DevOps in action: Empowering justice with the Crown Prosecution Service

On esynergy's collaboration with the CPS to develop a revolutionary case management system

clock • 3 min read
Matt Lockyear, esynergy and Crown Prosecution Service

Matt Lockyear, esynergy and Crown Prosecution Service

DevOps, the buzzword that's become synonymous with modern software development, can sometimes feel shrouded in mystery. What exactly is it? Why is it crucial? And how is it evolving? Today, I want to shed light on this transformative approach, offering both an individual and organisational perspective from my vantage point at esynergy.

From my experience, DevOps isn't just a set of tools or processes; it's a cultural shift. It's about breaking down silos between development, operations, and other teams, fostering a collaborative environment where everyone works towards a shared goal: delivering high-quality software faster and more reliably.

As the platforms practice lead at esynergy, I find myself constantly interacting with various teams, ensuring their needs are met and platforms are optimised for efficient development and deployment. DevOps practices like continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) have been instrumental in this regard. Automating tasks, embracing infrastructure-as-code, and promoting open communication have not only accelerated our delivery cycles but also empowered developers to own their releases, leading to a sense of accountability and increased engagement.

At esynergy, we fully recognise the importance of DevOps in today's competitive landscape. It's no longer optional; it's essential for staying ahead of the curve. By adopting DevOps principles, we've seen significant improvements in our product delivery chain. Faster release cycles, fewer bugs, and increased responsiveness to market demands are just a few of the benefits we've reaped.

Of course, our journey hasn't been without its challenges. Cultural shifts take time, and overcoming established ways of working can be tricky. However, by fostering a culture of continuous learning and providing the necessary training and support, we've successfully navigated these challenges and seen widespread adoption of DevOps practices across our clients.

The DevOps landscape is constantly evolving, with new tools and methodologies emerging all the time. We are committed to staying at the forefront of this evolution. We actively explore and evaluate new technologies like AI and machine learning to further automate tasks and optimise our processes. We also believe in fostering a culture of experimentation and innovation, encouraging teams to explore new ways of working and improve our DevOps practices.

esynergy has created an Application Modernisation playbook to outline everything you need to know to successfully approach a major application modernisation project, helping to turn these pain points into business value. Read the playbook here.

A compelling example of the transformative power of DevOps lies in our collaboration with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to develop Polaris, a revolutionary Case Management System (CMS). This project aimed to modernise CPS's infrastructure, accelerate its digital transformation, and ultimately, enhance justice delivery.

The existing CMS presented several challenges. Accessing case data and documents was restricted, leading to manual redaction, searching, hindering efficiency. Additionally, integrating with the legacy system proved complex.

Through close collaboration and innovative thinking, our team devised a solution: DDEI (Direct Document Extraction and Ingestion). This serverless architecture, built using CI/CD principles, effectively bypassed direct CMS endpoint connection by reusing existing APIs. This not only solved the initial challenge but also laid the foundation for future digital products and innovations within CPS.

Polaris is expected to deliver remarkable results. Users will save 11 minutes per case review and 13 minutes per redaction, translating to an estimated one-hour daily timesaving for prosecutors. This translates to over 112,000 hours saved annually, significantly impacting prosecution rates.

Beyond efficiency gains, Polaris fosters a culture of innovation within CPS. Its API is being reused in other projects, showcasing the potential for further advancements. The future holds promise for integrating with redaction log systems and harnessing AI for automated suggestions, further streamlining processes and enhancing justice delivery.

DevOps is rather a continuous journey towards collaboration, automation, and innovation. The CPS case study exemplifies how this approach can empower organisations to achieve remarkable outcomes.

Read the full case study here.

Matthew Lockyer is platforms practice lead at esynergy. As a technology leader with 14 years of experience in banking, payments, and ecommerce, Matthew is passionate about leveraging technology to build seamless user experiences. With a developer background and a knack for leading multidisciplinary teams, Matthew is driven to create world-class developer experiences throughout the product delivery lifecycle.

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