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British Heart Foundation’s digital response to Covid-19


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Cloud has been a key factor in enabling BHF's office staff to continue working, says director of technology design and engineering director Amit Patel

Earlier work on its digital infrastructure proved to have great value for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) in its response to Covid-19.

The organisation had already put in new wide and local area network circuits and upgraded its data centre and servers, and as it saw the lockdown coming it ran a stress test on how its virtual private network would work with its office staff working from home.

Amit Patel, BHF’s director of technology design and engineering, says it was able to support a rapid shift to widespread home working, ensuring its networks had the bandwidth and taking a selective approach to who should be using the VPN.

Its heavy use of cloud services and Microsoft technologies, supported by Rackspace, were also crucial.

“It gave us that sense of there being no need to worry,” Patel says. “All we had to do was make sure people could get their laptops connected and had a good workspace at home.”

He adds that the charity is now thinking carefully about how it will run its business, including reopening its shops, post-lockdown with the support of technology and cloud services.

“Our business needs to change; our events have been cancelled which will hit revenue, and we need to think about how to do things differently,” he says.

You can learn more about the digital experience of BHF in the pandemic and how it is facing up to the future from the interview below.

Amit participated in an episode to UKA Live: Managing digital complexity in a pandemic. You can view the episode here.

UKAuthority and Rackspace Technology have collaborated on a series of reports and papers in 2020 investigating key issues for public sector technology, digital and data. You can read more about how Covid has necessitated a switch in thinking by completing the form to the left and downloading reports from this series

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