BDO have been providing accountancy and consultation services globally for more than five decades. The Australian operation was formed in 1975 by combining independent operators under a single banner. The company offers a broad range of financial services to business with a strong focus on auditing, taxation and consultation.
BDO are highly regarded for their social conscience and their long-term support for Variety, the Endeavour Foundation and a plethora of important community groups. BDO are the recipients of numerous local and international awards that recognise their skills and company achievements within the financial services sector. They also contribute to the community through their sponsorship of individual and collective achievements including the Premier’s export awards and the ARA’s retail awards.
BDO Australia’s IT team continuously strive to embrace changes in technology that can reduce costs and increase their value to the organisation. Long term partner MOQdigital were asked to help BDO create a strategic IT roadmap and assist them to migrate many of their services to Microsoft’s Azure cloud. The project’s goals were to reduce technology ownership costs, build greater resilience into the core computing infrastructure and change BDO’s IT service delivery model.
The return on investment figures were compelling with just the reduced Brisbane office licensing costs saving the organisation more than $100K annually. By combining these objectives into a single project, BDO could reinvent how they delivered services to their stakeholders.
BDO now have a highly resilient infrastructure with data replicated between Brisbane, Sydney and Microsoft’s Azure cloud. The extra 100 hours of time re-purposed from operational to project implementation has improved outcomes with user feedback indicating that tangible benefits are being delivered in the planning phase of new projects.
IT staff can quickly create proof of concept and prototyping tools from their existing resources and these help to fast-track new initiatives by providing an environment that’s easy to build and replicate. The cost savings for the Australian office of BDO is staggering, with reductions in capital expenditure and operating overheads estimated in the millions of dollars for the first three years alone.
BDO identified three key business deliverables and evaluated these against a “needs and wants” matrix. A nationwide Disaster Recovery (DR) strategy was justified because their recent investment in a DR facility had averted a catastrophe caused by flooding throughout the Brisbane CBD. Greater economies of scale could be realised through better use of their Microsoft global software licence agreements. The cost of infrastructure could also be slashed by replacing their technology with a more resilient cloud framework to improve business continuity goals. The company redefined IT staff responsibilities from being “operational” to a project focused, more “strategic” role that contributed to delivering better business outcomes. BDO collaborated with MOQdigital’s professional services team to develop, implement and deploy replacement services in Microsoft’s Azure cloud. One important differentiator was that MOQdigital’s experienced staff helped to simplify the task of migrating data from BDO hardware to the Azure cloud. By using Microsoft’s StorSimple storage hardware it also eased the complexity of data migration while a clearer understanding of how employees used company data was gleaned.
Designing a mission critical infrastructure demanded an in-depth understanding of BDO’s existing technology framework and how it could be transitioned to an Azure environment without interruption to the business operations. The IT staff could choose how much data would be retained in local storage and which should be migrated into the Azure Cloud based on the data usage metrics provided by StorSimple. BDO tracked user data usage and discovered that the 80/20 rule applied – only 20% of data files were in active use at any given time. Using this knowledge all dormant and archival data was migrated to Azure cloud storage.