UK Ministry of Defence
A plaque on the Ministry of Defence building entrance in London on 15 September 2010.Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

Yesterday (3 August 2015) it was announced that the UK's Ministry of Defence (MoD) is making the move to cloud computing this autumn. It's a shift it says that will save the government £1bn ($1.56bn) for reinvestment over the next decade.

Deployed bases throughout the world, along with defence employees in offices and headquarters, will soon be using the likes of Office 365 and will gain new video, voice and mobile phone connectivity, plus other digital tools, by September 2016.

"We must keep pace with those who pose a threat to UK security, whether overt or cyber-based," said Defence Secretary Michael Fallon as he announced the winners of two contracts worth a combined £1,483,000,000 to make the upgrades.

"The new contracts will enhance our fighting capability and make us more efficient in our work," he said. "This move is a significant upgrade of current capability and will put Defence on the front foot with its industry partners to deal with global threats to national security," stated the MoD release.

The first contract, worth £933m, is planned to deliver a secure "New Style of IT" (NSoIT) on the back of the Defence Information Infrastructure. This will be spearheaded by The ATLAS Consortium, a technology partnership between HP, Fujitsu, Airbus Defence and Space and CGI, in order to deliver the technology. The project promises "significantly improved and new capability".

On its own, Fujitsu was awarded the £550m contract to build the core of the government's connectivity upgrade. Another contract to upgrade the military's voice, video and mobile phone technology — platforms that operate on the new infrastructure built by the first two contracts — has yet to be announced.