New technology is changing the way the public service manages offices and delivers services. Executives are increasingly looking for simple, efficient ways to keep their employees connected to their organization’s network.
When Jean-Claude Lemonde became the CIO of the Montfort Hospital in Ottawa in early 2012, his main concern was finding new ways to deliver IT services to address the ever increasing infrastructure demands.
“One of the challenges we faced was that our email infrastructure was due for an upgrade, but we needed to change the software platform as well because the technology we were using had been phased out by the industry. It was creating compatibility problems with organizations using other platforms,” said Lemonde. “But the question was, should we go with the traditional on-premise infrastructure, or should we go with the cloud?”
Ultimately, the cloud won out. He was familiar with Microsoft SharePoint – the platform was in use in his previous position – and several of his team members were well-versed in Microsoft Exchange. The institution chose Microsoft’s unique Office 365 offering as the Montfort’s new platform for email and collaboration.
“I had a high level of confidence in the cloud,” said Lemonde. “I had a high level of confidence in the capacity of Microsoft being a good cloud provider that you can count on.”
Office 365 connects SharePoint, Exchange, and Microsoft Lync, an instant messaging client that also provides VoIP and video conferencing services. It allowed Lemonde to add new users as needed instead of purchasing unnecessary infrastructure that would depreciate in value over time. Over 2,400 mailboxes and over 300 users of SharePoint and Lync were successfully and rapidly transferred to Office 365.
And since there was no longer any need for intensive infrastructure repairs and upgrades, Lemonde was able to reassign resources to other areas, which greatly improved clinicians’ services.
“In the end, we’re a hospital and we’re here to give health care to our patients,” said Lemonde. “I was able to assign resources to create a virtual desktop infrastructure that allows physicians and other clinicians to access Electronic Health Records remotely and through their BYOD devices.”
Through his work, Lemonde has concluded that the cloud is the way for organizations – including those in the public sector – to go. Office 365 has brought a number of benefits to the Montfort, including increased data security, automatic upgrades, and support for mobile device access.
“I think it was a wise thing to do, to move those services to the cloud, so I can invest my time, energy, and resources in services that are not offered in the cloud,” he said. “It’s a no-brainer, at least for email, to go to the cloud. It’s the way to go, even for public sector.”