HMRC Boss Defends Shift To AWS


The story has blown up! The Permanent Secretary at HMRC has defended the decision of the UK tax authority to ditch a small British cloud provider in favor of AWS.

Saying that Amazon Web Services was one of the only two that could handle its cloud needs.

The body was at the receiving end of some intense criticism this week when it emerged that HMRC had made the decision to migrate to the AWS cloud platform. The move resulted in DataCentred, a small cloud provider based in Manchester, closing its doors after the loss of its biggest client.

Slipping into administration in August.

However, Jon Thompson, Permanent Secretary and chief executive at HMRC, has defended this decision, saying that the market had moved on for very large businesses into hyperscale cloud now:

“So, I don’t think personally there’s anything wrong with HMRC contracting with Amazon Web Services. The market had moved on for very large businesses into hyperscale cloud. We need resilience in data centers and we need someone who can hold that data for us.”

When asked whether Amazon was the only company that could handle the cloud needs of HMRC, he said that while there were two providers that were capable, the justification was that they went where they saw value for money:

“No, there are two… and the price reduction on this was more than 50 per cent for us. There was a clear value for money of moving down this route.”

The other being Microsoft Azure, of course.

The HMRC boss capped it off by saying that by scaling up the data held within HMRC, the department would get a more resilient service that was held on multiple sites and would not face the cost of managing its own server farms.

On top of that, the data would be held in the UK, and not shared with the US.