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Increased speed and resilience | Reduced costs

Recruitment and Employment Confederation: IT strategy and implementation

REC called on IndigoBlue to provide expert guidance in support of an ambitious programme of updates to its IT systems. We worked with REC to shape and implement a clear plan aligned to the business strategy, resulting in the improved quality, speed and resilience of its systems, as well as substantial cost savings.


With more than 7,000 corporate and 5,000 individual members, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) represents the largest slice of the UK's £24.5bn recruitment industry. Created in 2000 from the merger of the Federation of Recruitment and Employment Services (FRES) and the Institute of Employment Consultants (IEC), the organisation is guardian of the industry code of practice as well as providing members with access to a wide range of benefits from professional and legal services, to training and development.

The challenge

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) decided to take steps to update its IT support systems. The lead on this project was David Vallance, the REC's director of finance. However, while Vallance knew what their IT systems needed to do, he realised he did not have the specialist knowledge required to make effective and informed decisions on how to implement the update. In order to ensure the REC would get exactly what it needed from its technology in the future, Vallance elected to work in consultation with IndigoBlue.

Our approach

IndigoBlue experts met with Vallance on a monthly basis to discuss the on-going IT rejuvenation. The REC considered diverse areas of their technology use including the membership database, the existing email system and updating the organisation's network platform. For each area, IndigoBlue engaged in comprehensive research and analysis, aligning the technology to the business strategy, identifying the best options for the organisation and indicating the way ahead.

“In the case of the membership database, IndigoBlue looked at the other packages available in the marketplace to determine what was the best solution for us,” says Vallance. “Interestingly, as a result of that, we actually kept our existing database but made more investment in the solution – including the recruitment of a dedicated database manager.”

IndigoBlue also paved the way for the REC to replace its internally hosted email service with an externally hosted exchange solution, delivering a more stable working environment and removing the maintenance headaches associated with the previous system. “With IndigoBlue on board, we now have a co-ordinated IT strategy,” says Vallance, “We know where we're going and we know how far we've come within the areas we want to address.”

In its most ambitious project to date, the REC transferred its network to a Microsoft-based platform, accessed via terminal services, thereby futureproofing the IT resource. IndigoBlue's strategic advice proved invaluable in working through a tender process to identify a preferred supplier for the task.

The outcomes

David Vallance commented:

Following IndigoBlue’s recommendations has led to a substantial improvement in the quality of our IT service, the availability and speed of business applications, and the response and resolution time to problems. Remarkably, we have also achieved a substantial overall reduction in costs.”

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