A cloud managed IT services and intelligent security solutions firm with bases in Carlow, Kilkenny and Dublin is celebrating after securing a significant new contract.
Carlow, Dublin and Kilkenny-based Business IT Solutions (BITS) has been transforming workplaces using innovative IT solutions for over 18 years.
The firm has landed a three-year, €275,000 contract with accountancy, taxation and business advice specialists McInerney Saunders (MCIS). The new accountancy client previously had a UK-based IT partner, but the anticipated onset of Brexit coupled with its eagerness to ensure the fullest compliance with GDPR spurred MCIS to source an Irish-based IT partner and to move all of its data from the UK to Ireland.
BITS plan to grow its workforce as a result of the project win and other new contracts.
MCIS chose BITS as its IT partner because of its track record in providing comprehensive IT services to accounting firms. MCIS also needed any prospective IT partner to be imaginative in recommending any solutions. BITS ticked all the boxes, MCIS managing partner Owen Sheehy said.
“At MCIS we take great pride in delivering a comprehensive suite of financial services to our clients, all the while being acutely aware of the need for data protection and of the necessity to be fully legally compliant," said Mr Sheehy.
“We needed a full-service IT partner here in Ireland that is GDPR compliant, that has broad expertise in our sector, could deliver both in-house and remote services, and that could present us with imaginative and progressive solutions.
“With BITS and Microsoft’s public cloud platform solution Azure, we have an efficient and cost-effective IT infrastructure, one that caters to our current needs and positions us optimally for our expected growth over the coming years,” he added.
BITS director and Carlow-based Paul Byrne said it’s a relationship the firm plan to grow into the future. “MCIS handles a large amount of personally identifiable information (PII). This requires that the firm’s IT partner is able to demonstrate that they have a suitable information security management system and that they are compliant with GDPR," said Mr Byrne.
“We received a detailed listing of MCIS’ requirements and also undertook a deep and broad examination of MCIS’ pre-existing IT setup. We developed a number of approaches for consideration and, after consultation with MCIS, a decision was made to go with a public cloud solution using Microsoft’s Azure platform.
“A fault tolerant, Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) environment was designed and commissioned in Microsoft’s Dublin-based data centre. All applications and data were migrated to that virtual environment, without interrupting existing working patterns. The new system went live over a weekend, which prevented any impact on employee productivity. When employees returned to work on the Monday, they were immediately able to start using the new system.
“By having a public cloud solution rather than a private cloud solution, MCIS avoided any need to buy/own/depreciate IT infrastructure or put associated hardware in a data centre. Instead, with Azure, MCIS can use an existing platform running from Microsoft’s data centres in Ireland,” Mr Byrne added.
BITS recommended the Azure platform as it includes extensive fault tolerance, which is superior to MCIS’ previous hosted platform. It’s also lower maintenance and there is less need to upgrade local machines as they are effectively just gateways to the more powerful virtual desktop in the cloud.
The new system also offers flexible and cost-effective configurations. Data security is enhanced by that data not being held on local machines. Theft of any such local machine, though undesirable, has no impact on data security. The vast majority of employee IT work practices have remained the same, Mr Byrne concluded.