Context

The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society Inc. (Plunket) is a national, not-for-profit organisation providing support services for the development, health and wellbeing of children under 5. These services include parenting advice and support, child health promotion and health education, delivered by staff passionately committed to supporting families and young children.

Plunket is undertaking a long-term change programme to modernise the society’s technology platform and provide digital support to frontline Plunket services.

Problem

Establishing a new technology platform that enables the digitisation of important aspects of frontline services is complex. As a medium-sized, not-for-profit organisation, Plunket did not have the prerequisite IT architecture skills on staff, but at the same time needed to be conservative with external spend. To succeed, Plunket needed access to a range of IT architecture skills and advice, packaged in an affordable way within the allocated ICT budget.

“We wanted to ensure that Plunket now and in the future would have the required IT architecture infrastructure. Often it’s a case of wanting it all—to have ICT leadership, great partnerships, build our institutional knowledge, and have the resources we want—but the challenge we always face is the need value and affordability,” says Craig Le Quesne, General Manager ICT at Plunket.

Change

Plunket engaged an external architecture on-demand service, which provided access to a team of experienced architects with a range of complementary specialties. This gave Plunket the required breadth of expertise, while paying only for each skillset as required.

The partnership also covered multiple assignments within a single contract, eliminating repeat financial approvals and contract costs. The assignments covered services such as:

  • ICT business continuity and disaster recovery planning
  • Enterprise architecture advice and delivery
  • Data security and encryption options and establishment
  • Support for the 24/7 PlunketLine root cause diagnostics.

Result

The Architecture On-Demand Partnership helped Plunket to manage a cost-effective, high-quality collaborative engagement.

“It enabled us to maintain an on-site presence with on-going institutional knowledge of Plunket,” says Craig. “It aided continuity and access to Plunket’s business domain knowledge without having full-time engagement, and helped mitigate protracted induction cycles because the team was already familiar with our infrastructure.”

The Architecture On-Demand Partnership is provided by Equinox IT. “The partnership with Plunket means we are able to maintain a presence at their architecture and management team meetings,” says George Aranyi, Equinox IT’s Architecture Practice Director. “The service continuum is immensely valuable. Plunket is not being served by one individual. More than 140 years’ of Equinox IT experience is available on tap from several consultants with high-capability levels relevant to Plunket’s needs at any given time.”

“Our partnering enabled our consultants to ally with Plunket and identify with their culture, whilst being an independent voice ensuring that the quality and delivery focus was aligned with their organisational direction. It worked very well.”

"Plunket’s institutional knowledge was shared and disseminated by Equinox IT who helped further expand knowledge throughout our organisation. In my experience this was superior to a short-term relationship with external contractors and vendors who generally have minimal familiarity with the holistic nature of architectures."

Craig Le Quesne General Manager ICT, The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society Inc

Mike O'Neil, Client Consultant, Equinox IT Wellington

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