The OSJCT IT estate needed to be refreshed, requiring major capital and operational investment that would have to be diverted from other important areas.
BrightCloud’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform removed this requirement and meant that OSJCT could remove cost, increase efficiency and focus their IT team on strategic, care-focused projects.
The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) provides care for over 3,500 residents, many of whom have complex care needs, including dementia across 68 care homes and 12 independent living schemes.
OSJCT was undertaking an extensive development programme to ensure that its residents and staff can live and work in a modern environment and can benefit from the latest care aids, equipment and technologies.
The IT department, responsible for underpinning the operational side of the Trust’s work, is very small. The demands being placed on it were ever increasing as the amount of technology being used in back office processes and in frontline care continued to grow.
Whilst initially it was enough to just increase the number of servers hosting the apps and storing the data, the resources needed to manage, monitor and maintain these and the applications was simply unsustainable.
Registered charities can’t reclaim VAT, so the cost of IT acquisition, whether as a capital asset or an operational cost, is 20% higher than for a VAT registered organisation. Where the decision is made to purchase a service rather than a capital asset, there has to be an extremely solid business case presented to the trustees.
OSJCT looked at renting space and putting in its own servers and also looked at cloud offerings from other providers. There were initial apprehensions about partnering with a hosting provider as many could not guarantee that the Trust’s data would be stored in the UK.
We guaranteed that the data would be hosted on our own, highly secure, UK-based, private data centre. On top of this, we could provide dedicated infrastructure, further assuring performance and security.
We were already working with charities with similar IT needs, so OSJCT knew from speaking with these organisations that they would get the performance they needed. It would also remove the burden of managing the vital processes that ultimately guarantee application delivery.
With the rapport between the two organisations already strong in the planning stages, it was soon decided to extend the relationship from pure hosting to one that included managed services and back-up, plus expert advice on Citrix, Microsoft Exchange and application delivery.
The migration of the OSJCT estate was a challenging project and before the process could begin the application servers had to be upgraded to ensure compatibility with Windows 2012. We planned meticulously and worked closely with OSJCT to ensure minimum disruption, completing the process on schedule with no issues from users.
OSJCT benefited immediately and now has the skills, technology, monitoring, and guaranteed application performance to rival that of much larger care groups. We keep the IT infrastructure performing to the highest SLAs while the OSJCT IT team is now fully focused on strategic, care-focused projects.
Our relationship is going from strength to strength and is likely to extend in parallel with the Trust’s development plans. OSJCT is currently looking to upgrade its home-based systems and this will require full back end support.