“The Virtru team offered a tailored solution that was ideal for us. They provided the visibility and control of where our data travels, who has access, and for how long.” - Chris Lewinski, IT director, Sheboygan County
Sheboygan County, Wisconsin supports more than 115,000 citizens with digital services related to public safety, land records, birth certificates, and health and human services that require a proactive, data-centric approach to security.
Chris Lewinski, IT director at Sheboygan County, explains why he decided to migrate the organization to the cloud and the security benefits that Virtru helped deliver.
Why did you decide to start your secure cloud migration project?
There were three main reasons for us to move to the cloud. First, our previous on-premise solution had aged and was running an unsupported version of Microsoft Exchange. The high cost of upgrading our licences made migration the most cost-effective solution. The second reason was that I had previous experience of working on a cloud platform, so I was confident about the efficiencies a migration would help create. And third, the flexibility offered by the Google Cloud Platform, particularly the ability to work remotely without forcing employees to access a VPN, was a big draw for us.
What were your organization’s biggest challenges throughout the migration?
Change management was the biggest challenge we faced. Employees using the system need to understand why things are changing and impacts to their working practices. We found there was a digital divide between younger employees who were more familiar with the cloud and some of our older employees. Training employees was crucial to ensuring people did not get lost in the process, hampering adoption. Also, tackling misconceptions about cloud security was crucial. By choosing Virtru as a partner, we were able to encrypt data and provide the highest level of data security throughout the process, so this also helped to reassure our teams.
What made you choose Virtru as your data protection partner for the migration?
Security was a big concern for us due to our compliance requirements. When we were liaising with Google during the migration process, they recommended Virtru as a partner who could meet our security requirements, and we are extremely pleased that we chose to engage them. The Virtru team offered a tailored solution that was ideal for us. They provided the visibility and control of where our data travels, who has access, and for how long. Their functionality that warned users when emails may contain sensitive information enhanced security awareness across the organization. One of the key things for us is that we never felt that we were being ‘oversold’ a solution that didn’t fit our needs. Virtru’s team was very easy to work with, and we felt they had properly considered our use-case scenario and designed a solution to fit our needs.
What advice would you give to those thinking of migrating?
When it came to the cloud migration we faced a choice between managing the migration in-house or outsourcing. We decided to outsource, and that was absolutely the right decision. As I had previously worked in an organisation that migrated with inhouse, I knew the vast amount of work required to successfully migrate to the cloud. We have a relatively small team here, and attempting to manage the entire process ourselves would have put significant pressure on our resources. I’m happy to say that the money we spent on outsourcing has paid dividends, and I would recommend other people in a similar situation consider doing the same.
“I can honestly say that I’m extremely glad we migrated to the cloud. Migrating has improved ease of access and streamlined our systems to save us a great deal of money in the long run.
Another benefit is that we don’t have to worry about upgrades either – it’s all handled on the cloud. Over the years I’ve been working in IT, it is rare for a project to go flawlessly, but with the help of Virtru’s data-centric security offering, our migration really came close.”
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