Key Forensic Services

Forensic science leader helps to fight crime with Microsoft cloud.

Key Forensic Services provides forensic support to the UK criminal justice system and law enforcement agencies worldwide. It is a 24/7 operation and the business needs to provide fast service delivery with utmost information security. Being so reliant on resilient IT, KFS decided to move to a private hybrid cloud environment. Now with the highest levels of availability, reduced risk and the ability to flex and scale, KFS can enrich customer service and focus on the role it plays in keeping the public safe.

At Key Forensic Services (KFS), the speed of service delivery can determine the safety of the general public. With a team of 250 people operating across 3 UK sites, KFS provides forensic support to all strands of the UK criminal justice system.

KFS is a business that never sleeps, operating 24/7 to tight deadlines and the highest levels of information security. It supports criminal investigations from burglary through to murder and counter-terrorism, and whilst most work is completed in the lab, it also provides assistance at the scene of the crime and expert testimony in the courtroom. The vocational team are passionate about the role they play in helping to put criminals behind bars and keeping the public safe. Technology is the vital ingredient to delivering on that mission.

Challenge – Unreliable systems, business risk

KFS produces hundreds of DNA profiles every day, which police intelligence units rely on to act fast and arrest suspects. The previous IT platform was unreliable and putting the business at risk. Struggling with regular outages, KFS constantly feared that the systems would go down, losing a day’s output that couldn’t be recovered. It faced the vulnerability that staff coming in to undertake urgent analysis at the weekend would find that the systems were unavailable. IT transformation projects couldn’t be completed and when the business experienced a catastrophic 48-hour outage, it had no choice but to look for a radical new approach.

When you have people sitting in custody waiting for DNA profiles to be completed, there is no margin for delay. If we can’t provide those services, it’s absolutely catastrophic. Aside from a major incident being compromised, we face reputational damage and financial penalties if those deadlines are not met.Paul Hackett, Managing Director of KFS,

Solution – Availability and flexibility in the hybrid cloud

KFS instructed pioneering Microsoft Cloud Solutions provider, Extrinsica Global, to help. Extrinsica specialises in delivering unique hybrid cloud solutions built on Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and its own Microsoft cloud fabric called EV3. With this approach, Extrinsica Global can design and build the exact cloud solution required by organisations like KFS, made up of on-premise, private cloud and Microsoft public cloud services, and then deliver it as a fully managed service.

For KFS, Extrinsica created a next-generation Cloud Lab delivered from a private hybrid cloud platform as a complete end-to-end fully managed service which the business simply consumes. The Cloud Lab, which includes highly complex DNA analysis apps and Microsoft Office, is built on EV3 integrating seamlessly with Microsoft Azure Site Recovery and Azure Back-Up. Critically, it also connects back into KFS’ sophisticated onsite labs.

For KFS, system outages and technology frustrations are a thing of the past. It now enjoys 100% system availability and a flexible, cutting-edge IT platform that opens up exciting new potential for service innovation, customer service excellence and international growth.

“Moving our IT into a hybrid cloud service has taken away all the risk we previously faced. It feels like a complete transformation. IT is no longer on the risk register at board level. We just don’t talk about it anymore. It’s taken for granted!”Paul Hackett, Managing Director of KFS,

Benefits & Value

24/7 reliability
  • KFS’s hybrid cloud solution provides 100% availability ensuring that systems never go down and that vital forensic analysis can be delivered on time, every time
  • With the new platform securely located in the cloud and replicated with Azure Site Recovery, KFS has the confidence that business continuity is assured
  • KFS now has the highest levels of security and control, enabling it to confidently meet regulatory compliance requirements
Greater cost-efficiency
  • With limited IT resources, KFS can entrust the cost-effective management of its cloud platform to Extrinsica, while refocusing internal IT resources on transformation strategy rather than operational activities
  • With greater IT flexibility and a fully managed service from Extrinsica, KFS is able to operate more cost-effectively and maximise revenue, by avoiding costly financial penalties from missed service deadlines
  • Azure back-up provides a high value solution for long term retention of KFS’ data removing worry and the unnecessary cost of onsite data storage management
Winning customers
  • KFS can now confidently demonstrate unprecedented IT resilience and 100% bulletproof business continuity capability to potential customers, helping the business to win new contracts
  • Empowered with greater flexibility and support, KFS has been able to refine and enhance services, offering a more proactive ‘can do’ approach around individual service requests from its customers
Transformation
  • Supported by Extrinsica Global and the cloud, KFS has launched a ground-breaking new service which has the potential to enable DNA analysis to be completed in hundreds of locations around the country, delivering DNA profiles in 2 hours rather than 24 hours
  • KFS employees are now equipped to work productively outside of the office and labs, accessing systems from any location
    With their new Cloud Lab deployed and Extrinsica Global as a strategic technology partner, KFS has made ongoing operational improvements completing a range of projects that were previously considered unfeasible
  • International business expansion is now a reality with a new joint venture in East Africa underway and the construction of a forensic lab in another country
“IT needs to be like water coming out of a tap – available 24/7, accessible by the scientists that need it, and secure. Microsoft Cloud is transformational, disruptive technology which has completely transformed how we move forward as a business. The vulnerability has been replaced with security, control, and flexibility.”Paul Hackett | MD | Key Forensic Services

Thanks to the cloud, we’ve been able to introduce a new RapidHIT DNA service which puts DNA testing in the hands of our customers in potentially hundreds of locations. Nobody has done this anywhere in the world. But with Extrinsica Global and the Microsoft Cloud, we believe it’s possible.””Paul Hackett | MD | Key Forensic Services

“When we bid for new contracts we can now demonstrate how ground-breaking our IT platform is. That’s what our customers need and we can commit with confidence. ”Paul Hackett | MD | Key Forensic Services