Public Health Organisation & ZephyrIT Cloud Transition Professional Services
A large public health organisation, faced with upgrading a high-value, complex medical system (an external beam treatment unit) for use in its oncology department, retained ZephyrIT to manage the upgrade.
Post Cyber-Attack Context - The upgrade was a complex transition programme which was further complicated by the organisation having suffered a major cyber-attack in the previous 12 months.
This impacted its ability to deliver health services for several months following the attack, so improved systems security became a top priority in programme requirements. As part of the security review and treatment system upgrade, the organisation strategy was to move data processing, imaging storage and treatment information to the cloud.
The context within the organisation following the cyber-attack and its fallout, was significant. This placed the whole organisation in a highly stressed state and particularly the technology/digital functions. As a result, any activity in this area would have immense scrutiny and absolutely no tolerance for failure, not only within the organisation but also across the sector, government and the public.
This is the context ZephyrIT found itself in when embarking on this critical programme.
Transition Strategy - Initially, the approach was to upgrade the operating software of the linear accelerator (the external beam treatment unit) when the physical unit was replaced. However, ZephyrIT recommended that it was best practice to transition to a cloud system without adding unnecessary complications by simultaneously changing other major project variables. This approach was adopted except for one small utility system, which was found to be incompatible with the cloud environment, so it was replaced.
Re-baselining - In the early stages of the upgrade programme, a key vendor consistently failed to meet scheduled deliverables. Eventually, this led to ZephyrIT recommending that the entire upgrade programme should be reset to a fresh starting point. This returned the programme to a steady state with achievable outcomes.
The upgrade programme is now completing its final testing phase and will go live with the new hardware and all related data systems moved to the cloud in early 2023. All programme requirements and specifications will have been met and full testing completed before the system goes live and is used in the treatment of patients. In health systems especially there must be a zero-tolerance approach to any possible compromise of performance and safety standards, which generally requires significant experience and professionalism as was provided by ZephyrIT. The client is extremely happy with the outcome.
The value of the experience brought by ZephyrIT was evident throughout the programme. A further value add example was delivered in the final testing phase during a project update meeting, where the managed services vendor representative announced that once the full production cloud environment “had been stood up” and approved by the health organisation, the contracted quarterly charges would begin
ZephyrIT pointed out that the contract specified that charging would not commence until the cloud environment was in full production use, not just “signed off” as meeting performance requirements. This was accepted and this action alone saved the health organisation between $150,000 and $200,000.
This demonstrates how ZephyrIT goes beyond the obvious boundaries of an accountability to ensure the customer outcome is achieved in all areas.