The Metropolitan Police has signed a two-year deal with New Signature that will see its data transferred to a cloud-based system.

The contract with New Signature, a specialist and reseller of Microsoft Azure to large-scale companies, is part of a new plan to take the Met’s data online in a digital strategy outlined in the force’s One Met: Digital Policing Strategy which relays the Met’s Digital ambitions from 2017-2020.

The strategy explains that while the move to a cloud-based system is intended, threat checks and risk factors are still at the forefront of any business decision, particularly in regard to data protection laws and IT security.

Detailed in a press release published in 2017, the Met wrote: “We will adopt public cloud offerings as part of our ‘Cloud First’ principle.”

“Where we need specialised services, we will utilise virtual private cloud, and similar technologies, to provide consolidated, virtualised, commoditised infrastructure.”

The digitally-focused move was brought in to keep up with the rising demands on the Force and keep up with the level of services needed.

Extra digital measures that are intended to help the Met’s workload include WiFi for staff and customers, Microsoft Office 365, Skype for Business, Body Worn Video cameras and personalised tablet, smartphone and laptop devices.

The contract between the Metropolitan Police and New Signature is worth £487,000 and is considered a win for the company. The procurement contract is indeed the largest that New Signature has ever signed.

“Choosing to entrust their systems and applications in the cloud is a strong validation of the security and capabilities it offers,” said Dan Scarfe, founder of New Signature, in a statement released on Friday.

“Being able to help them on that journey, over larger systems integrators and previous providers, is a watershed moment.”

“It’s yet more validation that companies such as ours will thrive in this new world because we can deliver the agility and speed that these traditional organisations are now clamouring for and demanding.”

Chief Information Officer for the Metropolitan Police, Angus McCallum, said that digital policing is the Met’s main focus for the next three years and would provide effective services for their 45,000 police officers and every member of the public.

McCallum explained the reason behind choosing New Signature and Microsoft Azure: “They bring significant expertise and impressive experience of supporting other organisations on the journey to the cloud… The Met is committed to ensuring all of our people have the right technology to do their jobs with excellence, and New Signature’s involvement is a critical part of building our capability and achieving fast results.”

The first stage of migration is scheduled to be early 2019 with New Signature also being tasked with creating a network centre for operations.