Technology for social justice

How the right technology is transforming business functions at Community Transport Organisation

Community Transport Organisation

Moving to Office 365 went smoothly with the Infoxchange IT team, who were always available to help. Each step was within a framework, with clear actions, making the transition easy. I can’t recommend this service highly enough.

Tara Russell, CEO

Community Transport Organisation (CTO) is NSW’s peak body for community transport.

CTO partners with organisations that provide affordable transportation to people in metropolitan, regional and remote NSW. It helps those who are socially isolated, disadvantaged or have a disability, as well as organisations that respond to emergencies and natural disasters.

CTO’s team consists of three part-time staff working towards the organisation’s objectives of advocating for an accessible and sustainable transport system for people challenged by access to transport and supporting the community transport sector through capacity-building and other innovative programs.

Having efficient systems to manage daily business functions can save time and increase productivity for small not-for-profits like CTO. However, this wasn’t the case with CTO’s “clunky” and outdated user portal.

When Tara Russell joined CTO as Executive Officer two years ago, she quickly realised that the IT system needed major improvements. The need for improvement became more obvious when the team couldn’t access emails for three weeks when the portal was down.

The system wasn’t responsive. We couldn’t use Zoom or MS Teams while using the system. Filing and sharing documents through the portal wasn’t easy either. It was hard to find documents because there wasn’t any convention in the filing system. Using it involved wasting a lot of time,” Tara says.

Tara wasn’t sure how she could fund the major IT transformation required to fix the system until she found out about the NSW government’s funding initiative for small and medium-sized not-for-profits – the SSTF fund.

After she applied for funding, the Infoxchange team, which was commissioned to support NFPs with delivering IT transformation projects, contacted CTO to advise that they had secured funding.

The Infoxchange IT team had several meetings with CTO team members to understand their challenges and identify the best solution for the organisation based upon their needs.

One of the solutions was to implement Office 365 and move to the cloud, giving CTO employees access to efficient, accessible record management and archiving systems.

The Infoxchange IT team also addressed security concerns by enabling Multifactor Authentication (MFA) to improve the organisation’s cyber security.

Moving to Office 365 went smoothly with the Infoxchange IT team, who were always available to help. Each step was within a framework, with clear actions, making the transition easy. I can’t recommend this service highly enough,” Tara says.

SSTF funding covered all the transition costs plus one year of IT support from Infoxchange. Tara had such a positive experience during the move to Office 365 she signed on to continue receiving IT support from Infoxchange past the initial 12-month period.


How has fit-for-purpose technology enabled CTO to be more efficient?

The new system and IT set-up have enhanced CTO’s day-to-day efficiency. This has increased the team’s responsiveness to external requests, made their work more agile and productive and saved money in several areas. With the new information management procedures, the team knows where to find documents and is able to answer questions faster.


The impact of SSTF funding on small not-for-profits

As a final note, Tara talked about the challenges faced by small not-for-profits and the impact that funding from the SSTF has had on them.

From a small not-for-profit perspective, business functions are often beyond what we can manage. We’re managing human resources and finances, and it would be hard to manage specialist work like IT transformation as well, because we don’t have the resources or the funding.

“Also, business transformation can take up much of a person’s time searching for consultants, getting quotes, etc. As a small not-for-profit, we don’t normally have access to the funding for those things to be more efficient,” says Tara.

Tara believes programs like the SSTF are great enablers for not-for-profits to be more efficient.

Without the SSTF funding, CTO would probably never have changed their IT system, or would have been forced to take a much less effective approach, without specialist support, on top of their other work.

Through this funding and with the help of Infoxchange, we implemented a solid and professional solution,” says Tara.

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