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World Vision Leverages on IT for Better Operational Efficiencies

60 percent improvement in data backup efficiency, 30 percent savings in overall IT operational cost for data backup support

Non-profit organisations (non-profits) have faced challenges as long as they’ve been in existence. Most organizations have been working to overcome the same obstacles for years.

With unpredictable variables like natural disasters, tightening purse-strings overall and increased competition, staying status quo will no longer be acceptable. Organizations must think outside the box to establish fundraising and awareness campaigns to differentiate themselves from those with similar missions.

Against this backdrop, with many non-profits working to keep their doors open and lights on, it is no wonder that investments in technology have gone by the wayside.

An example of a non-profit which decided to go against this grain is World Vision International - one of the largest relief, development and advocacy organizations worldwide, dedicated to working with children, families and communities.

Its global IT systems were implemented five years ago, and these same technologies quickly became outdated - no longer able to handle today’s exponential growth of internal data. Plus, the complex design of World Vision’s legacy systems often slowed the beneficial programs’ execution and progress.

Nick Goh, World Vision’s IT Director said, “Very frequently, we needed to allocate additional physical manpower days at the data center, to be on standby to attend to any technical issues. This was necessary to support the ad-hoc requests to run our global IT applications at various geographical locations for community developments and relief efforts.”

Apart from this, as World Vision continues to capitalize on more Web-based applications to support field operations, the existing IT security (anti-virus) solution was unable to provide comprehensive protection; more so as hundreds of donation and disbursement transactions, together with personal information transmitted all across our  ‘virtual environment’ of globally network-based branches.

“The outdated anti–virus security solution was draining our resources and IT systems’ capacities as we were increasingly forced to assign agents to install or update the anti-virus solution on each virtual machines. It took many long hours to perform both scam and virus scans - which eventually slowed down the applications’ response time,” said Goh.

Getting Rid of Legacy Systems
More than ever, technology is responsible for driving greater excellence in organizations – be it in any commercial, transportation, financial services, or any industry. The economic and social returns on IT investments are solid and quantifiable, and also fundamentally changing the ways in which these organizations relate to individuals, businesses, and government-entities in their ecosystems.

In order to better focus on their core work of society development and children welfare, World Vision decided to work with Hitachi Sunway Information Systems to upgrade its virtualized servers for data backup support.

“Non-profits have a deep responsibility to optimize their resources obtained from donors, to be channeled into areas to better serve beneficiaries matching their donors’ interests. In this day and age, those that don’t have the bandwidth to establish an efficient IT system will be missing out on a critical tool.

“World Vision must ensure that every cent is used as it was intended to transform people’s lives. We are determined to optimize our time, resources and distribute them where they are needed most,” said Goh.

This sense of missionary drove World Vision to upgrade their virtual data center with more efficient data backup solution and security management.

New Upgrades Reduces Operational Costs for Data Backup
Goh highlighted, “Our virtual data center is an important platform where we host business applications and transaction data for daily operations. We wanted to optimize our IT investments with main objective of bringing down the existing IT operational costs for data backup.”

With this goal in mind, World Vision managed to upgrade its virtual data center with 60 percent performance improvement on data backup which translated from better virtual machines’ utilization; and an approximately 30 percent reduction in overall operational costs for data backup.

“With the successful IT upgrades, today World Vision can enhance the entire virtual ecosystem to host more Web-based applications and expedite its response time for quicker decision making at a lowered cost. At the same time, since Trend Micro Deep Security is optimized for multiple virtual environments, we can use it as a single point of security management to protect not only applications and data within the virtual data center, and also other applications hosted on Cloud,” said Goh.

Hitachi Sunway’s First IT Project in Non-Profit Sector
Cheah Kok Hoong, Group CEO of Hitachi Sunway Information Systems, shared that company’s involvement in World Vision’s virtual data center upgrade is their first project in the non-profit sector.

“World Vision is a large international humanitarian organization with complex IT requirements. Our ability to complete the IT upgrades within six months has proven that we are an IT partner that can deliver businesses the value, one-stop technology solutions and services,” he said.

At the same time, the World Vision project also marked the IT solution provider’s largest site for implementations of Veeam® Backup & Replication™ and Trend Micro Deep Security in Malaysia.

Cheah concluded that while IT is not going to eradicate the underlying cause of human suffering and poverty, it is an enabler for non-profit organisations to conduct their operations more effectively.