Age UK and Identity Management – The Journey So Far

Formed in 2009 after the merger of Age Concern and Help the Aged, Age UK is Britain’s largest charity catering for the needs of older people. Improving the lives of the elderly and allowing them to flourish is incremental as our population lives longer and has fewer children.

The charity has a number of arms, including a trading unit that sells and transacts and a social enterprise which offers products and services that enhance later life.

With 2,500 employees, Age UK has diverse IT requirements and needs to abide by various regulations. As a retail, training and trading hub, the charity has 450 retail units, and 14 regional training partners. Its CRM system, Raisers Edge, has 46 interfaces and 10 million constituents.

All important factors in security are being noticed

For such a large organisation such as Age UK, identity management brings significant cost savings and necessary security measures to protect data.

At Whitehall Media’s prestigious 9th biannual Identity Management conference in November 2013, Terry Willis, Head of IS at Age UK, spoke before an audience of senior management about how his department has rolled out an innovative IDM project in recent years leading to improved service delivery and efficiency savings.

Unlike other organisations where IT departments are the first port of call, Willis explained how Age UK’s Human Resources department is responsible for provisioning, and how role-based profiles are utilised together with a person’s job title and description to decipher what access they need to complete their required tasks.

Age UK’s new employee system

IDM thus begins with the recruitment process, where, upon appointment, an individual account is set up. The unique identifier is based on the payroll system, and a single point reference is used at the back-end to manage activities throughout the organisation.

Thereafter, self-service is default.

Willis explained how something as simple as changing a password via the help desk would typically cost £14, but “using IDM it’d cost us 50 pence.”

Join Whitehall Media at our 10th biannual Identity Management conference at the Hotel Russell, in central London, on 18 June 2014. See our website for more details: