Coastal Housing Group is a not-for-profit industrial and provident society serving communities across South Wales which needed to modernise its IT systems to better support both field and office staff.
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 IT systems to better support both field and office staff, driving new levels of mobility, efficiency and continuity.
The key challenge for Coastal was to safely transition from an ageing on-premises IT infrastructure to a modern, resilient and adaptable managed solution, one that would allow better alignment of technology with user requirements, and enable the organisation to respond quickly and appropriately to operational change and customer need.
Decision taken, Coastal Housing evaluated two routes – an on-premises refresh or moving to a private hosted solution, including virtual desktop.
A cloud-based proposition emerged as the optimal path to a more enabled and enabling future – although, as Mark Elias, IT Infrastructure Manager, freely confesses, the relinquishing of total ownership and moving towards a balance of responsibilities was a big step for him and his colleagues.
But he also recognised what the ‘new world’ would give Coastal:
Time for the IT team to focus on more added-value activities and drive future vision.
This was a hugely significant project for us, fundamentally changing our I.T. infrastructure and radically reshaping the I.T. team’s responsibilities too.
From an initial shortlist of eight, Redcentric was selected to deliver a comprehensive hosted private cloud and hosted desktop solution, which included managed firewall, managed backup, managed exchange and internet connectivity.
Shane Griffiths, Head of IT, is clear as to why Redcentric was appointed: “Redcentric talked of a technical solution that would give us assurance, capability, reliability and the option to work smart – but we also saw all of these qualities mirrored in the Redcentric team. It was always going to be a complex and sensitive migration, needing a collective collaborative effort so that early belief and confidence was vital.”.
Where Redcentric really outperformed was in the character they showed throughout the procurement process – diligent, responsive, professional, enthusiastic.
The key outcome for Coastal Housing Group is that they have safely transitioned to a modern, secure hosted environment that can align itself quickly to organisational needs and operational change. There is intense pressure on every part of the public sector to offer more value to its stakeholders and citizens but to do it in a lean, smart, cost-efficient way. Coastal is now well positioned not just to react and respond but also to anticipate and innovate.
Future-proof – Automatic refresh, on-demand capacity and a broad portfolio of complementary solutions will keep Coastal a step ahead
Greater mobility – The move to hosted desktop has given staff the freedom to work productively from any location and on any device
Increased efficiency – Remote access to central resources has cut down housing officers’ need to travel back to the office and/or print out reams of documentation
Enhanced continuity – Increased resilience ensures that Coastal can maintain a high touch service to its tenants, especially in respect of its call centres
Resource utilisation – The IT team is now able to look up and look ahead, with more time given to added-value initiatives and strategic planning.
Coastal now has a future-proof infrastructure that is providing the functionality, flexibility, continuity and security it needs in respect of supporting its staff, aiding its tenants and driving strategy and innovation.