Tuesday, 19th October 2021

Southern Housing Group simplifies work with Citrix

Association uses cloud-delivered digital workspace solutions to remove frustration and complexity technology can create, empowering employees to focus on and do what they do best.

Southern Housing Group - one of Southern England’s largest housing associations - is using digital workspace solutions from Citrix Systems to provide simple, secure and reliable access to everything its team needs to engage and perform at their best.

“Most people's focus really isn't on technology. It’s on caring for residents or looking after their homes,” said David King, Head of IT Infrastructure Operations, Southern Housing. “Our job in IT is to make sure they can get on with their day jobs and support them in their roles.”

Moving to the cloud

To do this, Southern Housing knew it would need to upgrade its on-premises IT environment and shift to the cloud. “Our strategy is all about user experience - making sure information is accessible in a user-friendly way both for customers and for colleagues,” King said. “We want to support different ways of working and move from pen and paper towards email and digital platforms.”

To enable this strategy, the association turned to Citrix, and with the help of Citrix Specialist Partner HTG, implemented Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops.

Delivered as part of Citrix Workspace, the cloud-based service enables organisations to provide personalised access to the systems, information and tools employees need in one, unified experience and dynamically apply security policies based on a user’s behaviour and environment so they can work when, where and how they want with the confidence that their applications, information and devices are safe.

Delighting employees

Using the solution, Southern Housing is delivering a consistent desktop experience for its 1,000 office and field-based staff whether working from home or on location – a move that is proving key as the association, like the rest of the world, transitions to hybrid work.

“Providing a consistent user interface has really helped with productivity,” King said. “It means people can simply get on with their job and not worry about which device they're using - how it looks, how it feels, where to find the files or applications they need. It's like jumping forward a decade for many of them. The feedback has been fantastic.”

It also means they can get on board more quickly.

“People can be taught on one platform and it will work and look the same on any other,” King said. “That also brings the benefit of flexibility. If a device breaks, or isn’t available, people can access the environment securely from another device, either corporate or personal.”

Enabling secure remote work

While giving employees the freedom to work where and how they want, Southern Housing must also ensure their devices and information remain safe. Leveraging Citrix’s zero-trust approach to security, King and his team can do this by creating contextual access policies, configuring access based on factors such as role, location, network, device type, and data sensitivity to protect corporate assets without compromising the user experience.

“Citrix is a huge boost when it comes to security as it allows us to give partners, colleagues, and contractors access to our environment without the risk of data loss,” King added.

Of the project, Kevin Howell, Founder and CTO at HTG said, “It is great to work with Southern Housing Group, a forward-thinking organisation with an ambitious IT roadmap and an excellent team. We were delighted to help in their cloud transformation, leveraging best in class solutions from Citrix and Azure to deliver a massive improvement to user experience, security, operational simplicity and prepare the business for a subsequent transition of applications and services towards a true modern IT environment.”

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