With the urgent backing of new senior management (and a mandate by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to implement a pandemic plan), Walsh and his team built a five-year IT strategic plan. It called for a range of new hardware and software, such as replacing Compaq and Hewlett-Packard ML and DL servers with 25 HP BL 460c blades and 10 VMware virtual infrastructure CPU licenses; deploying a storage area network; and installing air conditioning units. The plan also involved a rollout of Citrix thin clients to give some 400 employees access to internal services and new applications, such as one for a child care program.
Two years into the plan, Walsh is grateful for a higher IT budget -- about 2% of the nonprofit's $39 million budget, or $780,000. (Capital investment was used to update the data center.) "We went from being starved to being able to fix problems," he says. Now, "we do things that agency workers never imagined." Problem solved.
This was first published in October 2007