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Case Study:

South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA)

Reshaping South Yorkshire’s public transport with Microsoft Azure

The South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) is a formal partnership of councils that shapes policy and leads on decision-making. Formed in 2014, the constituent members are Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, and Doncaster councils. The directly elected Mayor of South Yorkshire chairs the Mayoral Combined Authority.

SYMCA has powers and funds which are used to help create jobs, grow the economy, up-skill the workforce, and develop new infrastructure and homes in South Yorkshire.

SYMCA is also responsible for the region’s public transport network and manages the 102 million passenger journeys made each year in South Yorkshire. Nasstar was tasked with re-platforming a key SYMCA application that allows users to track public transport schedules from their mobile phones.


Microsoft Azure

Cloud Migration

Cloud Transformation

The Brief

SYMCA sought to enhance its public-facing websites by transitioning to a cloud-based platform. Motivated by the scalability and security of public cloud, the transformation would assist SYMCA with the delivery of its business goals by leveraging digital transformation for the betterment of the people of South Yorkshire.

The project aimed to preserve core website functionality, including delivering accurate transportation information to the population of South Yorkshire. Choosing Nasstar for its Microsoft Azure expertise, the partnership quickly evolved into a strategic alliance.

The Benefits

The new solution has brought several positive changes to SYMCA. The website is now more resilient, and the organisation is benefitting from increased development agility through automated deployments with CI/CD pipelines. SYMCA now also has access to flexible web scaling, built-in disaster recovery, and an improved security posture through Azure Front Door WAF. To demonstrate its stability, the platform was put through a series of rigorous load testing sequences of around 1k requests per second for several minutes.

Nasstar equipped SYMCA with the knowledge to evolve from manual website code updates to automated Azure DevOps pipeline-driven code updates. This transition has further optimised processes and led to error-resistant workflows.

This transformation project reflects a commitment to improved service delivery and a proactive response to user requirements. SYMCA and Nasstar will continue to develop a cloud-first strategy, ensuring South Yorkshire’s digital needs are met with efficiency, security, and reliability.

The Solution

SYMCA recognised the need for transformative change but there were some obstacles to overcome. This included the reliance on on-premise hosting and a lack of experience in some of the newer features and benefits of utilising core Azure web services to assist with effective cloud migration.

To ensure that core functionality was improved rather than lost, Nasstar worked closely with SYMCA’s Head of Digital Transformation and sought alignment with other key internal stakeholders.

The implementation began with an Azure App Assessment to verify PaaS (platform as a service) compatibility. Infrastructure as Code (Azure Bicep) was then used for Azure resource deployments in alignment with Microsoft's Well Architected and Cloud Adoption Frameworks. As a result, Nasstar was able to re-platform the website onto SYMCA's Azure tenant in under three weeks.

Aligned with SYMCA’s digital transformation goals, the new platform has met the public’s needs with increased efficiency, security, and technological resilience.

Since implementation, Nasstar has provided ongoing support including personnel training, documentation, and knowledge sharing. By partnering with Nasstar, SYMCA has been given the tools and insights to navigate an evolving digital landscape with confidence.

So many of South Yorkshire’s residents depend on easy access to reliable services. With this transformational work, we’ll be able to deliver just that. Acting as an extension of our technical team, Nasstar has brought resilience to our web platform and agility to our engineering processes. I’m looking forward to what we can accomplish together in the future.

Nick Brailsford
Head of Digital Transformation, SYMCA