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Embracing the cloud

HESTA, a relatively small organisation that relies on a combination of in-house and external expertise, introduces a cloud-first approach to efficiently scale services across the organisation.

Increasing complexity

As the organisation found its application landscape growing, IT looked for a solution to help reduce the administrative burden on IT resources while maintaining service, delivery and security.

Suite of cloud-based apps

HESTA selected Okta as its identity and authentication partner to provide identity and access management for Microsoft Office 365 and a host of other cloud-based services.

Securing employees’ personal apps

Okta provided a simple management layer that helps HESTA ensure employee access to personal applications is secure and minimises risk to the business.

We were looking for a balance of security and flexibility in managing access to cloud-based applications for our workforce. Effective, simple, and yet scalable identity management was a key focus for us.

Michael Collins, General Manager, Information Security and Technology, HESTA

Balancing security and flexibility with a revolving workforce

HESTA Super Fund is an industry-leading superannuation fund for health and community services in Australia. Founded in 1987, the fund has more than 820,000 members and manages in excess of $37B in assets, yet remains a lean organisation with only 160 employees.

Michael Collins, general manager of information security and technology at HESTA explains: “As one of the largest super funds in the country, we typically tend to approach things with a cloud-first strategy where it makes sense.”

As one of the largest super funds in the country, we typically tend to approach things with a cloud-first strategy where it makes sense.

In terms of cloud-based applications, HESTA relies on a range of externally hosted applications, including HR, performance management, payroll management and risk compliance applications.

HESTA found that as its application landscape grew, IT struggled to ensure secure access to the applications deployed within each business function. IT needed to decrease the number of lockouts from users forgetting their passwords and efficiently manage access as employees joined or left the business.

Collins started to look for an identity management solution to help solve these challenges “We were looking for a balance of security and flexibility in managing access to cloud-based applications for our workforce. Effective, simple, and yet scalable identity management was a key focus for us,” he explains.

Shelving “on premise” as an option

Before working with Okta, HESTA considered an on-premise solution for identity management. HESTA explored the costs and complexity of setting up a physical service managed by a third party service provider. After seeing the amount of time and money it would take to implement an on-prem solution, HESTA developed a compelling business case to opt for a cloud-based service. Collins selected Okta as the vendor of choice, due to faster time-to-value and Okta being half the price of alternate solutions. 

Secure, efficient access

From back office functions, including HR and payroll management, to client-facing customer management experts, Okta provides HESTA with seamless, secure Single Sign-On and Lifecycle Management across a growing suite of business applications and users. With Okta, HESTA is now able to securely and efficiently grant access to Office 365 and Zscaler.

“We were impressed by how quickly we were able to integrate Okta into our environment and we’ve found connectors for every application we’ve tried so far. The time between engaging Okta and having it deliver value was minutes, rather than days or weeks when building your own infrastructure,” explains Collins.

We were impressed by how quickly we were able to integrate Okta into our environment and we’ve found connectors for every application we’ve tried so far.

The organisation also provides users the ability to access a set of personal applications that they may use, whether it's for personal email or LinkedIn. Okta has been instrumental in helping provide a simple, management layer that helps the IT team ensure secure access is provided with minimal risk to the business.

Since installing Okta, HESTA has saved more than $40K in IT costs and efficiency from less time spent on manual onboarding and password reset requests. Now that the team does not have to separately manage applications from 15 different admin consoles, time spent on admin tasks has decreased by 80 percent. They also experienced an 80% improvement in offboarding users and workflow reporting/auditing.

Looking Forward

“Already we have seen a 210% ROI since we implemented Okta, and our users have been extremely positive," reflects Collins. “We’ve had such a positive experience that we’re looking to expand to additional business units over time. From a management and operations perspective, Okta also helps us mitigate business risk by putting all the power for service access and account management in the hands of our IT team. For a relatively small team, we really appreciate the simplicity and effectiveness of the service and the IT cost savings”

Already we have seen a 210% ROI since we implemented Okta, and our users have been extremely positive.

Okta’s solutions have helped ease the pressures on already busy IT staff and ensure access is provided securely and with minimal disruption to employees. The team has experienced simplicity and productivity gains that come from deploying a solution that seamlessly handles login and access management for a range of cloud-based services.

About HESTA

With more than 820,000 members and $37 billion in assets, HESTA is a specialist industry super fund dedicated to people in health and community services. HESTA was established in 1987 to help its members, 85% of whom are women, achieve the retirement they deserve. HESTA maintains the highest ratings from all ratings agencies including a AAA-Quality Rating and MySuper of the Year Award from SelectingSuper and SuperRatings’ 10-year Platinum Performance Rating.