What is it?

PSN is the trusted, shared infrastructure that connects increasing numbers of organisations delivering public services to each other and to cloud based and hosted services they can use or share. Developed in 2011, after the Cabinet Office asked Industry to design an inclusive eco-system, the PSN was based on common Enterprise standards including performance and service, it’s made up of inter-connected commercial networks from many competing suppliers, so ensuring best value.

Why is it trusted?

To create the right environment for public service providers to share information and services, trust must be established between organisations. The annual PSN compliance process does this by ensuring that both suppliers and customer adhere to appropriate standards including security and technical interoperability. Using existing good practice and standard commercial services wherever possible, this approach creates ‘good and safe’ place for the PSN community to do business at least cost. This way, trust can be established  without direct contracts and previous experience.

How secure is PSN?

PSN provides an Assured Wide Area Network (WAN) suitable for using with information classified as Official (or Protect/IL2 in old terms). All services certified as PSN compliant are pre-accredited to ensure this and so cover the great majority of government requirements. Where information is classified as Official-Sensitive (similar to the old term  Restricted/IL3), then PSN can also meet this need with Protected WAN overlay services, using common agreed encryption or connectivity utilising  the Inter Provider Encryption Domain (IPED).

What’s the objective?

PSN aims to save the Public Sector money by better utilisation of conectivity and a greater choice of consumption and services and enable more efficient and joined-up public services. The initial aim was to provide a demonstrable £500m a year savings. This was achieved in 2013, according to HM Treasury.

What’s the benefit?

PSN saves money straight away by helping consolidate multiple networks, doing away with duplicate connections to other organisations, allowing the purchase of standardised, rather than bespoke services and promoting open and dynamic competition between suppliers.

Most importantly, PSN enables much larger benefits by providing the conduit for shared services, better collaboration and greater efficiency; transforming the way public services are delivered. Digital delivery to the citizen means that the public services ‘supply chain’ of processes, applications and information must be seamless and online too. PSN provides the trusted means to do this across departments, agencies and authorities.

How do I know if a service is ‘PSN’?

Before any supplier’s service can be connected to PSN it must be certified as complying with the relevant PSN standards. PSN compliant services can provide network connectivity plus a wide range of applications including voice, video, conferencing, collaboration, hosting, mail and many others. You can find a list of compliant services and those undergoing certification on the PSN website.
If in doubt, ask your supplier for the PSN compliance certificate for their service.

What about the PSN Frameworks?

Two procurement frameworks were let by the Crown Commercial Service in 2012, covering network connectivity (PSN-Connectivity) and a range of network services (PSN-Services). Although called ‘PSN’, the frameworks include both compliant and non-compliant services. To be clear, a PSN compliant service can be bought through any legitimate procurement mechanism and not solely through the PSN frameworks. Likewise, a listing on the PSN frameworks does not itself mean that a service is PSN compliant. Although extended into 2016, the PSN frameworks are due to be replaced with a new framework in 2015 called Network Services Framework which will list services that are PSN Compliant as an attribute, so removing any confusion between frameworks and compliance.

How do I connect to PSN?

Before connection to PSN as a user, you need to have PSN Compliance. This certifies that your network environment meets the basic requirements to connect to PSN, and ensure that you’re able to share and consume services across the PSN community. Find out more about becoming a customer from the PSN website. You also need to acquire a certified PSN connectivity service, whether that’s a complete WAN or just a single connection into PSN.

How do I make a service available on the PSN?

Any organisation, commercial, public or voluntary, can make services available to consume on PSN. Think of PSN as a ‘wire frame’ connecting hundreds of organisations on which shared services from communications to line of business or critical support applications can be hung. Doing this generally means gaining appropriate PSN certification as a service provider for each individual service before it can be connected to PSN.

More guidance on how to become a service provider is on the PSN website. Innopsis as the industry association for all PSN suppliers provides invaluable support from compliance workshops, networking and information to regular meetings with key stakeholders. PSN services can be sold through any legitimate procurement mechanism including the Digital Marketplace.

What’s the market for PSN services?

There’s a dynamic and open marketplace for PSN network connectivity and services, with many suppliers competing through the PSN frameworks, G-Cloud and other commercial routes. It is estimated that approaching £500m has been spent to date through the PSN frameworks and on PSN compliant services through other channels.  Innopsis is expanding with around 60 members, at least 50% of whom are SMEs entering the growing PSN market.

PSN General Documents and Technical Standards

Ever wondered what a vPoC is? Where does a PoI fit in? What exactly a DNSP is? What is PSN? What documents are in the overalll PSN Standards? The answers are here.

The core of the PSN Operating Model is the Technical Design Document (TDD). This describes the minimal technical standards of PSN Services.

