Singapore’s schools had to move online when Covid-19 struck, and the government accelerated its plan to provide students with digital devices. This was done to ensure that every student has the opportunity to be successful regardless of their family’s income, wrote The Straits Times.

Governments across the world are rolling out new online services, but making sure that every citizen can access them is key. Working with non-government organisations has been one method of improving the inclusivity and accessibility of new services.

Equinix discusses the tech tools that have enabled a non-profit organisation in Australia to be more flexible and expand its services faster. It shares how the ability to form digital connections on demand is key to providing government services nationwide.

Expanding access across country

WISE Employment, a non-profit organisation in Australia providing employment support for citizens with disabilities under the Department of Social Services programs, was able to speed up expansion into remote areas by connecting its data better.

The organisation’s work is key as working-age individuals with disabilities in Australia are twice as likely to be unemployed compared to those without disabilities, according to a report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The Covid-19 pandemic also increased the country’s unemployment rate as a whole, according to the country’s skills commission.

WISE Employment wanted to reach more people by becoming more mobile, setting up recruitment offices anywhere, at any time, across the country. By previously relying on traditional phone networks, creating offices in remote regions took weeks or months.

The non-profit organisation decided to work alongside Equinix and its partner Telstra to support its shift to 4G and 5G technology. This enabled the organisation to get new offices connected within two hours nationwide.

As well as expanding its physical services, the organisation was also able to set up a new website, developed and hosted on the cloud to allow customers to complete part of their servicing virtually.

By becoming more mobile, the agency can conduct one on one engagements with customers faster and more efficiently said WISE Employment.

A transformed digital environment means the organisation’s IT team is now equipped to develop new tools based on AI and robotics to support people with disabilities in the future.

Forming digital connections 

Equinix connected the non-profit’s data centre with Amazon Web Services, giving their IT team greater access to the computing power and storage of the cloud.

“Being able to connect and transact digitally with other organisations is increasingly important for todays businesses,” says Tejaswini Tilak, Senior Director of Segment Marketing, Equinix Asia-Pacific. “Imagine streaming a personnel training video onto a mobile device. It’s easy to assume that this connection is solely between the device and the streaming service.”.

But the reality is that the data is “actually exchanging hands multiple times among multiple providers” before reaching the screen. The Global Interconnection Index (GXI) Vol. 5, a market study recently announced by Equinix, predicts that interconnection bandwidth or private data exchange will be 15 times larger than the internet by 2024.

Equinix enables organisations to form and sustain these connections which enable secure, high-speed data transfer.

While helping the non-profit connect to other organisations in a hybrid cloud environment, Equinix helped WISE Employment consolidate its disparate data center environments into one location for easier management and monitoring.

The transformed infrastructure helped WISE Employment reduce energy and financial costs. It reduced the organisation’s power costs by 20 per cent and saved it more than US$3.6 million over five years.

Finding the right foundation

Deploying in Equinix’s data centres allows an organisation to connect with cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services.

“Equinix helps organisations to connect with other members of its 10,000 customer family. This gives governments 10,000 potential partners that they can connect to, which ‘represents opportunity’ for new ways to improve and expand services,” Tilak highlights.

As governments roll out new digital services, they must ensure the services cater to all their citizens. Adopting new digital tools enables organisations to expand their services and meet citizen needs securely and promptly.