Scotland’s national benefits agency is set to spend an estimated £11.56 million ($14.5 million) on cloud hosting with Amazon Web Services over the next two years.

Social Security Scotland has signed a contract with AWS to help it deliver 14 benefits to 1.2 million people across Scotland, per a government procurement notice published last week.

The agency said whilst the estimated costs had increased from £9.01 million to £11.56 million over the course of the contract, from 2024-26, that was exclusive of any discounts available via the ‘UK Volume Commitment Plan’.

The agency now has approximately 4.4 petabytes – equivalent to 4.4 million gigabytes – of data stored within its cloud service, new figures revealed.

A Social Security Scotland spokesperson said: “Our procurement processes are transparent and are designed to be fair to all suppliers who may tender for contracts with us. 

“The contract was placed using the existing Crown Commercial Services (CCS) G-Cloud 13 Framework. This was a competitive exercise, which complied with the Operating Procedures of the Framework. This included a filtering process, which resulted in Amazon Web Services being the identified Supplier.  

“Like many other government departments and agencies, agreements with Crown Commercial Services delivers Social Security Scotland greater value for money and enhanced benefits.

“This contract is for public cloud platform services that facilitates the operation of Social Security Scotland business applications that enable benefit payments to people in Scotland

“As our organisation has grown delivering 14 benefits to 1.2 million people across Scotland, so has our need for greater capacity in our cloud-based computing services.”

There is a minimum contract obligation to spend £6.378 million over the contract period on cloud services – which are ‘demand-led’ and may vary according to actual usage.

According to the organisation’s annual procurement report last year, the estimated value of regulated procurements expected to commence in the next two financial years was £43.1 million.

Some of the big ticket IT spend elements include an estimated £7 million on cloud engineering services and £6 million on cloud hosting. Other items include £7.5 million on interim digital resources and £6 million on multi-channel contact centre and telephony services.