HSBC banks on hotdesking for greater flexibility

HSBC has revealed how it is using technology to improve the mobility of its global workforce.

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HSBC has revealed how it is using technology to improve the mobility of its global workforce.

The bank, which is the world's fourth largest banking group, has more than 300,000 employees spread across the globe, and flexible access options to certain key applications is critical to improving staff productivity and satisfaction levels.

With its global headquarters in London, HSBC's UK IT teams often lead on key initiatives such as mobility, the bank said. They then work with their colleagues across the other divisions, including their regional headquarters in Hong Kong and country offices in Singapore and Malaysia, to share the solution and best practice.

"We originally wanted to provide senior management with real mobility that allows them to have the same desktop wherever they go," said Tom Gallagher, a Citrix specialist at HSBC. "That caught on very quickly and management wanted that same flexibility and freedom for the staff to work from anywhere."

HSBC's infrastructure serves 5,000 applications across 700 servers, with 700,000 connections a month and 14,000 concurrent daily connections. In addition to increasing staff engagement, the application delivery solution, which includes Citrix Presentation Server x64 and Citrix EdgeSight, has reduced HSBC's fixed costs and supported business continuity.

At its head office in Canary Wharf the banks found that although there were 8,000 desks only 6,000 people were coming through the turnstiles each morning, which prompted the introduction of hot desks.

"Users who come into the building don't necessarily need a specific desk to sit at. They can just find a hot desk, which is just a normal desk but not personal to them," says Juinn Tang, EMEA mobility solutions at the bank. "People can log in, they use their secure two-factor authentication to verify themselves, fire up a Citrix desktop and then find their specific applications for the job on the desktop for them."

"Eliminating the fixed cost of every single person having a desk, but retaining the work flexibility can deliver significant cost savings," said Richard Newland, head of multi-channel retail design at the bank .

The additional value of the mobility solution was demonstrated during the summer flooding in South Yorkshire, where more than 700 employees could not get to their HSBC office due to road closures. They were able to work from home using a remote desktop application to access the same tools they use every day in the office.

As globalisation drives workforce mobility around the world, demand for effective mobility solutions will surely continue to rise. HSBC's approach is one example that demonstrates that the right solution will not only fuel productivity but also help support operations against disruption by adverse weather.

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