Blog Post 2: Cloud adoption at DVLA — growing our maturity

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Centralised Platform Team

One of the first steps was to establish a centralised cloud platform team. We had started by embedding cloud engineers in multi-disciplinary squads. However, without having defined standards, we saw proliferation of technology and duplication of effort across squads with many trying to solve the same problems at the same time.

Deployment Pipeline

Security is critical for us, and we continually challenge ourselves to look at how we can prevent insecure code being deployed into production. We standardised on a CI/CD pipeline, and ensured this was the only way of deploying code into production.

Cost Optimisation

We found that adopting cloud in an unconstrained manner had led to spiralling costs. When we migrated our original exemplar services onto a different public cloud, we carried out a cost optimisation exercise which resulted in run costs being reduced by over 70%. This involved:

  • ensuring all resources in auto scaling groups to take advantage of the elasticity of cloud
  • right-sizing instances where possible by reducing CPU, memory and/or storage where they had been over-provisioned

Growing In-House Capability

None of this would have been possible without our people. For our first steps into cloud we had partnered with external suppliers, but knew we wanted to be in control of our destiny, which meant both upskilling and attracting new talent.

  • a — a hackathon with various public and private sector organisations. This involved finding new and engaging ways to use bot technology within a public service
  • a Deep Racer Day — an opportunity to learn the concepts of machine learning whilst building and training reinforcement learning models

What next

We have now reached a stage of maturity where we can rapidly deliver new secure services such as changing address on a vehicle log book in a fraction of the time it took at the start of the journey. But we don’t want to stop here. We conclude our series by looking at what is coming up next, with the launch of our new Cloud Academy, enhanced cloud capabilities and a move to self-service.

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