Jabiru Community Youth and Children’s Services provides childcare, outside school hours services as well as programs that support young people and their families. In 2018, centres across 17 locations were logging in to the server through remote desktops, which meant accessing files, sending emails or carrying out simple admin tasks were time-consuming and insecure. Tania, GM of Enterprise Support told us,
“Every time there was a storm I would worry about the server. Because if that went down, everyone was down.”
The server was at the end of its life, staff personal computers needed upgrading and the organisation also needed better communication and collaboration tools.
Jabiru took the time to document their needs and then asked two IT consultancies for proposals to support them to upgrade to cloud-based systems and higher-spec hardware.
They chose The Infoxchange Group, who worked with Jabiru to develop an IT strategy. This strategy included upgrading 40 outdated devices with new hardware, and implementing Microsoft's cloud-based Office 365.
The rollout of the strategy was via staged approach and is still ongoing.
Jabiru accessed discounted HP hardware through Infoxchange, with each device set up with the right software as part of the service. Most childcare centres were provided with new desktops because laptops are too easily misplaced in that environment, whilst other staff got new laptops to support mobility.
The cornerstone of Jabiru’s IT strategy was to migrate each childcare centre and work group to their own Sharepoint site to consolidate and streamline documents, put in place appropriate permissions for the right people and make sure files were accessible outside the office.
Tania is working through mapping and restructuring Sharepoint document management team by team, making sure each site is secure and organised efficiently.
Office 365 including Teams
Staff are encouraged to use Teams not just for remote meetings but to also use the chat function for informal communications. Many people are used to using email for all communications, but with managers leading by example – including challenging staff to GIF wars – adoption of Teams chat is slowly increasing.
Impacts of digital transformation
The impacts of the transformation have been wide-reaching.
Increased stability and security
The biggest impact has been knowing that the risk of the server going down is no longer something to worry about. If one individual has a problem or an internet connection challenge, it is just that individual rather than the whole organisation.
“I sleep better at night now,’ Tania told us.
Increased efficiencies and admin time savings.
With staff now able to log in to their devices just once each day, there are huge time savings in each person’s individual workflow. Previously, they may have waited minutes just to access one file or system but now it is much, much quicker. And with all files accessed by the right people and managed more efficiently, staff can spend more time with the children and programs they work with rather than wrestling with IT.
Everyone now has an individual email address, even casual staff. Whereas pre-transformation a childcare centre had just one email address which may have been accessed by many people, it is now much easier for individuals to communicate sensitive information with each other.
Advice for other not-for-profits embarking on a digital transformation
Tania’s main advice to others is that you can’t do it yourself.
“Having some external input to help you map it out and help you think about it from all angle is critical,” said Tania.