The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has enabled remote working and a bring your own device scheme for its scientists with the rollout of desktop virtualisation tools.
SEPA, which has 1,200 employees, is responsible for protecting and improving the natural environment in Scotland, reporting directly to Scottish Parliament. Following a move to a new head office in June 2013, there was a need to offer staff more mobility where they worked, in part due to the new building containing seven ‘hot desks’ for every 10 staff.
In order to enable employees to access their desktop environment, remotely or at one of the hot desks, SEPA implemented Citrix XenDesktop, Citrix NetScaler, Citrix Receiver and CloudBridge. These tools allowed staff to access data from anywhere, using the device of their choice. SEPA also replaced its desktop PCs with thin client devices, enabling delivery of data and applications to be centralised.
Jav Yaqub, IT Services Manager, SEPA said: “We wanted this project to embody the core ethos of the agency, creating an efficient and environmentally-conscious IT infrastructure. We also wanted to offer people their desktop, wherever they went, but we were obviously concerned about potential data loss.
“The idea of having a centralised virtual desktop and using low power thin-client devices was very attractive. Our employees love the new environment. They are able to do more things from more places.”
SEPA said that a quarter of employees are currently using the desktop virtualisation tools, which will be rolled out to the remainder over the next two years.