Natural Resources Wales looks to build on cloud ERP functionality
Self service improvements now being planned by organisation following work to consolidate to single IT estate and migration to SaaS solution
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) expects to provide additional self-service functionality such as improved time recording to staff over the coming months as part of ongoing work that has seen it migrate to a fully cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
The Welsh government-sponsored body said its ERP functions were now delivered through a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, building on work to consolidate three separate systems into a single simplified IT estate after NRW's formation from the merger of a number of separate bodies.
The cloud migration was undertaken as part of a two year contract extension with Trustmarque that came into effect last December to provide NRW with full disaster recovery, as well as application and infrastructure support services.
While the ERP platform is said to be the key focus of its agreement with the company, NRW added it would add new functionality in the coming months to make more use of the employee self-service aspect of the solution, such as time recording.
NRW claimed that the move to SaaS has meant that sensitive customer and employee data can now be better protected on a single platform used by the whole organisation. The strategy forms part of a wider IT strategy within the organisation to make use of private and public cloud services.
"The original ERP systems had been delivered through a combination of cloud, on-premise and managed services. Trustmarque is now delivering NRW's sole ERP system as a private cloud service," said a statement on the agreement.
"A further benefit of the consolidation has been creation of a self-service portal, 'MyNRW', to allow NRW's 2,000 employees to carry out tasks such as updating personal details or accessing digital payslips."
NRW head of business support services Paul Subacchi said that the creation of NRW had resulted in a complex and disparate IT estate that needed to be addressed.
"Our ERP system is absolutely critical to the organisation, enabling us to become more efficient and offer greater self-service functionality to our employees. Cloud is a significant part of our IT strategy, so we need a platform that is available, resilient, flexible and secure to deliver our ERP system," he said.
NRW noted that in any large migration such as its switch to the cloud, there was always going to be challenges, not least in having to first consolidate separate ERP systems into one within what it described as a very short timeframe.
"Trustmarque worked closely with us throughout in order to simplify the move, and deliver a robust and flexible solution," said Subacchi.
"In addition, any large change has an impact on staff and users of the system, so we also brought in a change manager during this time oversee the project and minimise any disruption. As a result, we've been able to implement a successful solution which is helping us realise the many benefits cloud has to offer."