The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the global body for accountants, is undergoing an IT transformation plan to help it deliver more reliable online services for its members.

The UK-based organisation, which has 147,000 professional members and 404,000 student members, wants to improve its online capability to support its growth plans.

“As we expand and increase numbers, we need to ensure we have a scalable offering to bring the services online,” Marion Wilson, solution architect and design group manager at ACCA told Computerworld UK at Oracle’s Openworld conference in San Francisco.

 Online services that ACCA provides for its users include marking of exams, services for employers to register and manage their students online and accountants in training can also register online to join the organisation.

To ensure that these services are delivered reliably, the organisation is currently upgrading its infrastructure, which involves moving it from on-premise into integration partner Atos’s data centre.

“We are consolidating as much as possible and standardising in the data centre, to improve the performance and scalability. This also reduces complexity in terms of supporting the hardware and operating system,” said Wilson.

ACCA’s uses Oracle’s E-Business Suite 11.5.10, which runs on infrastructure that includes Oracle’s Solaris operating system, HP Blades and Oracle’s SPARC servers. With the upgrade, the organisation is also looking to do virtualisation, with VMware, in its test and development environments.

Once it has completed its infrastructure upgrade, the organisation plans to look at refreshing its applications, which may involve Oracle’s Fusion Applications, which have finally been announced this week as on general availability.

“Our ‘Fit for the Future programme’, in its second year, is an ongoing programme, and the technology [ improvement] will be incremental,” said Wilson.