Morrison has outsourced its IT to ISC, saving the repairs and maintenance provider £300,000 each year.
Ian Bryce, chief information officer, Morrison, said, “We needed to integrate our business as we had four different domains running with different versions of back-office applications, which meant duplications in patching and inconsistent standards. IT resourcing was also a challenge. We were heavily reliant on key individuals within regions and yet had gaps of resource in other localities and we had problems with downtime. Auditors were also continually highlighting IT as an area of weakness.”
Morrison, which looks after over 400,000 homes and employs 3000 people in 26 locations, decided to outsource the technical aspects of its IT operations while retaining and improving key internal strategic and business-focused functionality. It embarked on a thorough supplier assessment, inviting six companies to tender.
Bryce explained, “The idea was that if we had a problem, our managing director could see the whites of the eyes of our supplier’s MD and that our business wouldn’t be a drop in the ocean of a huge IT supplier. ISC weren’t the favourite to win the project at the outset, but they more than proved themselves during the tender process and continue to do so.”
The project had three phases. The first was the creation of an effective IT support model with a central service desk, to resolve user issues, remote server management and the TUPE transfer of the relevant employees. The second phase was to introduce a single e-mail domain and remove legacy infrastructure.
Gary Randall, services director, ISC, said, “The third and final phase of the project was the most difficult but also the most rewarding as this produced significant operating cost savings for Morrison. During this phase, we decommissioned Morrison’s regional server rooms and transferred their servers, which we host and manage, to our own central data centre. This means there is now just a single instance of all applications and back-office systems.”
Bryce concluded, “When we win more contracts, I know that with ISC we have the resources to deliver. They’ve removed the issue of reliance on key individuals and I know what’s going on with each site. We’re now a million miles from where we were before, all with a net reduction in operational costs of £300,000 a year.”
Morrison has also announced new repairs and maintenance contracts worth a total of £45 million. These include a five-year, £25 million contract with East Durham Homes and a five-year, £11.5 million contract with Riverside Group. Other deals include contracts with Northwards Housing and Manchester City Council, Peak Valley Housing and Suffolk-based Babergh District Council.