Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank transforms the workplace with Citrix desktop virtualization.

ADCB was formed in 1985 and as at 31 December 2015 employed over 5,000 people from 70 nationalities, serving over 650,000 retail customers and over 52,000 corporate and SME clients in 49 branches, 3 pay offices and 2 branches in India, 1 branch in Jersey and representative offices in London and Singapore. As at 31 December 2015, ADCB’s total assets were AED 228 bn.

ADCB is a full-service commercial bank which offers a wide range of products and services such as retail banking, wealth management, private banking, corporate banking, commercial banking, cash management, investment banking, corporate finance, foreign exchange, interest rate and currency derivatives and Islamic products, project finance and property management services.

ADCB is owned 58.08% by the Government of Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi Investment Council). Its shares are traded on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. As at 31 December 2015, excluding treasury shares, ADCB’s market capitalisation was AED 34 bn.

The Challenge: Giving mobile workers secure access to apps and data

As ADCB has grown, it became apparent that there was a need to modernize the bank’s ageing IT infrastructure. Below are the key business driver for moving to a virtualization platform :

  1. Employees’ requests to access corporate data when operating off site, particularly from their personal devices. Sales teams in the field needed quick access to information on products and services residing on the bank’s central server. The CIO envisioned a more mobile workforce supported by a bring your own device (BYOD) policy, but wanted a way to manage, control and secure all devices across locations – without the need for an IT presence in every location.
  2. Data security was another key driver for modernization. Distributed PCs forced the team to visit each machine for blocking unauthorized devices connecting to the PCs– all important measures for preventing a data breach.
  3. In addition to their security work, the IT team were spending a significant amount of time travelling between the different bank sites to troubleshoot, administer and update desktop PCs and the software installed on them.

Following the move to the Citrix desktop virtualization environment, ADCB has realized significant business and IT benefits. By rolling out the Citrix technology in combination with thin clients, the bank has created a flexible, secure and optimized virtualization environment that is easy to manage and cost-effective to maintain. Today mobile and remote employees can access the apps they need on the devices they prefer, helping them to be more productive and responsive to customers.

ADCB needed a solution that would give employees access to their desktops, at any time and from any device, while ensuring data security with centralized management and control. At the same time, to address the rising costs and complexity of distributed desktop management.

To solve these disparate issues, ADCB wanted a strong foundation for mobile access to desktop applications and data from any device or location, combined with centralized management and control and appropriate security to meet regulatory requirements and customer expectations.

The Solution: Citrix desktop virtualization solution for employee mobility

Recognizing the need for a single solution to securely deliver desktops, business applications and mobile applications to any device, at any time, ADCB opted to upgrade to a virtualized desktop environment.

The ADCB IT team conducted an internal study that showed how different commercially available virtualization technologies compared across a broad set of business metrics, including customer satisfaction, TCO, staffing, security and reliability.

Based on the study, ADCB chose to implement a mobile workspace solution from Citrix based on XenDesktop and XenApp for virtual desktop and app delivery and NetScaler to secure the network and data against threats, while optimizing app performance.

In view of its multiple offices and remote users, ADCB believed this virtualization solution would provide flexible access, streamline IT management through centralization, improve security and increase business agility. Employees would gain the freedom to access virtual desktops and applications from anywhere, on any device, including personal laptops, smartphones and tablets.

ADCB chose Citrix technology because its versatility allows us to meet current needs while future-proofing our desktop transformation strategy. It also addresses a broad range of business priorities, and reduces infrastructure costs while simplifying IT management. In addition, virtualization supported the successful BYOD policy that we rolled out.

Key Benefits

Centralized management optimizes IT resources

By implementing XenDesktop and XenApp, which centralize desktop and app management and delivery, the bank can efficiently roll out updates and patch vulnerabilities in the data center instead of visiting each device. This helps the IT team accelerate delivery and reduce time spent on endpoint administration.

Faster Time to Market

Additionally, ADCB can provision new users very quickly. It is possible to have a new employee up and running in matter of minutes. Centralization has also allowed the bank to consolidate IT resources at its headquarters by eliminating the need for IT engineers to work on site at branch locations.

Tighter security meets industry requirements

As the financial sector faces growing cyber threats, ADCB needed to ensure that the new infrastructure would help meet key data protection and compliance priorities by protecting critical business information, even as workers became more mobile.

Citrix virtualization technology improves information security and privacy because all applications and data reside in the datacenter instead of on individual devices. Further, the solution enables the IT team to set policies for centrally controlling each employee’s ability to save, copy, print or share data. These policies minimize the risks involved when sensitive data is shared via email or USB drives.

BYOD policy promotes employee productivity

For bank employees, the BYOD policy enabled by virtualization promotes greater productivity because they can use the same preferred device for work and personal tasks. Workers can choose personal mobile devices to securely access corporate-issued virtual apps, giving them the flexibility to work in any scenario. BYOD also boosts employee satisfaction through freedom of choice. At the same time, the IT team has gained new tools for managing and securing resources accessed with these personal devices.

Looking Ahead

Today around 5,000 ADCB employees are benefiting from the Citrix solution, with plans to expand this user base to 6,000 as the organization’s employee base grows. ADCB is also currently piloting XenMobile, a mobility management solution from Citrix, to help configure, secure and support mobile devices. XenMobile is expected to enhance the user experience on BYO or corporate devices while strengthening device and app security.

With desktop and application virtualization becoming independent from terminal equipment, this has allowed the ADCB IT team to provide the services efficiently, no matter in what area a user is located and what terminal they are using.

About Citrix

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 400,000 organizations and by over 100 million users globally. Learn more at www.citrix.com.

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Key Benefits

  • Transformed the workplace with virtualized desktop infrastructure
  • Simpler IT management with  centralized control
  • Enhanced data security
  • Expanded mobility with BYOD

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