WWF, like other organisations, is completely reliant on IT for business operation and innovation. Technology clearly has a strong embedded future within the organisation. But it is the connection between the mission of WWF and its technology that has provided the most compelling driver for recent IT developments at the organisation.
We see technology as having a major role to play in both reducing running costs and carbon emissions. This is best demonstrated in WWF’s UK headquarters, (The Living Planet Centre or LPC), which is a showcase for sustainable technologies and collaborative working and demonstrates real leadership within the sector.
The LPC’s technology architecture facilitates flexible working practices, improves communications and helps WWF reduce its footprint. It also helps WWF to engage different and new audiences. The building blocks are a resilient, secure network infrastructure that provides connectivity for staff and guests and integrated collaboration technologies, (video conferencing and telephony). This supports mobility within and away from the office and has allowed the organisation to achieve optimum use of its resources and assets through the provision of ‘ratio working’ or hot-desking. Whether working from our headquarters, from home or from another office anywhere in the world, our staff can log-in with their usual credentials and have access to all the core applications they require. They are also contactable on a single phone number from any location and using their own device, (laptop or smart phone), or a device that WWF provides for them.
As a charity WWF must use its funds wisely and we are actively looking at ways to reduce the overall cost of the IT estate as well as reducing our energy usage. Currently we are in the process of adopting cloud computing solutions that will enable us to completely close down our secondary data centre later this year. This will have the added benefit of eliminating the necessity to replace expensive hardware in the future.
“WWF cannot afford to take risks with data and we have a duty of care to be responsible custodians of all the information that we process.…”
WWF cannot afford to take risks with data and we have a duty of care to be responsible custodians of all the information that we process. Our immediate challenges here are to ensure we fully comply with the upcoming GDPR legislation as well as tackling the persistent and increasing threat of cybercrime.
Along with creating an inspirational and motivating working environment, technology will remain at the heart of WWF’s mission for the foreseeable future.
By David Southern, Director of ICT