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Hasta la vista: Saying goodbye to DWP Digital

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Juan Villamil head and shoulders shot
Juan Villamil is departing DWP Digital

On 18 May 2015 I walked through the doors of DWP Digital London hub, and I’m so proud of what the Technology Services team has achieved in that time. It’s been a privilege to be part of this incredible transformation journey which has seen significant progress over many different areas. Here are my highlights!

We now own our IT estate

As an organisation, we now own all of our IT estate, having previously been fully outsourced for over 20 years. We’ve built state of the art data centres and used these to consolidate all our non-strategic on-premises hosting.

Using a mix of government-owned data centres and public cloud hosting is giving us the flexibility to create, test and run new digital services far quicker than before – and has also significantly reduced run costs for the department.

We’ve shifted over 100 workloads to the cloud. We’ve deployed Wi-Fi across 730 sites, providing free Wi-Fi access to both citizens and colleagues. Colleagues from other departments can now share this Wi-Fi access, which has facilitated improved cross-departmental working. We manage systems that support over 75 million calls per annum across our telephony service and have deployed 88,000 IP handsets across all of our locations.

It’s a very different organisation now compared to when I started. IT is no longer working in isolation; we’re collaborating closely with the wider DWP business and policy teams, and we’re working in multidisciplinary agile teams that focus on user needs.

We’re providing a World Class Service

By insourcing our IT estate, we’ve been able to focus on improving the performance of our systems and reducing lost productivity through our ‘World Class Service’ initiative.

Service performance is now at an all-time high and improvements are directly benefitting our customers’ experiences. Lost productivity has reduced from 2% of all business hours to less than 0.03%, with the total of all reported incidents reduced by 46%, and Net Promoter Scores sustained at +54.

I’m so happy that colleagues are now coming into work confident that services will be available and high-performing, meaning they’re able to provide the best possible service to customers. For the first time ever we achieved a 10 point uplift 2 years in a row of colleagues across DWP saying they have the right IT to do their job.

We’re constantly innovating

The Innovation Dojo is one of my proudest achievements. It’s a dedicated space within DWP Digital where we can think ‘outside of the box’ and be really creative in finding solutions, and where it’s safe to test and experiment.

The Dojo works with colleagues from across all of DWP; for example, we bring colleagues from jobcentres and customer support roles into the Dojo to help inform thinking and understanding on how services can be improved for citizens. It’s collaboration like this that is helping to embed a culture of innovation right across the organisation.

The future is bright

I’m looking forward to watching how the department continues to build amazing services which make a real difference to real people’s lives and reinvent the way in which people interact with government.

 Some of the key things I’ll be watching from afar will be the development of next generation infrastructure, supporting an enhanced security model and providing ubiquitous access to DWP systems from any location. And I’m also looking forward to seeing the development of Software Defined Networks (SD-WAN), which provide users direct access to cloud services.

 A fantastic time!

As I prepare to leave DWP Digital later this month, I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone I’ve had the pleasure to work with.

It’s been a blast and it’s easy to see why we’re regularly shortlisted as one of the best places to work in tech. For me, the experience I’ve gained at DWP Digital solving large-scale problems to meet user needs is priceless. And I’d encourage anyone who’s looking for a stimulating and fulfilling career to consider some of the roles we have on offer. You’ll learn new skills, and work with diverse teams on big, important projects that play a meaningful role in the future of society.

For now, all that’s left to say is hasta la vista!

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