IT Managed Service – Improving Efficiency and Security
Aptus Clinical is a Clinical Contract Research Organisation (CRO) delivering high quality clinical trials on a global level. Working in a highly regulated environment where compliance is paramount, Aptus Clinical are governed by the need to protect and safeguard data as well as providing streamlined operational processes to ensure efficiency and productivity.
Greystone provide fully managed IT support, cyber security support and IT project support for their Head Office based in Cheshire and remotely based operational team across the UK.
In early 2020 and with cyber security as its driver, Aptus Clinical performed an internal review of its IT systems and security with a view to enhance the level of support they received. It became evident that there were areas of their business they could improve via IT processes and procedures and increasing their level of security. To add to the challenge, the UK had just been moved into a state of national lockdown, making Aptus Clinical’s requirements more critical and a formal tender process was launched.
Following a stringent vendor selection process, Greystone were appointed as Aptus Clinical’s new IT service provider due to their demonstrable capabilities and track record, and their close alignment to the culture and values at Aptus Clinical.
In the weeks that followed, Greystone conducted a full audit of the incumbent systems and processes with a view to design an end-to-end project plan, ensuring a seamless transition from the current IT service provider. Speaking about this part of the process Ben McDougall explains: “From the moment we spoke to Aptus Clinical we knew Greystone would be in position to help them but first we needed to take the time to understand the requirements and business objectives and determine the best way forward for transitioning to Greystone’s support services.”
Aptus Clinical’s key priorities were identified as improving inefficiencies in their IT Systems, the implementation of Microsoft Intune for mobile device management (top priority given the pivot to home working) and improving operational uptime.
Working to Aptus Clinical’s timeframes and requirements, Greystone developed a detailed action plan, integrated with communication points and testing dates. From day one, Greystone’s team worked collaboratively and closely with the stakeholders at Aptus Clinical to ensure deadlines were met and the team was educated on new procedures and best practice.
Knowing that compliance was a top concern for Aptus Clinical, which was only heightened by the need for the team to work from home, Greystone set about swiftly implementing Intune relying on their extensive experience to manage the process, using simple, straightforward instructions and language.
Speaking about the experience Paula Roberts said: “Greystone ensured the implementation of Intune across the business was seamless and successful; they saved me time by developing How To Guides and supported everyone through the process on a 121 basis. They explained the process in a non-technical way so we could understand not only what we had to do but how the software would work on our devices.”
Results and Benefits
Moving on from the Intune project, Greystone transitioned all IT services to a fully managed service by January 2021 taking less than 4 weeks from being appointed.
When reflecting on the move to Greystone Stuart Morris, Chief Financial Officer at Aptus Clinical Said: “The change to using Greystone for IT support has been seamless. Greystone have already implemented both cost-saving and time-saving improvements and we are seeing considerably less downtime as a result of the change. They have also improved our security. Greystone are a pleasure to work with.”
Working as a technology partner, Greystone provide proactive managed service support, working with Aptus Clinical to continually improve their IT systems and processes. Greystone consultative approach has seen them making improvements across all areas of the business including:
• Cyber essentials training
• Regular penetration testing
• Policy reviews including ISO accreditation advice
• Management and disposal of obsolete equipment
• Introduction of more robust security protocols such as guest wifi and encrypted emails
Paula continued: “Not only does Greystone give me confidence that all of our IT needs are taken care of, we also have complete peace of mind around security and compliance. Their responsiveness and support levels has taken away stresses associated to IT systems, ultimately providing me with more time”