Save The Children - April 2021

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SAVE THE CHILDREN

AN INTERNATIONAL APPROACH TO IT DIGITAL REPORT 2021


SAVE THE CHILDREN

AN INTERNATIONAL APPROACH TO IT WRITTEN BY: WILLIAM SMITH

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PRODUCED BY: KRIS PALMER


SAVE THE CHILDREN

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SAVE THE CHILDREN

Gerry Waterfield, Director of IT Global Operations at Save the Children International, discusses the charity’s IT evolution and its response to COVID-19

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erry Waterfield is Director of various systems and people would literally IT Global Operations at Save create a ticketing system for each system. the Children International, the Now what we've done is brought them into world’s leading charity focused on one tool, providing a much improved and children. In his role, Waterfield ensures the easier experience.” charity’s vital work is supported by robust A big focus has been on moving entirely to the cloud, which Waterfield accomplished IT systems. Having had a long career in the private sector, Waterfield brought a fresh in November. “We're now cloud-first set of eyes to Save the Children when he and that's been objective for some time joined five years ago. “It's - four or five years. honestly the best thing That allows us a work anywhere approach.” In I've done,” he enthuses. “It’s almost like all my some of the areas and other experiences were situations in which the done to bring me to a charity must work, for greater purpose. We deal instance responding to with 30 to 50 million an earthquake, that’s children a year, literally particularly important. saving lives, providing “That’s why we have all our global, core services, education, all those kinds of things.” identity and network GERRY WATERFIELD DIRECTOR OF IT GLOBAL OPERATIONS, As a global infrastructure in the SAVE THE CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL organisation, creating a cloud. We still have unified IT infrastructure some infrastructure left in some countries and that's the next part of requires the consideration of many moving pieces. “Save The Children International our journey - removing the localised stuff.” was born about seven years ago from 24 The organisation must also be ready to members that were created a hundred years react 24/7, but the previous method of ago. When I joined, it was best described as achieving this had inherent problems. “One of the challenges we had were single points effectively a multi-billion dollar startup. The challenge we faced was that we had of failure all over the world,” says Waterfield. “We literally had one person responsible for all these different solutions for the same thing, globally.” One such example is the system A, serving 17,000 people, two people recently accomplished relaunch of its in Africa for system B. If one of them went on service desk. “Five years ago, there were holiday or fell sick, everyone sweated for two

“WE'RE NOW CLOUD-FIRST AND THAT'S BEEN OBJECTIVE FOR SOME TIME”

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SAVE THE CHILDREN

1919 Year founded

$2bn

Save The Children's approximate revenue

GERRY WATERFIELD

17,000

TITLE: DIRECTOR OF IT GLOBAL OPERATIONS

Number of employees

COMPANY: SAVE THE CHILDREN INDUSTRY: CHARITY LOCATION: LONDON

EXECUTIVE BIO

weeks. We had to fix that.” The answer was a follow-the-sun model. “The infrastructure's all in the UK serving globally, but we've got people in Asia, people in Africa, Europe, Latin America who we started cross training to fill those gaps.” In line with that, the organisation has set up tech hubs globally. “In my team, there’s only one or two people left in the UK, with about 200 people around the world in different countries. It’s a federated model with about 85 in my wider team and the rest run by country offices.” We already had a technology Hub in Nairobi and opened a second in Q4 2019 in the Philippines to better serve our Asia users. “We had been operating for about two months when the Philippines Government shut the country down due to Coronavirus, and they’ve been working from home ever since. So we had quite a difficult start, but the business and the members are recognising the value of doing it. And then we are also trying to expand our capability in Latin America. It’s one of our smaller operations, but time-wise, it gives us really good coverage.”

