When an office move and technology refresh coincide, there is the opportunity to dramatically change how people work. Registers of Scotland (RoS) is the government agency responsible for 18 public registers relating to land, property, and other legal documents. Headed by the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, RoS traces its roots to the 13th century and maintains the world’s oldest public land register, the General Register of Sasines, which dates back to 1617.
The organisation is not stuck in its history, though, as Head of IT Services Jeff Miller explains. “The business is 400 years old, but change is ongoing,” he says. “The environment changes, the market changes, citizens’ expectations change, and new technology is also an enabler of change.”
With the lease about to expire on their existing offices, and the organization already embarked on the government’s Digital First policy, Miller and his colleagues saw an opportunity. Combining an office move with a technology upgrade, they could redesign the workplace to create different working environments and free people from their desks.
“Why would we just stick with doing the same thing again? We said, ‘Let’s do something different and give people the best opportunity to be the best they can be,’” Miller says.
RoS relied on a number of specialist, bespoke applications that were around 20 years old. The organization also used an outdated private branch exchange (PBX) telephone system and an in-house datacenter that took up space and consumed power and cooling.
RoS worked with Citrix Consulting to design a robust, new IT infrastructure, using XenDesktop and XenApp, that underpinned a transformative workplace design and enabled a move from the in-house datacenter to a private cloud architecture.
“We didn’t want people tethered to their desks by their phone or the apps on their PC. With Citrix, we’ve given people the freedom to sit where they want, to collaborate and to work in an environment that works for them,” Miller says.
RoS’s new office is designed to facilitate different work styles. There are phone-box-sized rooms for private conference calls, restaurant-booth areas for small meetings and larger spaces for team gatherings. Everywhere, the lighting is designed to support different thought processes or working preferences.
The organisation uses XenDesktop to give every person dedicated computing resources while XenApp delivers critical legacy applications. People can access their apps and information wherever they are so that, as Miller says, “You can move to a different working environment and only take your coffee cup.”
Microsoft Skype for Business, delivered through Citrix, replaces the old PBX. It is used for phone calls, video conferencing, desktop sharing, and any other communication and collaboration. RoS’s Lead VDI Consultant Alyn Peden says, “We’ve consolidated our technology into a single stack that we control and understand. It gives us freedom and saves a lot of money. The Citrix-Microsoft partnership was extremely important in that decision.”
“ROI was important, but the end-user experience was more important,” says Peden.
However, RoS has enjoyed impressive savings from the move. With a 7:10 desk-to-person ratio and the elimination of the in-house datacenter, the new office occupies just one floor instead of seven. The private cloud and iGel thin-client terminals have dramatically reduced power usage.
“We turned off three air-conditioning units we no longer needed,” says Miller. “We’ve consolidated the infrastructure and removed 70 to 75 percent of hardware, replacing it with new, virtualized equipment. We’ve had a huge saving compared to making a like-for- like replacement. We’ve also saved hundreds of IT man hours per month in handling desk-moves. People just move themselves.”
“Security is a key part of what we do with Scotland’s data. By using Citrix, the data never leaves our datacenter. Even if a device is lost or stolen, there is no risk of data being exfiltrated from the organisation,” Miller says.
The Citrix desktop improves application security too, as Peden explains, “Before, if a user sat at another desk and used another PC, there might be a legacy application on there that they shouldn’t have access to. Now, with XenApp only those users with appropriate permissions can access any particular application.”
Together, the Citrix desktop and workplace redesign have created an environment that supports the business and individuals in achieving their goals.
“My role is more and more about adding value to the organisation’s future. With Citrix, we’ve built a platform that’s intended to support anything the business wants to do in the future. It’s flexible as to capacity, geographic location and quality of provision,” Miller says. But, he adds, “The people aspect of the project was the biggest innovation. By empowering individuals, we’ve given them the opportunity to take more responsibility and ownership, and to see the benefits of their efforts.”
Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) is leading the transition to software-defining the workplace, uniting virtualization, mobility management, networking and SaaS solutions to enable new ways for businesses and people to work better. Citrix solutions power business mobility through secure, mobile workspaces that provide people with instant access to apps, desktops, data and communications on any device, over any network and cloud. With annual revenue in 2014 of $3.14 billion, Citrix solutions are in use at more than 330,000 organizations and by over 100 million users globally. Learn more at www.citrix.com.
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