Sands – Stillbirth and neonatal charity

Founded in 1978, Sands operates throughout the UK, supporting anyone affected by the death of a baby, working to improve the care bereaved parents receive, and promoting research to reduce the loss of babies’ lives. They offer a range of services including a helpline, a network of support groups, an online forum, message boards and support materials.

Operating from three sites, Sands has 90 IT users many of whom are working remotely. Therefore effective and streamlined IT systems are essential for the continued success of the organisation. Several IT related services such as 1st line support and cloud based infrastructure are outsourced. Having joined Sands in early 2015, Danyanne Quemper, Head of Finance and Resources took over responsibility for the organisation’s IT operations and launched a project to review the outsourced services, aiming to streamline the services, identify potential cost savings and operational improvements. However the range of options, limited in-house expertise and technical jargon made this a daunting task.

The Charity IT Association’s (CITA) Tech Surgery stood out as a great opportunity to obtain independent advice and help from an IT expert. After signing up, a CITA volunteer met with Danyanne and a colleague to discuss the organisation’s IT strategy as well as some specific issues, helping to identify suggested actions and next steps.

Danyanne commented:“We found the Tech Surgery provided by CITA to be extremely useful in terms of helping us to assess our IT needs and expectations. The Tech Surgery also helped to inform our IT strategy and plan for implementation of the strategy. Thank you CITA!”

The Tech Surgery served as a great platform from which to kick-start a detailed review of Sands outsourced IT services. As a result, Sands was able to identify a supplier which could consistently meet their needs, helping to ensure a solution was in place to support the organisation’s future growth. This change has helped to improve the experience of the organisation’s IT users and ensured that a recent office move could take place with minimal interruption to IT services.