Profile IT: Barnardos Australia senior IT manager, Sue Cribb

Rapid change and user demands a challenge, says Cribb

Sue Cribb has notched up 16 years in IT at child welfare organisation Barnardos Australia.

She spoke to Computerworld Australia about recent technology projects at the not-for-profit and her favourite gadget, the Samsung Galaxy 3.

What does your role as senior IT manager involve?

I oversee all of the ICT for the organisation. We have two main teams, one is the IT support and the other is the in-house development team which does the development of our guided practice case management systems.

What are some of the technology projects you have been working on?

We have a big project called MyStory designed to develop a guided practice case management system which will ultimately take over from our legacy systems.

We are building MyStory in the Windows Azure cloud so we can make this system more available to other agencies. We have 28 agencies that use one of the legacy systems that help guide workers in foster care services.

Barnardos has been working on this for 18 months now. We’ve already replaced one legacy system and we hope to replace the second system later this year.

We’ve put the organisation’s email system into the cloud with Office 365, this was completed in the last month. That was a major project to migrate everyone’s PST files to the cloud because of the amount of data people keep in their email.

Workers also want remote access to files that are held on servers within the organisation. This is a project we have on the agenda for this financial year.

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What are some of the challenges you face in the role?

One of the challenges is to get the access for people in remote areas where there are very slow Internet connections. For example, in Mudgee we can only get an ADSL 1 connection.

Moving to the cloud has helped us to some degree but there is still work to be done. We are looking at vendors such as Riverbed to try and accelerate some of the connections.

What are the issues facing IT managers today?

The rapidity with which things are changing and the demands of users. We have sensitive information about children and families so we’re trying to balance the privacy requirements with people wanting to work on their mobile.

What is your favourite gadget?

My Samsung Galaxy 3, I can check emails and use the Web on the go. I didn’t want to carry a tablet as well as a phone.

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