The Government has struck a deal with IBM to provide public sector organisations including the NHS with quicker access to cloud services.

The three-year public cloud agreement between Crown Commercial Services, the UK Cabinet Office and IBM, will allow public sector organisations to innovate with digital solutions and services.

Under the agreement all Central Government organisations including local authorities, education and the NHS can benefit from preferential commercial terms to help transform mission-critical workloads and develop new services.

It will allow the public sector to capitalise on the speed and agility of the public cloud while balancing the need for compliance and security.

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

IBM’s public cloud is built on a foundation of open source software with more than 190 cloud-native APIs, such as AI, blockchain, Internet of Things, serverless and DevOps.

This will provide organisations greater flexibility to access services without vendor lock in, aiding the public sector manage higher value technology alongside key issues like data, security, services, and workflows.

Organisations will have access to a suite of solutions including IBM Multicloud Manager, IBM Cloud Paks, Red Hat OpenShift, Cloud Garages, Power Virtual Servers on Cloud, VMware and Cloud Migration Services.

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

“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.”

This follow’s Google Cloud signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UK government in June 2020, which will see public bodies, such as the NHS, benefit from discounts on products.