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Mercy Health

Through modernising their IT infrastructure, Mercy Health is empowered to focus on their core business

Video length: 2:51 minutes.

Australia | Healthcare | Hybrid IT

Innovation constrained by IT infrastructure

A move to the cloud enables Mercy Health’s IT staff to concentrate on providing better business value rather than focussing on maintaining hardware.

Download this case study (pdf, 81.98KB)
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An ageing infrastructure means that Mercy Health struggles with frequent downtime and poor IT performance, and needs a solution to improve it.

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Mercy Health’s data centre and applications, including all production workloads, are migrated to a managed cloud platform hosted by Dimension Data Melbourne.

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Enabling the IT team at Mercy Health to focus on providing better business value empowers them to re-establish their credibility in the business.

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Wasted resources holding business back

Mercy Health is an Australian healthcare provider with more than 5,500 employees across 31 sites throughout Australia. These include 18 aged-care facilities and four hospitals, as well as a range of mental health clinics. In addition, Mercy Health cares for thousands of clients through various maternity, women’s health, early parenting, home care and health worker training, and development services.

An extended period of underinvestment in IT infrastructure left Mercy Health with outdated servers running 10-year-old operating systems. As a result, more than half of the IT team was dedicated to ensuring the infrastructure was operational instead of providing value-add services to the business and supporting new capabilities and innovation. Not only did the environment result in both poor performance and frequent downtime, but the amount of IT budget focused on maintaining infrastructure was an inefficient use of already limited resources.

Is there a DR in the house?

The inordinate amount of time being spent on maintaining hardware and systems meant Mercy Health had no resources left to establish Disaster Recovery (DR) capabilities. In order to address this, Mercy Health CIO Dmitri Mirvis developed a three-point plan to overhaul the IT environment and take advantage of cloud:

  1. Rebuild technical foundations
  2. Establish the right vendor partnerships
  3. Enable real business value-add through application development

Mirvis said another drawback of the time wasted managing old infrastructure was that his team’s skill sets were now outdated. While he knew cloud was a ‘no brainer’, he also knew he needed a vendor partner that understood both his business and the challenges he was facing.


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A guiding hand to better IT health

After considering a number of service providers for embarking on their transformation journey, Mirvis said he selected us as he was confident he would be guided through each step of the cloud migration. Mercy Health’s ageing infrastructure had been growing as new hardware was added during the past five years. Not only did 112 servers need to be migrated, but the applications running on these servers had to be mapped to the new cloud environment.

In addition, due to the critical nature of Mercy Health’s operations, it was crucial that no downtime was experienced during the transition.

Ultimately, it was our ability to understand the key drivers of Mercy Health’s business and the investment we made to guide, consult and assist during every stage of the project that appealed most to Mirvis.

A tailored solution for a unique business

A hybrid cloud solution was developed in which all production workloads were moved into a private cloud within Dimension Data’s Melbourne Managed Cloud Platform (MCP), with a disaster recovery site publicly hosted in Dimension Data’s Sydney MCP.

Throughout the process, Mirvis said the most valuable aspect of the project was our commitment to providing a seamless and tailored implementation. Being consulted and advised on not just the cloud migration but also on virtualisation and the best optimisation of Mercy Health’s configuration was critical.

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Savings today and a future-proofed tomorrow

While the move to a cloud environment has saved Mercy Health more than $1.2 million, as ageing infrastructure did not have to be replaced, Mirvis said there are additional intangible benefits that are harder to quantify.

With fewer staff required to manage infrastructure, the IT team can now be directed towards delivering better business value through the development of new application capabilities. Mirvis said Mercy Health can now focus on delivering the best health care available, without needing to worry about IT limitations.

Downtime has been reduced from an almost daily occurrence to only occurring during scheduled maintenance. Not only have Mercy’s healthcare staff provided positive feedback, the real proof for Mirvis is the fact that he has not had to answer a single support escalation in the three months since the migration was completed.

The full cloud migration also future-proofed Mercy Health’s IT environment. Not only do cloud services provide Mirvis’ IT team with the flexibility to swiftly react to any new business requirement, but the success of this project has broken management’s misconception that all IT had to be on-premise. With senior management now on board, only cloud or vendor-hosted options are being considered for future implementations. Mirvis said this will continue to lower costs, as well as provide more flexibility, with costs spread via an operational expenditure funding model rather than having to receive sign-off for large, upfront, capital spend.

The new funding model has also opened Mercy Health to pursue more IT projects than previously as the need to ask for capital funds for refreshes has been removed.

Mirvis said his strategy was further validated when Gartner recognised Mercy Health as the first integrated health organisation in Australia to completely migrate to the cloud.

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