The Royal Aeronautical Society embraces cloud-first strategy to align its IT and vision

Besides needing an agile IT infrastructure to enable the Society to remain at the forefront of aerospace, as a member organisation, RAeS needed to properly govern its members’ data, and as a not-for-profit, it needed to provide full visibility and account for every penny spent.

We felt the time was right to engage with a more proactive and agile IT partner for our transformation journey. In the same way RAeS provides expertise to the aerospace community, we were looking for an IT services company that would take the lead in helping us deploy the appropriate technology, especially cyber security, while taking our budget restrictions as a not-for-profit organisation into account.

Emma Bossom, Director of Marketing and Communications

As the world’s only professional body dedicated to the aerospace community, The Royal Aeronautical Society exists to further the advancement of aeronautical art, science and engineering around the world. Established in 1866, the Society has been at the forefront of developments in aerospace, seeking to promote the highest professional standards and provide a central forum for sharing knowledge.

Problem

Despite striving for excellence and leading with an engineering mindset, the Society suffered from a lack of alignment between its vision and IT, which impacted its ability to achieve its ambition.

Expectations

  • An agile IT infrastructure to keep pace with change
  • Requirement for robust security and governance of members’ data
  • Provide full visibility to account for all IT spend

Results

  • Staff work smarter through cloud-based apps
  • Strengthened security posture
  • More control over how IT assets are managed

The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) has been at the forefront of the industry ever since it was established in 1866. But despite striving for excellence and leading with an engineering mindset, the Society has suffered from a lack of alignment between its vision and IT.

IT infrastructure is always an enabler for achieving the overall business strategy – if it’s not fit-for-purpose, it hinders the way you serve clients in a secure, efficient and optimised way, which can prevent you from achieving  your business goals.

The NFP sector and membership organisations overall have exacting requirements in so far as meeting higher expectations of members and aligning this with appropriate budget, while ensuring that governance requirements are met. The opportunity to streamline core functions and operations while adopting more cost-effective digital platforms has never been more compelling than now.

With its current IT support arrangements due for renewal, RAeS saw the opportunity to embrace its digital transformation by modernising its infrastructure and migrating workloads to the cloud.

Aligning IT to achieve the overall vision

Selecting Atech as its proactive technology partner, RAeS acquired the skills, knowledge and experience it needed to successfully complete its digital transformation programme. Focused on how to provide a secure modern desktop environment for users, migrate hosted servers to the Azure cloud and optimise ongoing costs, RAeS has everything it needs to embrace a ‘cloud-first’ strategy, displaying technology leadership and delivering an enhanced, secure service to its members.

A secure, modern workplace

To deliver a successful digital transformation project, which enables RAeS to become an agile organisation that continues to lead its industry, the Society’s people, processes and technologies must all sit in alignment. This ensures there is greater collaboration across different functional units, that standard operating procedures include new digital technologies, and that the tools are widely accessible across the organisation.

RAeS strives to promote the highest professional standards and provide a central forum for sharing knowledge, which will further the advancement of aeronautical art, science, and engineering around the world. But in a world that is rapidly changing due to digital advances, the Society needs to remain agile to keep pace with that change.

By creating a modern workplace to optimise the deployment of Microsoft 365, improving the security posture through specialist cyber security tools, working closely with the Society’s CRM and website developers, as well as managing the network and infrastructure, RAeS is able to provide its people the ability to work securely from anywhere, anytime through the tools they need to collaborate effectively.

Cloud migration

Migrating traditional IT infrastructure from on-premise to the cloud instantly transforms the way an organisation can interact and service its clients.

For RAeS, migrating its IT infrastructure to Microsoft Azure presented significant efficiencies, allowing it to continue running mission critical applications without downtime. The flexibility provided by running applications in the cloud ensures the Society has the agility needed to keep pace with change. And by strengthening the security posture, RAeS can provide reassurance to its members around governance, risk and compliance.

When undertaking a cloud migration project, Atech is focused on providing a clear timeline around how and when workloads will be migrated to ensure business-as-usual remains unaffected, transparency around the costs that will be incurred, and reassurance that it’s not a simple ‘lift, shift and move on’ because the team intends to stay around to provide recommendations for ongoing Azure optimisation so efficiencies can be realised month-on-month.

IT cost optimisation

One of the main benefits that RAeS faces from partnering Atech is its Customer Support Portal, which as well as providing a self-help knowledge base, access to Atech’s support engineers and automating the process of on-boarding new users, is designed to provide complete transparency over cloud costs.

Often with cloud migration projects, a business moves its workloads but fails to continually optimise the new cloud-based infrastructure, which leads to over-provisioning and then paying monthly bills for something the business doesn’t need.

Through Atech’s Customer Support Portal, RAeS can see a detailed breakdown of everything so it’s able to account for every penny spent. And by leveraging the skills, knowledge and experience of Atech’s team, it has the intelligence to align the technology roadmap with the overall vision to know how to optimise the infrastructure along with projected and actual cost savings, based on an ROI calculator.

It became clear that Atech met and exceeded our technical requirements, and their customers spoke very highly of their focus on putting the customer first. We were also impressed by Atech’s attention to detail, previous project experience in the not-for-profit sector and clear understanding of our challenges.

Achieving excellence in all areas of the business

By modernising its IT infrastructure to embrace a ‘cloud-first’ strategy, which allows the Society to display technology leadership and deliver an enhanced service to its members, RAeS will:

  • Enable its staff to work better and smarter, by taking full advantage of Office 365 and other cloud-based applications.
  • Gain insight of where data is stored, how it’s protected, who has access and the levels of security that are in place for its protection.
  • Achieve more control of how it manages IT assets, including usage, applications and user issues, so it has the intelligence to know how to continuously optimise and improve.

See how Atech can support your NFP organisation

If you strive to be a leader in your industry, you need the IT infrastructure that enables you to deliver that level of service. Achieving alignment between IT and an organisation’s vision is key if you’re to deliver a modern workplace that gives you the agility to keep pace with change, and continuously improve the experience you deliver to the people you serve.