Save the Children has turned to the cloud to reduce the time its IT team spends on basic functions, allowing them to deal with more business-oriented functions.
The charity is now using CenturyLink Cloud to host a range of core systems, including HR, donor websites, business intelligence, data analytics and intranet, which has made a huge difference, according to Graham Kent, head of global IT service delivery at the organisation.
“Too much of our IT team’s time was spent on ‘keeping the lights on’,” he said, adding that he thought initially about using co-location facilities, but plumped for a public cloud offering to completely remove the ownership of hardware.
“We wanted to move our IT infrastructure out of our own server room and into co-location, but eventually realised that we could improve efficiency and reliability even further by putting all of our systems into CenturyLink’s public cloud infrastructure,” he explained.
“I wanted to free the IT staff from managing ageing servers and legacy software packages that were expensive to maintain and difficult to scale, replacing them with a standardised, secure, scalable and reliable platform."
Save the Children was using its infrastructure and data centres prior to switching to the cloud, but this raised concerns about power cuts and upkeep. Moving to the cloud has removed many of these barriers, particularly for staff working in remote locations.
“Our local operations teams can focus more on helping children than IT troubleshooting,” Kent said.
“Our programs and systems also needed to be accessible globally from nearly any location, and not require significant investment in new hardware. CenturyLink’s platform fit the bill perfectly."
Kent added that the use of the cloud underlines his goal to remove the hassle of IT upkeep and overhead, and instead allow the charity to focus on its core remit.
“I joined Save the Children to transform our IT operations, enabling us to help more children around the world,” Kent said.
Other global charities have moved to the cloud for similar reasons. Oxfam told V3 last year that it uses cloud-based tools to improve staff collaboration and reduce the risks when getting staff out of dangerous areas.
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