Wilson HTM signs $16m, 5-year deal in the cloud

Wilson HTM signs $16m, 5-year deal in the cloud

Moves infrastructure and applications to a 'trusted cloud' approach

Wilson HTM Investment Group has signed a $16 million, five-year agreement with IntraPower Limited to move its complete IT infrastructure and application delivery to the cloud.

The 115-year old investment group is one of the first in the financial industry to make the move into cloud computing, signing with IntraPower under a ‘trusted cloud’ approach. The deal means Wilson HTM will no longer need in-house IT infrastructure or systems.

The firm has more than 400 employees in 15 locations around Australia. Staff will access virtual desktops running Windows, Microsoft Office and industry specific applications through a high availability network.

The process is aimed at realising significant cost savings over the five-year agreement — believed to be as much as 30 per cent of the group’s overall infrastructure spend.

In a statement to the ASX, CIO Scott Stewart said the IT industry was undergoing a major transformation, driven by the business requiring greater scale, flexibility and agility.

“The problem with the traditional IT model is having a large proportion of IT resources and budgets tied up with just keeping the lights on and managing a large-scale infrastructure inventory, all of which rarely confers any real strategic advantage to the business,” Stewart said in a statement.

The trusted cloud computing model being employed by Wilson HTM is a one-to-many model where companies can pay to access shared infrastructure as and when they require at a much lower cost.

Wilson HTM's CIO has long been an advocate of cloud computing, maintaining it represents a fundamental shift in how organisations will consume IT and CIOs who want to survive need to understand the technology.

Security and privacy issues are often stumbling blocks in the implementation of cloud strategies but Stewart worked with advisory firm Longhaus to find solutions that were relatively mature in the market.

Wilson HTM chose the IntraPower solution on the back of its ability to offer capacity-based charging that combines users and time as the underlying metrics, according the ASX statement.

Stewart told CIO the deal is a prime example of IT strategy with a clear link to business objectives.

“I have never known the CIO role to be so focused on the financials,” he said. “There was very little technical discussion.”

In a statement to the ASX, Wilson HTM chief executive officer, David Groth, said the company had grown organically and by acquisition, resulting in increasingly complex IT systems.

“As a result, our business was locked into a recurring cycle of upgrading aged IT infrastructure,” he said. “The business was facing significant capital expenditure upgrade and a large consolidation project that would have further absorbed our resources and focus.”

The IntraPower system would provide access to an environment that would not be cost-effective to create in-house, he said.

“Under the terms of the agreement, Wilson HTM will be provided with IT services on a per user, per month basis, providing us with a fixed and predictable cost. Our IT will be less complex and more responsive to the growth and innovation initiatives of the business.”

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