Gerry is a highly experienced Technologist who is able to adapt to technology and business trends. He is experienced in Satellite, Robotics and Semiconductor manufacturing, through to implementing large changes in the Media, BPO and NGO sectors. Organisations he has worked for include the Daily Mail, Serco, Texas Instruments and Save the Children. He is a problem solver with a wealth of experience in change, innovation, software development and service delivery, which has allowed him to consolidate systems, people and businesses to provide simpler, streamlined and cost effective solutions to meet the demands of the organisation. He possesses a proven record of accomplishment delivering “digital enabled business transformation”.

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SAVE THE CHILDREN

Gerald Waterfield on becoming a cloud first organisation

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SAVE THE CHILDREN

38.7mn children

and 29.1 million adults directly supported by the Save the Children movement, working across 117 countries*

5.9mn children

and 8 million adults supported by the Save the Children movement in 130 humanitarian emergency responses across 55 countries

£307mn

raised by Save the Children UK in 2019

5,460

volunteers in the UK gave their time, energy and skills to support our cause *Annual Report 2019

“WHEN I JOINED, IT WAS BEST DESCRIBED AS A MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR STARTUP” GERRY WATERFIELD DIRECTOR OF IT GLOBAL OPERATIONS, SAVE THE CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL savethechildren.net

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SAVE THE CHILDREN

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“IT HAS TO BE ABOUT THE MISSION. IF YOU CAN BRING PEOPLE ON THAT JOURNEY, THEY WANT TO WORK HARDER” GERRY WATERFIELD

DIRECTOR OF IT GLOBAL OPERATIONS, SAVE THE CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL

In the NGO environment, a strong culture can go a long way, as Waterfield explains. “In our NGO space there's very little resources, it's very underfunded, there's a 1000 things, and 10 people to do them. It has to be about the mission. If you can bring people on that journey, they want to work

harder. So it's all about a real team sense of purpose, and feeling rewarded by what you do.” That sense of purpose has had broader ramifications, with the trust the organisation places in people across the globe leading to upskilling programmes and improved retention. “It's allowed us to grow and to promote people from within into higher roles or different roles, and then fill from the bottom. That then builds a sense of empowerment and achievement for people. Whenever we advertise a vacancy now everyone's clamoring to get into these teams.” Accomplishing its ambitions has required the support of partners such as savethechildren.net

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SAVE THE CHILDREN

“ WHENEVER WE ADVERTISE A VACANCY NOW EVERYONE'S CLAMORING TO GET INTO THESE TEAMS” GERRY WATERFIELD DIRECTOR OF IT GLOBAL OPERATIONS, SAVE THE CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL

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Content+Cloud, which provides the Charity’s service desks in the UK. “They run those services in London, supporting users and things in the building. They do a very good deal for us as we’re an NGO. They've got some really good people - if you go out to the actual staff in the office, they just see them as part of my team, they don't realise they're part of another company.” The work that Save the Children already had underway stood it in good stead for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “We rolled out Teams in four weeks flats at the beginning of lockdown. We were planning to do that anyway in a phased approach - It’s always hard with 17,000 users - but then COVID landed. I managed to get six people from Accenture for four weeks to help us for free, which really helped.” The changes mandated by COVID-19 were not too dissimilar to its existing digital workplace ambitions. “ What it potentially helped us think about is how far we are on our digital workplace journey. We're just about to do some self assessments to see where we are compared to others in the market, and I have a feeling we're quite a way along compared to others.” Going forwards, the charity is implementing automation in its HR system and improved security while the tech hubs initiative continues at pace. “We started with one in Kenya when I first arrived and I launched another one at the end of 2019 in Asia,” says Waterfield. “The aim is to move to our hubs where we can have local people servicing the local users real time. If you’re in Australia, you are still separated by five hours from East Africa, which is one of our current hubs. We're building those out to help people, and it also gives us an opportunity to look at wider shared IT services.”

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Save The Children St Vincent House 30 Orange Street London WC2H 7HH

T 020 3272 0300 | savethechildren.net

Registered Charity in England & Wales (No. 213890)

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