American Nurses Association Enterprise Adapts and Optimizes with Azure as the World Shifts
American Nurses Association (ANA) represents the interests of the nation’s four million registered nurses with a vision of creating a healthy world through the power of nursing. ANA exists to give nurses the best chance of success by advocating for them and their patients, providing education, and giving access to a network of leaders and organizations in the healthcare industry. ANA’s mission is to “transform the nation’s health through the power of nursing,” which today, is more relevant than ever.
ANA reached out to Quisitive looking to gain visibility into their new Azure environment. They needed a strategic partner that could help them manage, navigate, and optimize their technology operations. In the midst of a series of assessments and workshops, the global pandemic of COVID-19 hit the United States. The country was shaken and concerns for the spread and the severity of this novel virus rose. Quisitive discovered that ANA needed full visibility into their environment regarding operations, security, and spending. ANA had to change their business strategy and adapt to the global changes quickly. Quisitive’s Azure Management Service helped ANA implement Azure Monitor, Log Analytics, Azure Security, and other Azure components that helped improve ANA’s operations by putting governance policies in place, implementing a monitoring and alerting system, and gaining visibility into their security posture. The base work that Quisitive implemented helped the association transition more than 250 employees to a remote workforce and gave ANA peace mind as their nurses were fighting this pandemic.
Expanding Visibility in the Time of COVIDANA moved to Azure to save money and minimize ongoing maintenance and support of their environment. To gain full visibility and understanding, ANA leveraged Quisitive’s Azure Management Services. Quisitive deployed EverWatch, their proprietary Azure monitoring and alerting tool, built on Azure Monitor and Log Analytics, and gave ANA full observability of their applications, infrastructure, and network services. With the implementation of EverWatch, VM Insights, and Azure Policies, ANA now has insight to keep their Azure environment healthy and optimized. ANA and Quisitive created new processes that automatically optimize outcomes when unexpected incidents occur such as automatic alarms that launch specific processes or the review by a Quisitive team member who could resolve the problem. Most issues are proactively identified and prevented, and unexpected issues are responded to and investigated in minutes. Quisitive also provides ANA’s IT team detailed reporting and recommendations regularly. This led to a more robust change management strategy and processes to ensure that changes are approved and communicated to all stakeholders. Amid the global pandemic, ANA obtained full visibility into the operations of their Azure environment and can manage, control, and understand their posture. With COVID-19 cases rising, ANA had enough to worry about, so the proactive approach to managing their Azure environment was one less worry.
Adapting to the New Working Normal without Increasing CostANA’s Azure costs were rising and they did not understand what was driving the increase. ANA feared that the overspend in Azure would hinder their ability to adapt to the remote workforce that was now needed, and ultimately hinder the innovation and the future of ANA. Quisitive assessed the current costs by utilizing Azure Cost Management, then consulted with the ANA team to understand their business goals and processes. Aligning these two, Quisitive established an initial Azure spending budget and provided tactical recommendations and implementations to help ANA establish a predictable monthly spending without sacrificing performance or efficiency. Quisitive also created dashboards in ANA’s Azure Portal to provide trending cost data and highlight changes in cost that could result in unplanned spending. After just one month of having established budgets and dashboard visibility, changes in cost were quickly recognized and configurations were adjusted. ANA’s monthly predictable spending helped the enterprise transition to a secure remote workforce quickly and cost efficiently.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and the related shut down of businesses drove unprecedented changes to associations and how they do business. To meet these challenges, ANA Enterprise responded with new business strategies while simultaneously transitioning more than 250 employees to a home-based workforce. I reached out to our Quisitive partners looking for help to reduce operating costs and to ensure effective security and compliance was in place for our new remote workforce.”
– Barry Gersten, CTO, American Nurses Association
Enhancing Security as the World ShiftsANA Enterprise, like many organizations, needed to enhance their security posture and prevent attacks of their systems and data, especially as the global pandemic of COVID-19 led businesses to shift their strategies to enable a remote workforce environment. Quisitive conducted a variety of Azure security assessments and identified a set of remediations to increase ANA’s security score and posture. Quisitive leveraged the Azure Secure Score and Recommendations to target lowrisk, high-value changes like PIM, MFA, and Conditional Access to raise the threat barrier even further. ANA’s home-based workforce now has the security measures needed to efficiently focus on supporting nurses during this pandemic. ANA’s security score has improved and Quisitive has established a roadmap and timeline to implement additional measures around both networking and data layers, giving ANA the peace of mind they need while they are handling more important issues, trying to keep us all safe.
“ANA Enterprise was able to extend our reach and increase our capabilities without increasing our costs. The result was better overall services, reduced costs, effective security, and improved reliability of services. Partnering with Quisitive enabled ANA Enterprise to remain focused on its mission to “lead the profession to the shape the future of nursing and health care,” and to support all nurses at this critical time, especially those on the frontlines fighting COVID-19.”
– Barry Gersten, CTO, American Nurses Association
An added benefit is that the section editors have become brand and intranet ambassadors. They have responsibility for promoting and adding content to the platform, which University Health calls the “infoNET” to match their other internal communication channels: infoLINE, a weekly e-newsletter, and infoHUDDLE, a weekly update of talking points. The infoNET’s creation emphasized creating fresh content and evaluating any old content that was to be placed on the site, rather than simply migrating over old, out-of-date content.
Essential training sessionsAt the launch, the comms team showed a quick how-to video and Quisitive and the Valo team helped build a tip sheet to create a one-page PDF to share with all staff on how to use the new infoNET site. The comms team followed this up with one-hour ‘Ask Me Anything’ Webex training sessions, which included some of the front-line staff. These staff members may not always have access to email, but were critically important as ambassadors for the new site. The comms and web IT team started developing content and building the site with the section editors in December and January. The goal for launch was the end of February, however there were a few push backs on site development. Then the Covid-19 crisis happened. The intranet was officially launched in May 2020. However, in normal circumstances the actual building could have been done within two-and-a-half months. The Quisitive team, the comms and web IT teams used the extra time between the original and the actual launch to refine processes and took feedback from users of the Covid-19 information section to improve the user experience before launch. University Health communications team have launched a solution that is earning them praise throughout the organization. They have met all the initial goals and the business units are looking at ways to expand functionality through integration with forms and workflow tools to better improve user experience across the health system.
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