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Nonprofit President’s Bad Feeling About IT and What She Did About It

Shelley* had been working for Onsite Health* as a consultant for several years when she was asked to lead the nonprofit as President. She accepted, excited to use her experience and skills in a new capacity. Along with her enthusiasm, however, Shelley had a bad feeling about the organization’s IT situation.

Technology is important to anyone using the internet to communicate and conduct business. As a healthcare entity, Onsite Health’s compliance with HIPAA regulations is essential. But it wasn’t just security that Shelley was concerned about. She thought that they were missing out on opportunities to use technology to enable employees to better serve their patients.

Shelley knew that there were some specific issues that needed to be addressed. She wasn’t confident that they were getting good backups of their data. The way staff were sharing files was clumsy and when they needed support, every request had to be routed through the CFO who would try to fix their problem before calling in their one-person IT provider.

It was clear to Shelley that it was time to weigh their options and that’s when she called Bellwether.

“I knew of Bellwether, and I called Poco Sloss and said, ‘What do I do about this?’” said Shelley. “And so Poco sent out a couple of people to talk to us and we loved everything they said. We talked to two other companies too, but we chose Bellwether and that’s when the magic began.”

IT Situation Was Worse Than Imagined

As Bellwether began their onboarding process, they performed an inventory of all of Onsite Health’s equipment which included organizing the mess of cables and computers in their server room.

It turned out that Shelley’s bad feeling about IT was spot on. The inventory revealed that their data backup situation was worse than she thought. They actually had no backups.

“We didn’t know how broken we were. And we were fixed in a record amount of time, all while we continued to operate at our full potential,” recalls Shelley.

Bellwether Worked Their “Magic” to Turn IT Around

What looked like magic to Shelley and her staff was the result of the work of Bellwether’s team of professionals who brought their IT systems up to standards, implemented IT management best practices, and provided immediate access to support desk technicians when staff needed help.

Shelley’s list of concerns was not only addressed, but Bellwether brought ideas for technology and security improvements to the table that have ultimately made technology a valuable asset instead of a hindrance.

Here are a few of the improvements that have been implemented.

  • Data backups are 100% assured and secured offsite.
  • An updated file sharing system gives staff access to information they need while maintaining appropriate permissions and confidentiality.
  • Staff are equipped with laptops and apps that streamline their workflows and allow them to work from any location.
  • Policies and procedures are available via Microsoft Teams automatically giving everyone the latest version of any document or fillable form.
  • Security is maintained through technical and non-technical controls that manage risk and meet HIPAA compliance requirements.

Guidance for IT Decisions and Investments

As the executive in charge of the organization, Shelley finds that working with her Bellwether vCIO to create IT strategy is especially valuable. Not only can she plan and budget for future improvements, but she has confidence that Bellwether’s recommendations are in Onsite Health’s best interests.

“If we’re thinking of doing something with technology, we’re not doing it without conversations with Bellwether,” said Shelley.

Shelley has been surprised at how affordable Bellwether Managed IT has been. They actually paid their one-person IT provider more in a year than they did for their first year of managed IT services. Looking back, it’s clear that working with a provider that was too small for their needs was an expensive option that didn’t provide any benefit and was actually detrimental to their organization.

Bellwether is Considered an Essential Part of Their Organization

Onsite Health is more than four years into their relationship with Bellwether now. Their technology is much more user-friendly. Efficiency has gone through the roof. Shelley is confident with the processes in place to maintain HIPAA compliance and manage cyber risks. Plus, they can look to the future knowing they have a managed IT partner on their side to guide them through whatever changes and challenges they face in the future.

Shelley said, “We consider Bellwether an essential part of our organization.”

*Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality.

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