Digital transformation firm Shaping Cloud gets £1.4m boost

cloud management

Investors have injected 1.4 million into a Manchester-based company working closely with the public sector on digital transformation projects.

Shaping Cloud will use the money to further develop its cloud products and boost its sales and marketing outlay - adding 12 staff to its workforce - to benefit its predominantly public sector clients ranging from NHS trusts to local government.

The funding package includes 500,000 from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, 750,000 from NPIF - Mercia Equity Finance (which is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund), and a further 150,000 from internal management.

"With ambitious targets set out in the government's transformation strategy and health and social care integration agenda," said Shaping Cloud CEO Carlos Oliveira, "our experience and products, we believe, make us well placed to support these objectives and transform the digital services delivered by public sector bodies."

"This investment will, therefore, enable us to continually develop and promote our SPINR product so our customers can benefit from not only service improvements but cost, operational and efficiency advantages as well."

Founded by Oliveira in 2010, Shaping Cloud has delivered a wide range of services to public sector customers in recent years, including helping Salford Royal NHS Trust migrate to the public cloud. Shaping Cloud also helped Homes England, the central non-departmental government body, build its base platform for cloud transformation.

The company, which employees 18 people and mainly offers consultancy services, says its focus for growth in future will be on its software business and SPINR, an API-based development platform. SPINR, according to the company, can allow users to easily share and migrate data without involving the costs of replacing existing infrastructure.

"Shaping Cloud is a fantastic business that is supporting public sector organisations, whose digital transformation strategies are often stymied by old technology, adopt and take advantage of cloud-based solutions," said British Business Bank director Grant Peggie.

"The business is in great shape, and this funding will only help it grow even further as it looks to bolster its headcount and develop new products."

Progress in cloud migration and digital transformation in the public sector has been slow, by all accounts, with FoI research published earlier this year revealing less than a third of NHS trusts, and nearly two-thirds of central government departments have yet to adopt any level of public cloud services.

Research released in May also revealed 80% of local councils across the country were still using on-premise infrastructure, either in isolation or alongside a cloud service, to access and manage citizen data, further underlining the distance the public sector has to travel.

However, an academic paper published in 2017 warned that councils should not be rushed into migrating their applications and data to the cloud - finding that despite the overwhelming political pressure on councils, there were not very many examples of best practice to follow.

Keumars Afifi-Sabet

Keumars Afifi-Sabet is a writer and editor that specialises in public sector, cyber security, and cloud computing. He first joined ITPro as a staff writer in April 2018 and eventually became its Features Editor. Although a regular contributor to other tech sites in the past, these days you will find Keumars on LiveScience, where he runs its Technology section.