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Cops aren't normally the most 'agile' of folk, but that's exactly what London's Metropolitan Police Service would like to be

And it's waving £350m to get it done

London's Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is on the hunt for an IT service oufit to help run its sprawling application estate in a contract that could be worth up to £350m.

The agreement, which is for five years initially, is looking for a supplier to help with "the effective support of applications within the MPS estate, to ensure a highly available maintained estate with IT service continuity management at the heart of the service," according to a tender notice.

Founded by Sir Robert Peel in 1829, the Met, as it is colloquially known, has been relying on Accenture to help with its applications under a £86m five-year deal, which is set to come to an end in 2021.

The Met hopes the new supplier will offer "agility and flexibility in our services, an improved user experience and greater value for money" as part of a technology refresh dubbed the Pegasus Programme, which "supports the MPS direction and strategy to seize the opportunities of data, digital and technology to be a world leader in policing."

As well as end-user support, the force is potentially looking for hosting services including IaaS and PaaS, and DevOps services involving the introduction of "agile application development methodologies to augment the existing capability within MPS," the tender document says.

Responsible for policing an area of 620 square miles (1,605 square km) with a population over 12 million, the Met has already launched the procurement notice for the infrastructure portion of its "towers" programme in a £600m contract competition.

The new infrastructure tower consists of five of the current tower services and "is nearing completion" in procurement, the application notice said.

Between 2015 and 2017, MPS awarded its service integration and management to Atos, network services to BT, data centres services to Keysource, and hosting and end-user services to DXC.

In 2016, the Met Police handed £250m in contracts to CSC including £155m end-user computing deal to provide managed desktop services and storage, and a £95m cloud, hosting, and SaaS deal.

The idea behind the "towers model" is to contract suppliers to serve particular service areas, breaking down monolithic deals that some public sector bodies find difficult to manage. The Met is now consolidating the number of "towers", which could be seen as an admission that the outcome did not exactly meet with their expectations. ®

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