Using Citrix, the institute empowers staff to work remotely in a matter of days
In recent years, INAIL, the Italian National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work, has invested and grown significantly when it comes to innovation, becoming a benchmark for the digitization of public administration and developing into one of the most authoritative and well-equipped National Strategic Hubs for ICT infrastructure. The success of the INAIL strategy is due, above all, to management’s foresight and the fact that it immediately focused on hyperconverged Nutanix architecture and opening up to the cloud, among other factors.
In March 2020, the pandemic and its lockdown arrived across Europe. Like many other public and private organizations, INAIL needed to make remote working available to thousands of people quickly, safeguarding the privacy of its members and the integrity of very sensitive data including information relating to the health of employees.
“Most employees did not have the equipment to work reliably and efficiently from home. But we were lucky,” recalls Flavio Mancini, ICT Manager at INAIL, “because we were familiar with the intrinsic security and flexibility of Citrix technology, having already adopted it to create Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions for certain projects, such as a payment app for banks that used a version of Java not supported by our systems.”
Due to the strength of the project that had already been implemented and the trust in the effectiveness of Citrix technology, INAIL had no doubts when it came to relying on the multinational specialists who, together with the Institute’s IT staff, were able to offer remote working ’at home’ to all employees who needed it.
“In the very early stages, the institute had decided to deliver new devices to some users and had thought of resorting to a VPN (Virtual Private Network),” says Mancini, “but the hardware vendors weren’t ready to meet our needs and the virtual private network didn’t give us the security guarantees required by the institute.”
In just a few weeks, Citrix and INAIL enabled more than 4,000 users to access their personal computers securely and, thanks to Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, could do so without worrying about the hardware requirements of the devices being used. “Within a month, with the support of Citrix, we were able to implement a remote working structure for 4,000 employees. An outstanding achievement,” notes Mancini.
INAIL users who benefit from remote working using Citrix technology have very different profiles. “Some divisions of our organization,” explains Mancini, “are focused on health research, we have medical teams who are also studying issues related to the pandemic, other offices deal with the management of real estate assets and use powerful CAD software to map properties on which employees have mortgages, for example.”
Combined, Citrix offerings provide true flexibility as Mancini explains, “What emerged in the project with Citrix is the ease and flexibility in connecting to the institute’s systems: the work environment is no longer a device, which can become obsolete or be too costly to release in large volumes, but rather a software environment accessible via the web through a simple link.” Through Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops and Citrix Workspace, the Institute’s IT specialists, who are tasked with making sure everything runs smoothly, can also manage the systems remotely, operating from home with the same privileges in terms of performance and security that they had within the organization’s offices.connecting with just a few clicks, securely and from any PC means great savings in terms of time and resources for INAIL.
Seeing that the model has worked even in an emergency, INAIL is now planning to extend the remote working infrastructure, powered by Citrix technology, to all 9,000 of the Institute’s employees.
“Several projects are already underway,” Mancini continues, “within the simple virtual desktop infrastructure, but also in the Citrix Workspace environment. An example is the queue management app we are releasing to all our offices, based on the Citrix platform.”
The most interesting developments, however, are those relating to INAIL as a National Strategic Hub: it will be in that context that the most innovative solutions, such as those already being tested by Citrix, will be able to make a difference and help the institute set the gold standard for the whole country in providing services while ensuring total safety and security.