In 2008 Royal Mail, the British national postal service, moved over to cloud computing. The mail service had recently been under threat from more efficient competition and privatization. In order to streamline services and, more importantly, bring down rising costs, the company switched from the onsite Lotus suite to the more modern Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite. It is estimated that over the last 4 years there has been a 10-15% reduction in the cost of maintenance alone.
Gone are the on location racks and in are the cloud based servers and bandwidth provided by CSC, the Computer Sciences Corporation. Cloud based services reduce costs as clients are only billed for the features they use; over the Christmas period Royal Mail saw their costs rise by approximately 20% and then fall by the same figure in January.
Although most data is stored on the cloud, sensitive application information is still kept in house. This is something the company hopes to overcome in the not to distant future by using Microsoft’s Hyper-V solution. This gives the advantages of being able to move applications on or off the cloud while keeping the data secure.
“Importantly, we can seamlessly move applications in and out of the cloud as and when we choose”, “It has given us a foundation to adapt and change so, whatever the future holds, we are ready. Decisions are infinitely quicker now.” said a company representative.