ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Student Transportation Inc. (STI) has been using independenceIT’s Total Freedom Workspace, a cloud-based information technology infrastructure, and the company has realized significant benefits from its use, officials said.
STI is able to allocate less than 1 percent of revenues to its information technology operations while ensuring that its U.S. and Canada offices have reliable, secure, 24/7 access to all business applications from any Internet-connected device.
By comparison, the latest Society for Information Management 2011 Annual CIO survey found that companies typically spend 3.55 percent of their annual revenues on information technology.
"Working with independenceIT for the past 10 years has opened our eyes to the strategic benefits of the cloud," STI Director of Information Technology and Investor Relations Keith Engelbert said. "What started as a cost-saving IT [information technology] project quickly blossomed into something much bigger as we realized the cloud could be a major business enabler for us. IndependenceIT’s innovative application layer allows us to incorporate nearly 50 business applications into our cloud infrastructure."
IndependenceIT allowed Engelbert and his team to scale information technology operations quickly while delivering predictable costs to the finance department. While cost savings were the original reason for moving to the cloud, officials said that STI found that the technology had additional benefits and could bolster its merger and acquisition, audit and strategic information technology operations.
In terms of mergers and acquisitions, independenceIT's proprietary application layer enables Engelbert and his team to upload the acquired company's data and applications and then present them via a cloud environment. Each of STI's acquired companies can keep and run applications the same way while STI integrates each organization into the new tech ecosystem.
Through STI’s "cut and paste" functionality as part of the contract bidding process, new busing contracts can operate as they always have without learning a new system. The back-end data is passed transparently into the independenceIT corporate system so that employees don’t have to change the way they work.
Officials said this is a benefit to school districts and STI, as both entities can avoid investing in expensive software upgrades, and STI can also create views into the busing and routing system whenever a school district requires it.
Finally, independenceIT's cloud environment eliminates the difficulty of auditing a company with hundreds of offices across the U.S. and Canada by creating a centralized repository that is accessible at any time through an Internet-connected device.