18 Jul

UK Supreme Court Is Using Microsoft Solutions to Increase Efficiency

Microsoft cloud services are helping the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom administer justice more efficiently. They are enabling justices to work remotely and empowering staff to handle an ever-growing caseload. To digitize its processes and files for easy remote management, the U.K. Supreme Court has adopted a cloud model that uses a variety of integrated Microsoft services, including Azure, Office 365, Intune, Dynamics CRM Online, Skype for Business and Cortana Analytics Suite.


Solving Legacy Infrastructure Limitations

The cloud model solves a set of challenges the Supreme Court began experiencing when it inherited its legacy IT infrastructure from the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Justice handles all U.K. courts and prisons and employs 80,000 staff members. The Supreme Court, originally created to replace the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords, has a much more limited mission, handling approximately 300 case applications and 100 full cases a year. With this narrower focus, the Supreme Court found the Ministry of Justice IT infrastructure too extensive and expensive for its needs.

The Court’s Justices and staff decided they needed a remote solution that enabled them to access vital documents while out of the office. They also needed swift, efficient access to case management information to meet strict reporting requirements. Additionally, with case loads growing at a rate of 45 percent a year, Supreme Court staff needed a solution that could handle future expansion.


An Integrated Cloud Solution

To solve these challenges, Farsight Consulting recommended that the Supreme Court migrate to a cloud-based solution using Microsoft technology. The resulting solution has set the Court on track to reduce its IT budget by up to 60 percent.

The Microsoft Azure cloud enables court records to be digitized, empowering easy remote access. Microsoft Office 365 provides staff with a dynamic scheduling system in which members can view each others’ calendars and schedule court dates online. Skype for Business enables administrative meetings and court testimony to be handled remotely, minimizing time spent in physical meetings. To make case management easier, a combination of Azure’s cloud filing system and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online allows case information to be transferred digitally from one agency or official to another with real-time speed. Finally, analytics tools from the Cortana Analytics Suite provide reports on process efficiency, allowing for continuous adjustments and improvements.

In addition to increased efficiency and lower costs, the Court’s upgraded cloud system has improved engagement with citizens, who appreciate the new solution’s accelerated case management.


Microsoft’s E-Justice Initiative

Microsoft’s support of the U.K. Supreme Court exemplifies the company’s approach to e-justice, the emerging technology that court systems around the world are increasingly adopting. Microsoft’s e-justice initiative aims to improve access to judicial systems, increase collaboration between jurisdictions and strengthen justice systems.

Other clients that have used Microsoft-powered e-justice solutions include the San Jose Police Department, the Miami-Dade County Clerk of Circuit Courts, the State of Alabama, Sao Paulo’s Tribunal de Justicia, Northern Ireland’s Causeway Criminal Justice Programme, the Austrian Ministry of the Interior and the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation. In cooperation with its Certified Partners, Microsoft provides government cloud services designed to meet the needs of organizations, such as the U.K. Supreme Court, that handle highly-sensitive information.

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