Navigating IT solutions: how Swanton Care found security and growth.

Navigating IT solutions: how Swanton Care found security and growth.

March 18th 2024

Finding an IT infrastructure and support solution that you know will fit your business needs and who you can trust to exercise good service and security measures for your organisation can be tricky, particularly as a care provider juggling many different responsibilities.

This is something Swanton Care, a national care provider supporting people with complex needs, knew all too well, which is why six years ago, they made the decision to outsource their IT provision rather than build an in-house team. We caught up with Marcus Taylor, Swanton Care’s IT Director, who told us about the changes and its impact on the business.

New beginnings

“When we were acquired by private investors six years ago, we had zero IT infrastructure – no network, no connectivity, no laptops – just the odd computer or printer in an office which was rarely used.”

As daunting as it may sound, they took a decision to introduce a completely new structure and identified a managed IT support company to support them on this journey. They started a procurement process, looking at five potential providers before contracting ASK4, who they have been with ever since, as Marcus shares:

“They were able to provide everything we needed from devices to support. They arranged our network & connectivity, Microsoft 365 tenancy, provided phones and hardware. They manage the cyber security infrastructure and have a helpdesk for support.”

Growing together

Growing from a business of 800 staff and 27 care homes just six years ago, to 2,500 staff and over 100 care settings has been an incredible process made easier by having a managed IT service.

Working with ASK4 through this period of growth and expansion has given Swanton Care the ease of procuring the necessary laptops and hardware as they need it, as Marcus describes:

“Within one to two weeks of notice, the ASK4 team can set up our laptops and hardware. It’s been great knowing we can provide the technology we need safely, securely, and quickly.”

Above and beyond

Ensuring your organisation is following digital best practice is paramount, particularly as cyber threats become more sophisticated by the day. This is why tools such as the Data Security & Protection Toolkit (DSPT) and Cyber Essentials Plus are so important.

That is why Swanton Care and ASK4 were proactive in their decision to implement Cyber Essentials Plus in 2020. This has had knock-on benefits when it comes to bidding for new business and gives Swanton Care the assurance about the effort they put into their cyber safety. As Marcus tells us,

“Cyber Essentials Plus has enabled us to achieve the highest standard on the DSPT – ‘standards exceeded’ – which we’re very proud of as we know how important keeping people’s information safe is in today’s digital environment.”

Using the DSPT also has other perks, such as access to NHSMail  which Swanton Care was the first care provider to use.

The benefits of outsourcing

Staff at Swanton Care were already used to using IT but the systems in place were outdated. The benefits of outsourcing and the investment in IT meant that Swanton Care were able to implement amongst other features:

  • Standardised WiFi across all of the homes and offices with different WiFi SSIDs so that residents can access their own devices and technology.
  • Standardised mobile handsets for staff with device management software that Swanton Care can manage remotely and control if needed.
  • VOIP Phone system which allows telephone calls to be made over internet connections.
  • Access to helpdesk support 7 days a week.

Speaking on the financial aspect of implementing services from ASK4, Marcus comments,

“Outsourcing IT services is an investment. It would cost significantly more money for the business to employ people internally so makes sense and is good value for money. We’ve been really pleased with the service and customer support we’ve received from ASK4.”

Further information

Find out more about Swanton Care

Find out more about Ask4 Support

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