How the Scottish Government learned to love flexible working

This post is by Pamela Mundt from Microsoft's Edinburgh office.

Earlier this year, we invited our Government and Health customers to Microsoft in Edinburgh for an information and networking event. The goal of the day was to create an open and informal conversation that was dynamic, interesting and insightful. Looking at what is important to these customers, we focussed on addressing common and complex challenges with smart ICT capabilities, exploring where our devices and services strategy can deliver transformational advantage. And envisioning where Microsoft innovation can help you deliver new ways of working, new citizen services, revenue streams and transformational industry solutions by doing ‘more with less’ and ‘new with less’.

We kicked off the plenary session for the day with a keynote presentation from Andy McClintock, CTO at Scottish Government. He highlighted how in 2008, the Scottish Government were facing issues with information assurance and data handling after a data loss incident.

Because of fears over further data loss, there was a sharp decline in people taking work home and working outside of specific hours. This, combined with user experience issues, was resulting in lower and slower performance levels. Staff were reporting that it could take them 15 to 20 minutes to log on from home and there were so many steps that they chose 'not to bother'.

McClintock decided to make a move to embrace new advances in mobile technology to provide a flexible, anywhere working environment to empower employees, while still fitting with IL guidelines!

The Scottish Government chose Windows 8 for its tablet and slate PCs, with Microsoft System Center 2012 for manageability. The three officially approved portable devices are Samsung Series 7 Slate, Dell Latitude 10, and Samsung ATIV. Microsoft Gold Partner Trustmarque managed the POC to deliver a fully customised Windows 8 image to multiple pieces of hardware, showing it could be deployed in an automated, repeatable way. The POC also involved software (Microsoft User Experience Virtualisation) to assist with roaming profiles

The feeling from McClintock is that the Scottish Government are happy with the process and hope to be using Windows 8.1 and Office 2013 across the estate in 2014. However, they are still a long way from being a wholly ‘anywhere working’ -- and a long way from BYOD.

How does this example measure up to your experiences of flexible working in Public Sector?

Watch this video to learn more about how the Scottish Government is using tablets.

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