The UN Foundation Tackles the World’s Biggest Issues with Future-Ready Technology

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By Edima Elinewinga

We have an important mission here at the UN Foundation: supporting the United Nations in its efforts to tackle some of today’s biggest issues, like climate change, global health, poverty eradication, as well as peace and security.

As a leader of our IT department, it’s my job to enable that important mission through technology. But keeping up with our organization’s growing needs was getting more challenging. For one thing, our employees are traveling around the world more and more, and they needed better mobile tools so they could get faster access to project information at our headquarters in Washington, D.C.

On top of that, we’re in full-on growth mode here at the Foundation, rolling out all kinds of exciting new initiatives that will impact the lives of so many people around the world. As part of that growth, we were moving to a new office in Washington, D.C. But this wasn’t your typical office move where we just needed more space – we needed to make sure that the new IT infrastructure we put in place would grow with us over the next five years and beyond.

A new, future-ready infrastructure

Being ready for whatever the future holds meant that we needed to build a new IT infrastructure that could stand the test of time. With new Dell server and networking technologies as the backbone, we built a hybrid cloud infrastructure that can scale and integrate with public cloud services and applications. We also designed the infrastructure with 10 Gigabit Ethernet between all our floors for maximum throughput. Even though we don’t need all that power now, we likely will in the future, so we made sure we were installing technology that set us up for future growth.

While we were planning for the future, we knew that we needed to provide better tools and communication capabilities for our mobile workers today. With new Dell laptops and a new unified communications infrastructure, our employees can communicate and collaborate more closely, whether they’re out in the field or in our home office.

Focusing on innovation, not infrastructure

With our new infrastructure, we’re using technology to be more effective at what we’re doing, now and in the future. I used to spend a lot of my time worrying about how our hardware and software systems were running. But now, I can spend a lot more of my time focusing on innovation.

We’re also breaking down communication barriers for our global workers, by giving them more flexibility and more ways to collaborate. What that means is a person working at a remote refugee camp in Kenya can easily co-author a document with an employee in Washington, D.C., and making it easier for them to do their work, and continue making a difference.

With the help of Dell hardware and solutions, we’re confident that our teams can focus on building a better future for people around the world. We can continue working and expanding on many important initiatives like the Girl Up campaign, which empowers teen girls in developing countries to make their dreams a reality. We’ll also be able to help grow our Measles & Rubella Initiative, which has already protected more than one billion African children from measles.

The global issues we’re focused on will only continue growing and evolving, but we know we’ll be able to keep tackling those issues with our new technology in place. We’re on the cutting edge, and that gives us the confidence to be ready for whatever our future brings. We know we’ll always be able to help people reach their potential, no matter where they live.

Read more about our story here.

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