In our previous blog, we looked at the tensions between ‘keeping the lights on’ and ‘enablement’, where IT budgets are still largely given over to ensuring business as usual as opposed to making positive change happen.
We are always excited by the art of the possible and some of our best projects in recent times could be more fairly categorised as transformational not just enabling. That’s what we want to champion and celebrate, to encourage others that a bold vision and the right partner can deliver some truly amazing outcomes for organisations and service users.
Take Coastal Housing Group for instance.
Universal Credit had major consequences for the Coastal IT team. With housing officers needing to spend more time with tenants educating them around the changes to rental payments, it was felt that the time was right to modernise its ageing on-premises IT infrastructure to better support both field and office staff, driving new levels of mobility, efficiency and continuity.
To support their objectives, Coastal opted for a private cloud-based solution, including virtual desktop. It was a massive physical and psychological shift for the team but at the same time they recognised that their new world would give them the best chance of not just efficiently aligning IT to organisational needs but of doing things better – and doing more things!
The move to hosted desktop has given staff the freedom to work productively from any location and on any device. Plus the anytime, anywhere access to central resources has cut down housing officers’ need to travel back to the office and/or print out reams of documentation – that’s not just efficient and green but it’s also freeing up more quality face-to-face time with tenants.
With the increased resilience across its infrastructure, Coastal has also been able to maintain a much higher touch service to its tenants, especially in respect of its call centres. And all this against a constant backdrop of having quality time now to look ahead – being free enough to innovate and look at how else they can help deliver value at the front-end, as opposed to just being a back-end cost centre. And, of course, knowing that the enabling technology is always there to support digital strategies and desired outcomes.
Enablement, of course, isn’t just about what you want to do – often it’s about what you have to do. Let’s go back to April 2020 and the start of Covid-19.
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG) provides acute hospital and community services to around 350,000 people. The ISV, WebV, had developed a cost effective Electronic Patient Record and Clinical Software Solution to meet the needs of the NLaG Trust and the system has since been deployed across a range of other healthcare organisations including 5 acute hospitals, 5 CCGs and 12 community organisations.
In April, Norwich and Norfolk Trust asked WebV to replace their paper-based patient records with the WebV EPR system ‘in the shortest timescale possible’. The Trust had already planned to digitise their paper records, but with the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating, their paper-based system was considered an additional risk for virus transmission and remote-access to patient data was critical. Their plans were accelerated and the WebV team needed to turn around a solution in a very short space of time to allow staff to access digitised patient records across different settings including working from home.
Norwich and Norfolk Trust opted for a cloud solution and needed 2 application servers and 2 database servers to be deployed to host the WebV solution and the patient record database. With the IT team within NLAG extremely busy responding to the pandemic, WebV turned to Redcentric to deliver the required IaaS platform – in just ten days.
It’s not just that the project fulfilled an immediate need. Nor even that WebV, our customer, has a greatly enhanced ability to scale up and support its new customers in turn. But it’s the ultimate beneficiary that matters here, with a Trust now able to work very differently – securely, efficiently, safely – just when it really mattered. And all within a timeframe that even as recently as February this year would have seemed outrageous.
The art of the possible is painting some amazing pictures.