With more than 12 million historical government and public records, The National Archives holds one of the largest collections of its kind in the world. Dating back 1,000 years, its collection includes the Domesday Book, Shakespeare’s will, and the Tweets of 10 Downing Street. It requires 185 km of shelves to store its records.
Demand for online access to historical records has increased, and in addition to its 500 staff, The National Archives relies on many volunteers to assist with transcribing, scanning, and preserving historical documents in digital form.
“One of the key themes in our IT strategy is to provide flexibility in working for staff and volunteers — making people more mobile and giving them greater choice in the way that they work,” Julian Muller, Head of IT Operations for The National Archives, explains.
Security, of course, was a prime concern, as was ease of use.
“We wanted a common platform and a similar experience whether working onsite or offsite,” says Muller. “We wanted a shallow learning curve for people by making it familiar, intuitive and easy to use.”
This approach would make it easier for volunteers to work remotely and would also support the organization’s business continuity plan.
Muller and his team evaluated the market and selected Citrix Workspace in the cloud to enable flexibility while ensuring data security. They worked with Platinum Citrix Solution Advisor Cetus Solutions to deploy the solution.
Secure flexibility and choice of work style
With Citrix Workspace, employees and volunteers now have the freedom to work wherever is convenient. No longer tied to desks or devices, people can work from any location. Volunteers can participate in projects away from the office, working at times convenient to their other commitments. Similarly, in the event of a major incident, staff can work from home or another location as required.
Citrix provides a familiar, single sign-on screen from which staff can easily access their desktop, and, as Muller says, “The reaction from users has been very, very positive.”
Whatever device people use, security is maintained
“With Citrix, we control the services we deliver to personal devices,” Muller explains. “For example, no documents are downloaded or uploaded to or from the device. Because our corporate services are containerized on a user’s device, it meets our security requirements for data loss prevention.”
Delivering savings and conserving energy
The Citrix solution is delivering cost savings, too. Volunteers working onsite now use low-cost Chromeboxes to access a virtual desktop rather than “full-fat desktop PCs.” As a result, The National Archives saves money on hardware and software licenses.
“We are driving an agenda of virtualization and looking to reduce our physical footprint,” Muller says.
Freeing people from dedicated, physical desks will present more opportunities to save both office space and energy costs.
He added, “the cloud makes us a more agile, more resilient organization. We become less reliant on a single source or single site.”