Project Description

Cancer Societyand CodeBlue

A Digital Roadmap to Resilience

Cancer Society and CodeBlue

A Digital Roadmap to Resilience

Everyday, 71 New Zealanders will hear the words “I am sorry – you have cancer”.

Thankfully, the Cancer Society are there to minimise the impact of this diagnosis on the community and whanau.

Behind the care and support services of the Cancer Society’s Canterbury and West Coast Division is a team of highly committed employees, organising everything from accommodation for out of town whanau, to health promotion and even palliative care needs. Hundreds of volunteers also give their time generously; driving, visiting; manning reception, fundraising and more.

The tech glue that keeps all this together? A modern, cloud-enabled digital solution that allows staff to work flexibly and securely – even with patient confidentiality standards as rigid as that of a hospital. But it wasn’t always this way….

Martin Witt (Manager, Health Promotion and Information Technology Services) vowed to discover a better way of working after a server housing ‘everything’ was taken out by an earthquake. Martin’s quest led him to CodeBlue.

The Steps to Digital Transformation

1. A Roadmap to a digital future

CodeBlue worked with Martin, and the team at the Cancer Society to firstly understand their organisational objectives and the ways in which they consumed technology. As an non-governmental organisation, every dollar is precious. “Our road-mapping workshops quickly defined a plan to help them gain efficiencies, build resilience and leverage Microsoft goodness in the most secure way possible”, says Dan Fitton, General Manager, CodeBlue Christchurch.

The business case for migration to the Cloud was strong. The organisation was struggling with aging capital and tied to a private cloud provider. The first priority was to dispense with the expensive data centre located servers and implement Infrastructure as a Service. Furthermore, the Cancer Society would maximise their IT investment by taking advantage of Microsoft’s charitable status business rates.

“My mark of success is that IT works like running water or electricity – people should only notice it when it isn’t working. It was clear

that the only pathway to this kind of seamless performance was through the cloud. I was delighted to discover that we could access
a modern solution, use technology to help us service clients better – and actually save money too” says Martin.

2. Migration to a Microsoft 365 Tenant and Software as a Service

On the journey to a Modern Workplace Platform, CodeBlue implemented a programme to roll out Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 on a Software as a Service Model. Aging hardware was replaced as soon as financially viable to a mix of laptops and NUC devices running the latest applications. CodeBlue worked with the Cancer Society to undertake staff training at each step of the way.

Says Susan Symonds, CodeBlue Key Account Manager, “Staff flexibility was a real driver. Staff needed to be able to work anywhere, anytime and collaborate – all with the highest level of security. Moving towards SharePoint within the Microsoft 365 online environment would allow for greater control over documents and provide a modern environment for greater staff and client engagement.”

3. Locking in Security and Secure Device Management

The Cancer Society deals with sensitive patient data. As part of best-practice security measures Microsoft Intune was implemented to manage devices and proactively reduce risk.

“Intune provides another layer of protection for them at the user endpoint. It allows us to define comprehensive policies that only allow the right people under the right conditions to access certain data. It also ensures the data stays protected by controlling how staff use it within Microsoft 365 and other mobile apps. We can enforce the policies based on conditions we specify; such as user, location, device state, app sensitivity, and real-time risk”, says Fitton.

4. Fast-tracking SharePoint for Lockdown

The organisation was moving into the last stage of their strategic IT roadmap – moving files to SharePoint.

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 lockdown was imminent and it was time to make contingency plans for remote working.

“Fortunately, the right digital foundations were in place. We were able to accelerate go live and when the nation hit Covid-19 lockdown, Cancer Society staff could securely access their files from home locations, whether via a Cancer Society device or from the Microsoft 365 app”, says Symonds.

Seamless Service

“No one should have to face cancer alone. Especially not when your immune system is compromised during a global health pandemic. Thanks to CodeBlue and our migration to the cloud, we could continue being there for hundreds of Cantabrians during a pandemic. That’s resilience. Our accommodation service (designated an essential service) remained open for those patients from around the upper South Island who were going through treatment at Christchurch Hospital. For other staff, our homes became offices. Those without work allocated devices became familiar with Not exactly how we planned to introduce the changes, but staff have been great in adapting to remote work.”

Stronger Teams on Microsoft Teams

“As we start to get familiar with the terms One Drive and SharePoint, how to share files and what syncing to the cloud actually means, one particular winner must be cited – Microsoft Teams. In less than a month we have seen Teams calls across all areas and now all managers briefings are defaulting to this application. For an organisation that is set to replace its aging PABX technology this year, Teams has demonstrated the true value of VOIP technology in a way nothing else could!” adds Martin.

“We’re an organisation that puts our heart into doing good. It is fantastic to now have the modern computing platform in place to do that good work even better”.

Martin Witt

Manager, Health and Information Technology Services.


With more than 150 staff across 5 branches in New Zealand, CodeBlue has an enviable record of success delivering IT services. We have specialists in IT strategy, IT operations, IT security, business process and business intelligence. Whatever your IT requirements, we have the capabilities to help your organisation.

Our wide range of services include Proactive IT Support, Cyber Security Services, CIO Services, Data Backup and Recovery, IT Strategy, Cloud and Procurement Services.

CodeBlue is at the forefront of IT Managed Services for mid-sized organisations.

We understand the need to deliver value for money to help keep IT support costs down and maximise investment in existing and new technology. Our fixed monthly service fee provides exactly this peace of mind for our customers.