Sport and Recreation on the ExpressRoute for a fitter future

Attributed to: Marc Dimmick, CIO, Department of Sport & Recreation, WA

Cloud investment helps WA Department enhance community’s quality of life


Our mission at the Western Australian Department of Sport and Recreation is to enhance the quality of life of people in this State through their participation and achievement in sport and recreation.

With research showing sport and recreation offering so many benefits to society, the Department is at the forefront of enhancing the lives of Western Australians.  We provide industry leadership and coordination for sport and recreation services throughout the State, establishing partnerships within the industry, across government and with other stakeholders.

We also provide consultancy services and resource support to individuals, organisations and community groups and involve our clients in all aspects of service planning and delivery.

To do that we need to be responsive, agile and innovative, at the same time keeping in mind the financial constraints that are a big part of modern government.

Our decision to move to Microsoft’s Azure Cloud certainly ticks all the boxes.

Working with Microsoft partner, Ignia we’ve been able to replace nine physical servers from our remote and regional offices through leveraging the ExpressRoute connectivity into Azure Cloud, so that each regional or remote office is as directly connected as we are in our main office in the Perth suburb of Leederville.

Azure ExpressRoute lets organisations like ours create private connections between Azure data centres and infrastructure that’s on our premises. The connections don’t go over the public Internet and offer more reliability, faster speeds, lower latencies, and higher security than typical Internet connections. It also removes the single point of failure for each site.

The ability for seamless connectivity is vital to us at Sport and Recreation because we have 17 locations throughout this vast State, including some in the remote far north Pilbara and Kimberly regions.

For the IT department, it has really changed the way we work in that we can now provision service through our platform in a matter of days, whereas before it was a matter of weeks or potentially months with physical service because of that remoteness. We don’t have to worry ourselves about IT infrastructure, because we can leave that to Microsoft and Azure; now we just worry about the application of services and how build on top of that, so it gives us more time to innovate and improve our services for our staff members and the people that we support.

For example, one of the great things we have been able to do it is to forget about back-up tapes because we now automatically back-up to the cloud. Leveraging the cloud just streamlines the adoption and interoperability between technologies, enabling us to deliver a far better service.

We started working with the Microsoft Azure when we were looking to take advantage of the Office 365 licences included in our enterprise agreement to ensure we had a stable environment for the authentication and single sign-on. However, since the cloud transformation we’re now looking at further utilising the services that come with the platform, which has the potential to change the way we do so many things.

The next solution that we’re to utilise is Power BI to better analyse our data and make it more visual. Not only so that we’re able to make better decisions but also to tell a better story of what we’ve done with our investment, both in technology and the public money that’s been invested in our department towards the delivery of vital services for the community.

We believe we’re the leader in terms of cloud throughout the Western Australian government and we’re excited about being able to show all our stakeholders what the future can look like.


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