with greater flexibility to access services without vendor lock-in, assisting the public sector in managing higher-value technology alongside key issues such as data, security, services, and workflows.

Organizations can access a suite of solutions that includes IBM Multicloud Manager, IBM Cloud Paks, Cloud Garages, Red Hat OpenShift, Power Virtual Servers on Cloud, VMware, and Cloud Migration Services.

“As the public sector continues its rapid digital transformation, government organizations crossing many industries need a reliable, resilient, and secure technology environment to meet the needs of citizens and address complex security and regulatory requirements,” said Janine Cook, Vice President for Public Sector at IBM UK and Ireland.

“An open hybrid cloud platform, built and managed with IBM’s deep industry expertise, can allow the public sector to accelerate its innovation and offer a more agile way to develop new digital services and take the next step along their cloud journeys,” she added.

In June 2020, Google Cloud signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UK government, which will help public bodies, such as the NHS, benefit from discounts on products.