CIO interview: John Hunter of Council of Europe takes cloud route to memoir management

CIO interview: John Hunter of Council of Europe takes cloud route to memoir management

John Hunter, CIO of the Council of Europe, describes how his team has modernised the human rights organisation’s memoir management within the cloud

Brian McKenna


Revealed: 11 Jun 2021 11: 15

John Hunter, CIO of the Council of Europe, is extremely proud of the IT profession for its work for the duration of the pandemic, and of the organisation for which he works.

Certainly, the demonstration of the designate of IT is with out doubt one of many few upsides he is willing to title from the Covid-19 pandemic. “There’s now now not that mighty within the way in which of upside,” he says. “Nonetheless it has helped IT departments demonstrate to the industry how hugely foremost what we discontinuance is. And it has also helped us to push our IT formulation. One of the foremost sizable success reports used to be that the industry converted in a single day to all individuals working from home.”

And Hunter is proud to work for the Council of Europe.

Founded in 1949, the council comprises 47 member states, 28 of that are contributors of the European Union. It promotes human rights, democracy and the rule of regulation through worldwide conventions and makes recommendations through self sustaining expert monitoring bodies. Its foremost bodies include the Committee of Ministers, Parliamentary Assembly, European Court docket of Human Rights, the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.

To score watch over and retailer its wealth of documents, the council had been the utilization of Microsoft Public folders, shared drives and SharePoint.

Hunter recounts how this created security and compliance considerations as documents had been being storied in 9 various repositories. It used to be also extraordinarily complex for employees to uncover the build the final variations of documents had been located.  

He says it turn into their goal “to retailer all working documents in a single, shareable DMS [document management system] which will moreover be at once managed in phrases of security, glean entry to and folder structure by the assorted departments for the duration of the organisation”, in conjunction with: “Having a central DMS to retailer documents manner we are able to have the chance adopt frequent working ideas and ideal prepare.”

“Having a central DMS to retailer documents manner we are able to have the chance adopt frequent working ideas and ideal prepare”

John Hunter, Council of Europe

Since March 2020, the organisation has been the utilization of a cloud-essentially essentially based DMS, NetDocuments, to enable documents to be found, accessed and shared remotely from locations of work in extra than 23 worldwide locations and by over 6,000 external customers. The conception is to occupy the entire customers on the gadget by June 2021. 

NetDocuments has migrated up to 40 million documents to the unique gadget. As fragment of this process, it has helped the council transfer its data outside the UK and into a unique datacentre in Germany.

Hunter says: “Brexit supposed that our data used to be going to be stored within the UK, and so outside the EU, and we got a bit concerned about data protection considerations.

“NetDocuments accelerated the formulation of rolling out [the system] from their German datacentre. We waited six months for that to glean up and working, however I web we made the wonderful different on the time. For me, as IT director, I was a bit concerned that per chance the British executive would commerce their data protection [regime], and we factual felt it used to be mighty safer to retailer our data here [in the EU], after some lawful recommendation.”

Democracy, human rights, rule of regulation

The Council of Europe’s critical assets are its records and ride within the domains of democracy, human rights and the rule of regulation in its member states, says Hunter.

“It’s a fancy organisation. Now we occupy directorates and plenty sub-entities. As an illustration, there’s the CPT, the committee for the prevention of torture and degrading medication. And to allow them to hasten and seek recommendation from anyone in any of the 47 member states at any time to establish up on them. We’ve got plenty of various monitoring mechanisms, equivalent to GRETA, which is ready action towards human trafficking.

“It’s a really multicultural, multifunctional organisation. We’ve got 47 various nationalities. We’ve got Russians, Irish, British, French, Polish, Ukrainian, Azerbaijanis, and plenty others.

“I would tell that human rights and the rule of regulation is amazingly foremost in our society, especially after Donald Trump. There are plenty of bridges to be constructed, there’s plenty of deplorable stuff occurring within the realm.”

The Council of Europe’s critical working processes all involve producing documents, electronic mail management and taking part with each and every interior and external parties. On the waste of this process, a final memoir is produced – a file, recommendation, peruse or judgement. The documents are, by their nature, highly sensitive, containing a will deserve to occupy data on human rights matters. Besides they have to be accessed remotely from locations of work in over 23 worldwide locations and by extra than 6,000 external customers.

The council had been the utilization of Microsoft Public folders, shared drives and SharePoint to administer and retailer documents, which resulted in documents being stored in 9 various repositories, which introduced security and compliance considerations. Also, one of the council’s enviornment locations of work had been circuitously linked to the organisation’s critical repositories, which supposed recordsdata had been being saved on local servers.

This resulted in an absence of version score watch over, which made it complex for employees to explore for and resolve the build the final version of a memoir used to be located. Also, having loads of disparate documentation systems made it very now now not easy for the organisation’s infrastructure and security groups to advise a paunchy and comprehensive data backup.

The final three candidates for Hunter and his team had been iManage, edocs and NetDocuments. “We chose NetDocuments because we factual felt they had essentially the most developed conception for us, in phrases of their present applied sciences,” he says. “Nonetheless had been very cautious to ensure that our customers had been serious about the different because within the implementation of IT systems, the entire commerce management facet is so foremost. It’s so rattling foremost.”

They spent a minimum of a 365 days researching the technology different, and got the shortlisted suppliers to present to “over 60” customers moreover the IT team. They then proceeded to a proof-of-conception stage with the prospective suppliers. “It used to be a tricky determination,” says Hunter.

“After I came to the council, I introduced the theory of proof of conception. You can not blueprint a determination till you no doubt strive the gadget out. You furthermore mght have to hunt recommendation from various customers. I’ve rung customers within the past who’ve mentioned: ‘don’t contact this’. It would possibly maybe per chance explore wonderful on paper, however till you’ve trialled it with the customers, and supplied it to them, it is factual that.”

Hunter’s team selected Tikit as the implementation accomplice for the mission. “The level of ride and assist demonstrated by NetDocuments and Tikit really stood out for the duration of the gentle process,” he says. “At a product level, NetDocuments’ heritage in cloud and security used to be very convincing.”

Tikit is supposed to occupy labored carefully with NetDocuments on a phased implementation that can glance 35-40 million documents migrated to the unique cloud-essentially essentially based DMS, which entails the headache of mapping a nice amount of unstructured data.

The first fragment of the implementation saw NetDocuments rolled out to 1,400 customers comprising the eight foremost administrative entities, for instance the Parliamentary Assembly, Directorate General I and Directorate General II.

And this took place for the duration of the pandemic. Tikit tailored its traditional on-location “floor strolling” working in the direction of programme to offer expert digital assist to the Council of Europe’s IT department commerce management team. The council’s IT department also supplied broad commerce management, assist and traditional verbal substitute to its person execrable. 

“After broad attempting out, we successfully deployed NetDocuments to over 1,500 below noteworthy circumstances the build 90% of workers contributors had been teleworking as a result of the coronavirus disaster,” says Hunter.

“NetDocuments will blueprint sure every memoir we organize, retailer and half are fully safe and real. The platform will became one of many critical pillars of our IT gadget, helping to offer a gain to productivity and within the waste contributing to the goal to enhancing human rights all over Europe.”

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