The National Lottery Community Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund (The Fund) is the largest funder of community activity in the UK, Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, it distributes around £500 million a year through 10,000+ grants and plans to invest over £4 billion of funding into communities by 2030. The Fund relies on its IT infrastructure to support its grant-making processes, manage its data, and communicate with its stakeholders. However, its legacy on-premise system was outdated, costly, and difficult to maintain. The Fund needed a modern, flexible, and secure solution that would enable it to deliver its services more efficiently and effectively.

Introduction

The National Lottery Community Fund partnered with Servent, a leading Microsoft Azure partner, to migrate its IT infrastructure to the cloud using Microsoft Azure services. Servent helped The Fund design, plan, and execute a comprehensive cloud migration strategy that involved moving its core applications, databases, and servers to Microsoft Azure. Servent also provided training, support, and governance to ensure a smooth transition and a successful outcome.

Challenge

High operational costs

Poor security and compliance

Limited scalability

The Fund faced several challenges with its existing IT infrastructure, such as:

  • High operational costs and complexity: The Fund had to manage and maintain multiple servers, hardware, and software licenses, which incurred significant expenses and required a lot of resources.

  • Limited scalability and agility: They had to deal with fixed capacity and performance constraints, which made it hard to respond to changing demands and opportunities.

  • Poor security and compliance: Having to comply with strict data protection regulations and ensure the security of its sensitive information, which was challenging with its outdated and vulnerable system.

  • Lack of innovation and collaboration: Having to rely on legacy applications and tools, which hindered its ability to innovate and collaborate with its partners and beneficiaries.

Solution

Servent proposed a cloud migration solution that would address The National Lottery Community Fund's challenges and enable it to achieve its goals. The solution involved the following steps:

  • Assessment and discovery: Servent conducted a thorough assessment and discovery of The Fund's existing IT environment, including its applications, databases, servers, network, and security. Servent identified the dependencies, risks, and opportunities for optimisation and improvement.

  • Design and planning: Servent designed and planned a cloud migration roadmap that aligned with The National Lottery Community Fund's business objectives, budget, and timeline. Servent selected the best Microsoft Azure services and tools for The Fund's needs, such as Azure App Service, Azure SQL Database, Azure Storage, Azure Backup, Azure Site Recovery, Azure Active Directory, and Azure DevOps.

  • Implementation and migration: Servent implemented and migrated The Fund's IT infrastructure to Microsoft Azure using a phased approach that minimised disruption and ensured quality. Servent used Azure Migrate, a service that automates and simplifies the migration process, to move The Fund's applications, databases, and servers to Microsoft Azure. Servent also configured and tested the Azure services and tools to ensure they met The Fund's requirements and expectations.

  • Training and support: Servent provided training and support to The Fund's staff and stakeholders to help them adopt and use the new cloud solution. Servent also worked with The Fund to provide ongoing monitoring, management, and governance to ensure the security, performance, and availability of cloud services.

Outcome

By migrating its IT infrastructure to Microsoft Azure with Servent, The National Lottery Community Fund achieved several benefits, such as:

  • Reduced costs and complexity: The Fund's reduced its operational costs and complexity by eliminating the need for on-premise servers, hardware, and software licenses. The National Lottery Community Fund also benefited from Microsoft Azure pay-as-you-go pricing model, which enabled it to pay only for the resources it used.

  • Increased scalability and agility: The Fund increased its scalability and agility by leveraging Microsoft Azure elastic and flexible capabilities, which enabled it to scale up or down its resources and performance according to its needs and demands. They also benefited from Microsoft Azure global and regional availability, which enabled it to access and deliver its services from anywhere and anytime.

  • Improved security and compliance: The Fund improved its security and compliance by taking advantage of Microsoft Azure built-in and advanced security features, such as encryption, firewalls, identity and access management, and threat detection and prevention. They also benefited from Azure compliance with various data protection standards and regulations, such as GDPR, ISO, and SOC.

  • Enhanced innovation and collaboration: enhanced its innovation and collaboration by using Microsoft Azure integrated applications and tools, such as Office 365, Power BI, and Teams. They also benefited from Microsoft Azure DevOps capabilities, which enabled it to develop, test, and deploy new features and functionalities faster and easier.

Conclusion

The National Lottery Community Fund and Servent successfully completed the cloud migration project, which transformed their IT infrastructure and enabled it to deliver its services more efficiently and effectively. The National Lottery Community Fund and Servent continue to work together to optimise and improve the cloud solution and to explore new opportunities and possibilities with Azure.

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