People and processesDenise Dourado, Cloud Programme Director, HMRC

Denise Dourado, Cloud Programme Director, HMRC

Denise Dourado, Cloud Programme Director, HMRC

With over 20 years’ experience of delivering significant IT & business change programmes in the public and private sector, Denise is HMRC’s Cloud Programme Director. She is responsible for the move from datacentres to cloud across one of the largest and most complex IT estates in the UK, and will deliver the strategy for how HMRC will consume cloud services. Given the huge amount of customer data HMRC holds, this will set a blueprint for many other areas of government.

Denise leads a team of around 30 experts and technologists who have the job of moving critical pieces of the department’s infrastructure to cloud platforms, while minimising the impact on customers both outside and inside HMRC. Over a single weekend in October 2017, Denise and her team flawlessly moved the system that underpins taxation for all UK individuals to a private cloud platform, migrating more than 99 million accounts on 7,400 database tables. This was the culmination of more than a year’s worth of planning and has set the standard for how large virtualisation projects like this are managed in HMRC.

HMRC is in the midst of a huge transformation programme and it’s hard to understate the importance of cloud as an enabler for that. And properly exploiting cloud technology is as much about culture change as it is about technology: introducing new ways of working, collaborating across teams to get the best outcomes, having the right tools to support those conversations, and helping HMRC business areas understand how to properly consume cloud services. As Denise leads this work, the decisions she makes will help improve resilience of key HMRC systems, reduce infrastructure costs and increase delivery flexibility. They will also open up the future, since true exploitation of areas such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Blockchain require a fully optimised cloud platform as a precursor.

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