Redland City Council in Queensland democratises data with Rubrik

Redland City Council in Queensland democratises data with Rubrik

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Rubrik is protecting Redland City Council in Queensland from ‘unprecedented’ levels of phishing and ransomware attacks. With data protection and backups now automated, a culture of data-driven decision making has been nurtured throughout the organization.

Rubrik, the Cloud Data Management company, has supported Redland City Council to deliver on a data-driven strategy designed to gain value from its business information and provide better services to its constituents.

With a population of over 150,000, Redland City Council covers six residential islands spread along the southern coast of Moreton Bay in south-east Queensland between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

It has been at the forefront of innovation in the Sunshine State, launching the first on-road driverless bus trial in 2019, introducing an automated solar-powered compacting bin earlier this year, and releasing an app to promote local businesses by notifying users of deals and special offers when they’re near a store.

These initiatives underscore the council’s desire to be a data-driven organization and pursue a Smart City strategy designed to transform the way it delivers services to local residents and businesses.

Glynn Henderson, CIO at Redland City Council

“Becoming a data-driven organization was an absolute priority for us,” said Glynn Henderson, CIO at Redland City Council. “By using our data effectively, the possibilities are endless – we can improve internal efficiency, deliver strategic benefits, or drive greater economic, community and environmental value.

“We see our data as an asset. We need to have a cradle-to-the-grave view of it across the organization so we can use it to make better decisions.”

Despite the high business value placed on the council’s data, Henderson’s small IT team would frequently lose days managing an ageing backup and data protection solution that was becoming prone to failure. Under the previous backup solution, approximately half a day each week was spent managing backups due to the distributed nature of the servers, then about another half day was often required to troubleshoot failed backups.

With the need to pursue more strategic IT initiatives, Henderson said he decided to implement Rubrik as it would not only ensure the integrity of its data and backups, it would also free up his team to work on more innovative projects. Whereas the previous solution demanded around 20% of a full-time employee’s capacity to manage, this has been reduced to just a few minutes each morning reviewing Rubrik’s dashboard and email notifications. Further, there have been no backup failures since the implementation.

“Backups are now completely automated. My team doesn’t have to worry about them anymore and can now work on projects that bring more value to the organization,” he said. “For example, when COVID-19 struck, we had to quickly ramp up our work-from-home capacity to manage a tripling of our remote workforce. Because we weren’t losing time managing backups, we had more capacity to rapidly scale and refine our remote work capability.”

With data protection and backups now automated, Henderson said the improvements in data integrity had also helped him and his team nurture a culture of data-driven decision making throughout the organization.

“Across the council, proactive use of data to drive decisions has become the first port of call,” he said. “Rubrik ensures that wherever our data is, in whatever form it is, it is at our fingertips when we need it. It’s created excitement in the business, and it all comes back to data integrity.”
Jamie Humphrey, Managing Director for Rubrik Australia and New Zealand, said: “At every level of government, data is the lifeblood that ensures the best decisions are made.

“At the local council level, it’s extremely important as the services provided are those that touch our lives every day. Whether it’s supporting local businesses, connecting community groups or ensuring environmental sustainability – particularly in an LGA as picturesque as Redland Bay – data insights help councils deliver the services their community needs, when they need them.”

Highlights, in the words of Glynn Henderson, CIO, Redland City Council, include:

• Business Continuity in the face of rising cyberthreats: “We’re witnessing an unprecedented level of ransomware attacks targeting our organization which I chalk up to attackers thinking councils are too preoccupied with COVID-19 to mount an effective defense. While a cryptolocker attack would have severe consequences from a regulatory and reputational point of view, Rubrik’s immutable backups and the ability to rapidly restore if an attack were successful, make me feel a lot more comfortable – it’s like an insurance policy against ransomware.”

• Proactive data sharing: “Previously data sharing would be reactive and in response to external requests for council data. With the data now at our fingertips, we’re on the front foot creating open data sets and ideating internally around what data we can proactively provide the community.”

• Data integrity drives transparency: “The data lifecycle is like an assembly line; it starts off as a chunk of metal and ends as a beautiful, functional piece of machinery. With incremental snapshots we can pull data back at any point in time and interrogate it – we can ‘show our working’ when it comes to the decisions we’ve made. This is extremely powerful in bringing the business along for the journey and building transparency with the community. It’s not good enough to just know the start and the end of the process.”

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