Link Housing Case Study

A workplace modernisation journey
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Business Challenges

Link Housing (Link) engaged in a business modernisation journey to achieve 4 major outcomes:

Improve customer service quality through enhanced interaction with clients

Increase productivity by adopting modern workplace techniques

Leverage technology to attract and retain quality staff through flexible workplace arrangements

Ensure compliance with new data privacy laws

Link engaged Experteq to assist with the transformation to a Modern Workplace.

Approach

Experteq worked with Link in devising a plan to migrate to modern cloud services that are accessible from any location, on any device, at any time and move away completely from on premise infrastructure.

 

The plan involved migrating on-all premise technology to a secure “Microsoft 365” and Azure environment that includes Microsoft Office 365, Windows 10 and EM+S suite (Enterprise Mobility + Security).

 

The new Modern Workplace coincided with a physical move of premises resulting in a fresh new environment, hardware and software for all staff. The modernisation adopted a “cloud first” approach that would ensure scalability, security and flexibility by:

Replacing aged, on-premise infrastructure with secure cloud infrastructure, that is resilient, secure and always-on

Building an ultra-mobile environment that would allow staff to access their IT resources from anywhere, on any device

Creating a highly-secure workplace that has inbuilt security and compliance to meet EU GDPR and Australian NDB regulations

Identifying and implementing improvements to internal operations, structures and processes to reduce risk

Providing ongoing advice, support and management services to maintain a competitive advantage

Problem

The key issues identified in our analysis were that Link’s existing IT systems were reaching end of life and not sufficiently capable of sustaining the required growth demands of the organisation and the changing mobility requirements.

 

Desktops and servers were maintained to the best practice design structures when implemented but had not been able to adapt to leverage the newer technologies, processes and capabilities now available. Importantly, the ability to securely share resources and data were limited as a result of the inflexible and unevolving capability, thus reducing the ability to collaborate with colleagues and clients in the field.

 

Staff were limited to specific devices and locations to access IT resources and data. There was no ability to securely federate or collaborate with internal or external parties, or provide effective remote access due to performance issues with the physical requirements.

Our Solution

“Microsoft 365” (Office 365, Windows 10 and EM+S) suite was chosen as the key solution toolset to deliver the Modern Workplace required by Link.

The EM+S e5 suite was selected as it provides automated Security, Classification & Governance of corporate data across the business, Enterprise Mobility for staff using any device, and Cloud services brokerage to allow the business to adopt new services as business needs change.

 

Critical systems were immediately moved to Azure or backed up to Azure to ensure reliability and scalability. Once business systems were migrated to the cloud, Link quickly updated their fleet and chose optimum devices for communication, collaboration and centralised management, including mobile data capability on laptops.

This allowed staff to work from any location on the device of their choice, at a time convenient for clients and staff alike. Staff are no longer constrained by technology while performing their duties.

 

Working with Experteq project managers and privacy consultants, Link has sought to develop and embed a culture of security and privacy by default. Technology automates security but is not intrusive and does not prevent staff from performing their roles.

Benefits

Flexibility

Device independence, mobility and access to data on any device, has empowered staff and enabled the flexibility to work and collaborate securely at any location

Performance

 

Cloud migration has improved business systems performance, reliability, security and scalability

Automating

Automatic data classification is automating data security, governance and management. Policy is set centrally and enforced using modern tools, and all without preventing staff to do their work as normal

Monitoring

Microsoft security systems, compliance centre and monitoring capabilities are being used to ensure the complete range of devices and systems maintains best practice security as defined by Microsoft and measured in real-time against other business.

Security

“Microsoft 365” includes Windows Defender ATP, which has been chosen as the endpoint protection solution across the fleet. The solution protects the desktop, mobile and server device from malware and viruses, while also achieving substantial cost savings through the consolidation of security products and support services

Access

Multi-Factor Authentication is being deployed in several cases, particularly with regards to staff who have privileged access to sensitive business systems and data

The Future

Link are further leveraging their investment in “Microsoft 365” by deploying Microsoft Intune to manage all applications across servers and devices, including BYOD where required.

 

Deployment of computers are utilising the latest Microsoft “Autopilot” functionality to allow a completely autonomous secure connection or reconnection of corporate devices to the environment.

 

Experteq will continue to monitor, support and manage the new Modern Workplace, and to optimise IT services to address changes and meet new business requirements.

Summary

The transformation to a Modern Workplace, utilising Experteq’s services and “Microsoft 365”, enables and empowers Links’ workforce with total mobility.

 

Legacy systems have been completely replaced with modern cloud scalable alternatives ensuring that the continued growth of the organisation is on a stable and secure infrastructure.

 

Link expect to see improvements in customer service, increased staff productivity and happier staff working in a modern flexible workplace.

 

The outcome of the business transformation is a Modern Workplace environment that allows the organisation to scale rapidly, while improving operational performance, strengthening security, reducing risk and enhancing user experience.

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