To view or download the documents, please click here

Service Management Framework

In an environment where end to end service may be dependent on suppliers or other consumers who are uncontracted, there has to be a set of rules to obey, a way or working and a common vocabulary that all can understand. There needs to be an agreed ‘way of doing things’, otherwise there will be chaos. This does not have to be difficult or onerous, just following common sense practice.

The Service Management Framework decribes how PSN runs, day to day. For details of the documentation, please click here

Compliance

How does a Supplier or consumer know that any services connected or connecting meet the agreed standards? Compliance provides a short cut to experience. Services and Customer Environments that meet the conditions described in the PSN Operating Model, and can be backed up by verification, also a rapid trust environment to be established.

How is this done? The PSN Compliance documentation provides the information.

To see the documentation, please click here

Gartner: Top strategic technology trends for 2021

Gartner: Top strategic technology trends for 2021

Cybersecurity mesh, AI engineering, and distributed cloud services are among the top trends that Gartner says will shape future enterprise IT operations.

Companies need to focus on architecting resilience and accept that disruptive change is the norm, says research firm Gartner, which unveiled its annual look at the top strategic technology trends that organizations need to prepare for in the coming year.

Gartner unveiled this year’s list at its flagship IT Symposium/Xpo Americas conference, which is being held virtually this year.

6 Reasons Why Internal Data Centres Won’t Disappear

6 Reasons Why Internal Data Centres Won’t Disappear

Even with cloud, companies don’t want to give up their internal data centres. Why do data centres have such staying power?

Although the global cloud computing market size is expected to grow from USD 371.4 billion in 2020 to USD 832.1 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate of 17.5%, on-premise servers still operate in 98% of businesses.

Industry “started with mainframes, then we went to standalone servers, and then cloud was a big thing,” said Peter Tsai, a senior technology analyst at Spiceworks, an IT community forum. “Now it seems like we’re pulling computing resources back, closer to where they’re needed.”

Indeed, internal data centres are not going away — even as enterprises are outsourcing more IT to the cloud. The result has been a hearty embrace of hybrid computing, where some IT assets are outsourced to the cloud and others are maintained within corporate walls.

Just what are the driving forces for maintaining internal data centres and IT management?

UK stakes further claim in small-satellite launch business

UK stakes further claim in small-satellite launch business

The UK government evidently wants to cash in on the growing demand for launch capacity of small satellites, driven largely by “Internet-in-the-sky” projects like Elon Musk’s Starlink, and create more employment opportunities.

The UK Space Agency said “hundreds of space jobs” will be created in Scotland now that the government has approved plans for Lockheed Martin to transfer its “UK Pathfinder Launch” to the Shetland site at Lamba Ness on the island of Unst. (Located in the Shetland Islands, Unst is about as far north as you can get when it comes to inhabited parts of the UK.)

Shell, Sky and TalkTalk Eyeing Post Office Telecoms Acquisition

Shell, Sky and TalkTalk Eyeing Post Office Telecoms Acquisition

Several UK ISPs including Shell Energy, Sky Broadband and TalkTalk are today reportedly all being named as the “remaining bidders” for the Post Office’s telecoms division, specially its base of around 500,000 broadband and phone customers – said to be valued at around £100m.

The situation arguably began last year after the Post Office put out a Prior Information Notice (PIN), which sought suppliers for a “range of goods and services in order to continue to provide telecommunications services” to consumers (prior to this they held a managed service agreement with TalkTalk’s Wholesale division).

A Communication Fabric for Today’s Omni-Channel Digital Experience

A Communication Fabric for Today’s Omni-Channel Digital Experience

Why is the Communication Fabric important?
Contemporary digital experiences include the ability to communicate via multiple channels such as voice, text, web, chat, and video. It’s becoming increasingly common for consumers to begin a transaction in one channel and switch to a different channel before completing their business, especially in e-commerce.

Nokia warns IoT malware infection rate has doubled

Nokia warns IoT malware infection rate has doubled

IoT adoption is taking off at a rapid pace, and so is the rate at which connected devices are being compromised by hackers.
According to Nokia’s latest Threat Intelligence Report, IoT devices comprise 32.7 percent of infected devices on mobile networks, up from 16.2 percent in 2019. Windows PC’s claimed top spot with an infection rate of 38.9 percent; Android smartphones occupy third place with 26.6 percent.

Survey Identifies the Top 5G Mobile Myths Among UK People

Survey Identifies the Top 5G Mobile Myths Among UK People

A new Censuswide survey of 2,006 UK adults, which was conducted during August 2020, has helped to reveal roughly what proportion of people believe various different myths and falsehoods about the latest generation of ultrafast 5G based mobile broadband technology. Sadly 7% still believe 5G is connected to the spread of COVID-19.