The Worshipful Company of Actuaries
All documents relating to the running of the Company (and everything else) were “in a room full of papers”. In 2016 the new Clerk, Lyndon Jones FIA, started working electronically and used his Microsoft One Drive to create a more efficient system going forward.
However, this neither dealt with the “legacy” hard copy documents (containing the Policies and the background to each previous decision) nor did it meet the needs for Information Assurance and Business Continuity – although he had shown others how to access his system, he was the only one who could easily access anything.
- Information is the most valuable asset that any organisation has. As The Actuaries' Information was held in one place, there was a clear “single point of failure” which neither met the fiduciary responsibilities nor the Risk Management requirements of the “responsible persons”.
- “Information Assurance” covers the Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability of all Information – it was clear that the Company did not fully meet any of those criteria.
- There had been a fire in their building – luckily not affecting their area – but Availability can also be affected by viruses, other electronic attacks, as well as fire, flood (or even rodent and insect attacks).
- To create a “Data Management Centre” (DMC) in which all relevant information would be instantly available to each type of user, but with distinct levels of access permission.
- To have all the earlier “dead data” turned into “Living Information” by having it scanned, digitised and atomised – and placed within the DMC. With the same accessibility as for electronically created Information.
- To have all the Companies' Information Assets securely backed–up in multiple locations.
- To enable each “class” of user to access the full background and current Information– to see the policies and decisions leading up to the present position from their PC/Laptop/Tablet.
- To fulfil the requirements of “Information Assurance” – Business Continuity and Risk Management (Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability of all Information).
- To allow the Company to become “paperless” in terms of agendas, minutes, reports (whether by an individual or a committee). To enable all authorised people to be able to input comments on agenda items and to see all other inputs, prior to every meeting.
- To increase efficiency, reduce costs and save precious time. Both for “day to day” operations and for when Masters, Wardens and committee chairs/committee members change.
- To ensure that everything is easy to pick up in the event of an emergency or (eventually) when there is the need for the next Clerk to take over the reins!
SDS Group produced a total solution to the expressed needs – and added-value by including additional features that have proved to be very useful.
The SDS Livery System has a core baseline design philosophy which is inherently flexible to meet the various specific needs of the different Livery Companies. Each Livery Client will benefit from this SDS approach.
One example of the flexibility of the SDS System is that the Actuaries chose to have all users required to log in to their permitted area(s) of the DMC to obtain any Information rather than the system (or the Clerk) having to “page” them. This has led to all Officers using the system very regularly and thus increasing efficiency and timeliness. Other Liveries may choose the opposite approach.
The Clerk's report: ”once the design had been sorted the implementation was very easy”.
Also: “SDS were extremely responsive at all times and I cannot give praise enough”.
The system was designed around the Company's needs – not at all a “one size fits all” but created for the Company utilising some 25 years of SDS IT experience coupled with their in–depth knowledge of Information Management Systems.
The Clerk's report: “It was far, far simpler to get to the end result than I had envisaged”.“All Officers now access the DMC with no prompting, meaning that I don't have to email meeting papers”.
There are several distinct levels of access: – for the Clerk (“see everything”); The Court (“almost everything”); to the members of each of 6 committees (“see only what is relevant to their specific committee”). The Clerk's report: “Access Permissions were very straightforward”.
No–one receives “papers” – they are all directed to the DMC (“everyone and everything is easily found there”).
All the earlier (both hard copy and electronic) records are progressively being digitised and atomised by SDS and then uploaded to the DMC (with the different access levels incorporated) thus providing all authorised users with the total picture appropriate to their access rights.
Lyndon Jones FIA (The Clerk to the Actuaries' Company) is so pleased with the SDS System that he has shown it to other Clerks with the comment:
“Every Clerk should get this!”
We are very grateful for permission to replicate this report.