by Adam Bender

KinCare goes all in on cloud

Mar 21, 20144 mins
Cloud Computing

The CIO of aged care provider KinCare has said he will have moved everything to the cloud by the end of the year.

KinCare provides in-home aged care services. It has revenues of $100 million and 4000 clients across Australia.

Speaking at Cisco Live in Melbourne, KinCare CIO Jerome Barrientos said he is doing cloud with several vendors. Telstra and its partner Cisco have provided infrastructure-as-a-service, while Google is providing collaboration tools and Amazon’s cloud supports KinCare’s scheduling system by ClickSoftware.

In October this year, KinCare will move its CRM to Salesforce, he said.

“By the end of the year, essentially I will have no non-cloud systems in my portfolio,” Barrientos said.

The CIO said he views moving to a pure cloud approach as less risky than keeping everything on-premise. “We actually saw that controlling the infrastructure [ourselves] was actually quite risky,” he said.

“Cloud for us is definitely a catalyst that allows us to grow [and] allows us to be agile,” he said. “We rely on partners like Telstra and Cisco to be able to provide that infrastructure.”

KinCare does not have the staff or the budget for “doing the job right” on its own, he said. The company has “five and a half” people on its IT staff. “By partnering with these organisations, some of those risks you can actually mitigate.”

Cloud lets KinCare do more with less, he said. “The only reason we can punch well above our weight is that we partner with cloud providers that are experienced in this technology.”

“I use the same infrastructure that big banks use and yet our cost is significantly proportionately less than what they spend.”

Barrientos said he was not worried about privacy in moving data to the cloud. “By going to the cloud does not mean that you actually hand over management of your data.”

“A lot of people think you go to the cloud and all of a sudden you wash yourself off of your responsibility. Well, in fact you haven’t.”

KinCare did a risk profile evaluation of the cloud providers it planned to use and consulted with the government. “We were able to get to a comfort level to actually say, ‘We’re comfortable with that now.’”

“As long as you do your due diligence [and] pick the right partner that fits in your business model, cloud actually allows you to turbo-charge your IT environment.”

KinCare is hosting services on Telstra data centres both as a managed service for its core services and on a utility basis for testing and other non-core areas, Barrientos said.

The CIO said he chose Telstra in part because of its large footprint. “It was a lot easier to manage with a telco that had a big footprint around Australia and more importantly one that could control the services that they provided.”

“I’m not saying that other telcos couldn’t do that, but being a small IT department, dealing with many different telcos was going to be quite difficult for us.”

KinCare chose Google before the cloud-based Office 365 was available from Microsoft, Barrientos said.

“But importantly Google also offered an ability to access collaboration at a very cost-effective rate across all our organisations and give people access to technology that they were already familiar with.”

There was little training involved because most people in the company already knew how to use Google services, he said.

Barriento said KinCare is also using the Amazon cloud simply because that’s where the ClickSoftware scheduling platform runs.

Earlier this week, Telstra announced a partnership to provide hybrid cloud services from Cisco. Few details were provided except that Telstra plans to begin selling the services by the end of the year.

“We’re still looking at that at the moment with our account manager,” Barrientos said.

Adam Bender flew to Melbourne as a guest of Cisco.

Adam covers business tech issues for CIO and is the author of a dystopian novel about surveillance. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

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