The IT Pro Podcast: Transforming a business from the ground up
How do you digitally revitalise a company that still uses Lotus Notes?
Transforming a business isn’t an easy task at the best of times; organisational inertia, complicated project timelines and budgetary constraints are all among the obstacles that an incoming IT leader will have to deal with when trying to enact their vision. It’s even more challenging, however, when that business is still using technology that’s several decades out of date.
This week, we’re talking to Rita Bullivant, director of IT and change for Melton Building Society, about her experiences with modernising a legacy organisation, the challenges involved in building a transformation programme from the ground up, and what to do with a business that still uses Lotus Notes.
“We found all sorts of solutions that had been cobbled together, that worked, but weren't what we would call in the industry best practice. And so the job, infrastructurally, was to unpick that and start overlaying on top of it fit for purpose solutions - and that was across the board, whether you talk about SAN, the Wi-Fi, the network, our server room… When I first went in on my first day, I asked to go into the server room, and there was a pile of cables on the floor that were red in colour; nobody had any idea what they were for. And the pile was two feet high. Because I measured it.”
“The business I joined hadn't had any meaningful IT investment for over a decade. For example, the email system was Lotus Notes. And it was housed in our storage solution. So every time there was a problem with storage, which was end of life, our email system went down. And that was our only communication vehicle, apart from our desk phones, of course, with four digit extensions.”
“The size of the business dictates really the direction of technology we go in. It's really important for businesses like the society who haven't invested for a very long time, not to be overly ambitious, to take things, piecemeal, one step at a time. So we invested in Microsoft Teams first, we put a bolt on system with it called soft phones, which allowed our staff to work from home, contact customers, talk to each other. So that's where we started.”
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