Healthcare Australia dumps in-house Exchange for cloud



blog The shift to cloud computing/software as a service models in Australian enterprise IT circles is endless, it appears. Yesterday it was retailer Dick Smith switching to Google Apps, and today it’s medical recruiter Healthcare Australia switching off an in-house version of Microsoft Exchange and onto Office 365. A Microsoft case study details:

Medical recruiter, Healthcare Australia wanted new email and collaboration tools without having to buy, deploy and maintain server infrastructure. In 2012, the firm signed up to Microsoft Office 365, installing Microsoft Lync and SharePoint clients on all desktops connected to cloud-based Exchange servers managed by Microsoft. The firm saved AUD$300,000 on installation and licencing costs, employees enjoy cutting-edge communications, while their IT is more secure and easier to maintain.

“The problem with having our own email server is that you need an Exchange specialist on site, to enforce archiving, maintain security, deploy updates and ensure we have the appropriate disaster recovery plans,” says Mark Botros, Chief Information Officer, Healthcare Australia. “This resource costs A$100–$120,000 a year—an expensive resource we could do without.”

My opinion is that email, unified communications, intranet and other bog standard enterprise IT services are just the most obvious candidates — the tip of the iceberg, if you will — for the ongoing shift to SaaS applications. We’re already seeing CRM and ERP moves into the cloud in some scenarios, and I expect we’ll increasingly see other applications as well. One wonders just what Australian IT departments will, in fact, look like in a decade or so. Will there be any in-house IT infrastructure at all?


  1. I wonder who will administer Exchange Online for their tenant? There are still some administering tasks left that aren’t managed by Microsoft.

  2. What about information security? How do they guarantee only authorised people can see it?
    Also, whats the SLA for outages on a cloud solution? Is there a backup service?

  3. Will there be any in-house IT infrastructure at all?

    Good question Renai! Me-thinks, however, that we need to stop thinking that owning and operating ICT infrastructure is a necessary prerequisite for managing the professional delivery of ICT-enabled business solutions. Future oriented enterprise ICT professionals are focusing their energies on driving innovative business outcomes (looking up and out) rather than on buying, owning and managing technology (looking down and in). Cloud services simply enable this change in focus.

  4. Further to Roman’s post, many of these administration tasks use power shell.

    But that’s OK, you don’t need an Exchange Administrator or anything. Any Healthcare Australia professional can simply perform Google searches to find and execute the required commands when necessary. What’s the worst thing that could happen?!!

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