Taking Thomas to the Cloud

Are your highest performers also the least en...From the boat to the boardroom

Since joining Thomas International in October 2018 as the Chief Technology Officer, the Technology team and I have been working hard to build a strategy that fulfils our digital ambitions.  We are on a journey to evolve the services that sit around our assessments to bring you a richer, more engaging experience that makes tapping into the power of proven psychology easier for everyone in your business.

Whilst there is no blueprint for digital transformation, there are some common elements that all organisations share when embarking on this kind of change:

  • An ability to capture and respond quickly to client feedback
  • A strong focus on simple, online user experiences
  • Services that can be consumed on mobile, tablet and desktop
  • Tools that are easy to integrate with and adapt to fit in your business
  • The services are powered by cloud technology

We have been focusing on many of these elements over the last few months, but the one that has taken the majority of our focus has been moving Thomas products and services to the Cloud.  This is at the foundation of our digital transformation and gives us the speed and agility we need to build new and innovative services that focus on what you, our customers, have been demanding from us! I wanted to take this opportunity to focus on this major piece of work and let you know about some changes we are making in the coming weeks.

The engineering teams at Thomas have been planning to move our services to the Microsoft Public cloud for almost a year now.  A large portion of the services you use have already been moved and we are now entering the home straight where we finally complete this work.

In March we will be undergoing two scheduled maintenance windows:

  • Friday 15th March 2019 (22:00-23:59 UTC)

During these times, users and candidates will be unable to access our services and will see a splash page explaining that we are in a maintenance window.  No provider of online services wants to take their service offline – we recognise that in a digital age, these services are expected to be available 24x7.  However, the final stages of our cloud are some of the most difficult and we balance the risk of minimising disruption with the complexity of reducing the duration.  In this instance, we feel the safest option is to take the services completely offline so that we eliminate any risk of data loss or corruption.

Once the move at the end of March 2019 is complete, all the Thomas applications and services will run 100% from the public cloud.  This means that we are also benefiting from using a provider that offers a much greater degree of compliance and security around the infrastructure where your data is stored.

We have provided below answers to some commonly asked questions. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your Account Executive or give us a call on 01628 475366.

Where will my data be stored after the migration?

We recognise that the security and compliance of how we manage your data is of critical importance to you.  Your data will be stored in Microsoft’s Azure public cloud that is accredited to the highest standards of security and international standards’ compliance.

What about Brexit?

The relationship between how we process your data and how the UK Government and European Union resolve Brexit is fluid and something we are reacting to like all other organisations.  We are in constant discussion with our legal and data privacy teams to ensure that we are appropriately prepared in the unlikely event of a no-deal scenario.  In the longer term, the UK would initially look to secure a “Data Adequacy Decision” from the EU, which will recognise the UK as providing an adequate level of data protection, before the Government then attempts to negotiate a two-way agreement on data flows between the UK and the EU.

More information on the UK Government’s advice regarding data can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/using-personal-data-after-brexit

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-protection-law-eu-exit/amendments-to-uk-data-protection-law-in-the-event-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-without-a-deal-on-29-march-2019

Are you changing how you use my data?

At this time, only the physical location of your data Is changing - the way that we process and use it to deliver our services remains unchanged.  As we make future updates around how we store and process your data, we will of course share these with you.

Will I notice any changes after the migration?

We do not expect any changes in the functionality of the services after the move.  However, given that the infrastructure of the Microsoft cloud is far superior to our current hosting arrangements, we hope that you may notice an improvement in the speed and responsiveness of the site!

What are you doing after the Cloud migration?

Great question!  Once we complete this work, a large amount of the team’s time can be driven into the improvements to our online services.  We’ve got an exciting roadmap for 2019 that will provide noticeable improvement to Hub user and candidate experience.  Watch this space for more updates!

Chris Jackson

Chris Jackson

Chief Technology Officer
Chris Jackson is responsible for driving Thomas’ technology, implementing a technical vision that will deliver the next generation of user-friendly, scalable and innovative digital talent solutions.