Wingecarribee Shire Council

CIO of Wingecarribee Shire Council (WSC), John Crawford joined iQ3 for a deep dive into the local council’s ICT solution to share what has assisted them to achieve fast-tracked success despite countless unforeseen disruptions on a local, national and global scale. The discussion was lead by iQ3’s Technical Director, Jonathan Bourke alongside Paul Cosgrove, Senior Account Manager at iQ3 to provide a comprehensive look into the council’s IT solution, their challenges and predictions for the rest of 2020 and beyond. To view an on-demand version of the webinar, simply click on the link below.

Joining WSC only eighteen months ago, John Crawford was the first CIO the council had ever seen, bringing with the role, huge responsibilities to roll out several key projects within a matter of months. Crawford made special mention to his own management team which provided him with the trust and support to execute the changes almost immediately, highlighting the importance of organisations to remain agile and flexible in today’s fast-paced digital landscape.

Over the past several months, the council has successfully set up new phone systems using Microsoft Teams, upgraded their networking and firewall in addition to an infrastructure refresh. After a competitive tender process, WSC chose iQ3 to assist with their projects and networking thanks to their certified secure servers, high-performance infrastructure, tailored approach and flexible billing cycles.

Crawford points out that without the delivery of their new network and rollover to Microsoft Teams, the council would not have been able to handle the recent changes implemented by COVID-19 as well as it did. He stated that thanks to their upgraded environment, they were able to transform their workplace from their Moss Vale office to being entirely remote within just 72hours.

Another critical element to implementing change within any organisation is its ability to accept the adjustments, understand the process and provide the necessary support to educate employees through the change in a timely manner. This is essential to ensure there is a culture of acceptance and willingness in order to restore widespread trust in ICT and execute a streamlined digital transformation.

Prior to Crawford arriving at WSC, the council was running on business-grade NBN to support upwards of 300 staff, which was struggling to meet its performance requirements. However, thanks to iQ3’s support with their infrastructure refresh, they were able to set up strong replication links to their DR site with maximum redundancy to ensure minimal service disruptions.

iQ3’s Technical Director, Jonathan Bourke and Senior Account Manager, Paul Cosgrove have appreciated the flexibility which the remote workplace has enabled, particularly when dealing with their customer who is located several hours out of Sydney. The team at iQ3 have been able to provide not only planning and support remotely, but they have also executed remote virtual testing phases to enable the council to stick to its transformation timeline.

Crawford stated that in addition to iQ3’s flexibility, he appreciates the transparency offered by iQ3 in order to support the council to be self-sufficient and work openly in collaboration, whilst also remaining available for support 24/7.

With organisations everywhere being affected by COVID-19, Crawford believes that the major challenges are yet to be faced once employees start returning to work. With questions around enhanced productivity through eliminating issues around commuting and sick leave, he thinks organisations will begin to focus on adopting policies to enhance the remote workplace, as opposed to restrict it. For WSC, the recent shift to the remote workplace has fast-tracked its five-year strategy as many of their original deadlines are brought forward and broader organisational strategies, dramatically changed.

Despite the flexibility and mobility offered by the remote workplace, this increased availability of data highlights the need for organisations, and particularly councils to continue their focus on cyber security and protecting their data from the core. Thanks to iQ3’s ISO27001 and PCI-DSS security certifications, this means that WSC can leverage iQ3’s cloud and infrastructure services to provide them with the comfort they need to remain always on in a secure environment. iQ3 look forward to working further with Wingecarribee Shire Council to continue their digital transformation journey, providing them with the necessary skills, knowledge and infrastructure to fast-track their IT strategy.