Lifeways is one of the UK’s leading providers of support services for people with diverse and often complex needs in community settings. The group consists of 9 companies providing services.
Lifeways offer more than 5,000 adults support from a few hours through to 24/7 care through their 16,000 strong employee network. Services are offered in a person's own home, through purpose-built supported living developments and within residential care homes. Short break and respite services are also offered.
Lifeways has expanded and grown over the years by an active mergers policy alongside organic growth. The demand for their services has increased alongside the need diversify the care offered to cater for the changing needs of patients.
As a result of the expansion journey, the IT infrastructure and associated services is typical of an organisation experiencing growth. The estate is mixed and at times fragmented with multiple suppliers providing a range of services to the group. The mixed estate has been stretched by the deployment of thin based clients supporting common organisation business applications.
The demand for greater bandwidth stability plus extensive wireless coverage across the sites is expected by guests and their families to access on-demand streaming services – this has stressed the Wi-Fi deployments.
The Lifeways central IT Helpdesk has to support and administer a diverse range of technologies, devices, circuits and providers. This impacts the speed to fault identification and resolution leading to frustrations from end-users and IT staff.
Soniza were commissioned to undertake a physical site audit for 40 sites spanning the whole of the UK. The audit was a non-invasive site audit including network (LAN & Wireless), Desktop, Telecoms, Connectivity and the user’s experience with their IT infrastructure. The audit information from each site was captured and documented on a form created specifically for the project.
The site audit findings were collated and analysed to identify trends, patterns and importantly provide valuable insight into the infrastructure across all the sites. Soniza applied key measures across the data which assisted in the formulation of recommendations for Lifeways.
The primary outcome was the creation of a detailed inventory of IT assets across a large section of diverse sites. This information supports future IT planning and decision making along with more efficient day to day support of each of the sites.
The depth of the analytical data collated as part of the audit provided much-needed clarity of the assets deployed across the sites, the issues being experienced on-site and provide an objective review of the performance of third-party services provided into the sites.
The staff at each site felt that IT were taking time to visit their site, understand the technology deployed and listen to the user experience along with issues. This was a big win for the IT team across the sites.
INVENTORY OF SERVICES
The creation of a detailed site Audit with photographs encompassing IT hardware assets, rack presentations, telecoms and connectivity.
Lifeways can make fact-based decisions to support the planning for the future strategic direction.
The central IT Helpdesk are better informed on the IT environment at each audited site which greatly assists with the resolution and management of faults.
Lifeways are now able to implement a process to standardise their remote site IT infrastructure which will lower costs, simplify the installation and support while enabling a common user experience across all sites.