NHS Trust Moves to a More Secure Desktop Environment

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) 

PSTG’s proven and highly planned migration approach assured a stress-free and successful desktop deployment for BHRUT.  

Overview
Migrating to Windows 7 enables the Trust to better protect its mission-critical systems and network. The modernised infrastructure can now cope with the demands of the current onsite applications, allowing future provision for cloud-based applications and desktop virtualisation. Desktop IT costs have reduced, and BHRUT benefits from increased control, improved security and expanded connectivity. 

“PSTG has extensive experience helping NHS organisations plan their transition to a new operating system, and their expertise ensured we were able to make a cost-effective and risk free shift from Windows XP to a much more secure environment.” said Ben Sladden, Head of ICT Operations

Key Gains:

- Migrating to Windows 7 enables the Trust to better protect its mission-critical systems and network.
- New desktop environment has boosted user productivity - help desk calls are down by 40%.
- The modernised infrastructure is better able to cope with the demands of the existing applications, allowing future provision for cloud-based applications and desktop virtualisation.
- New environment has reduced desktop IT costs, increased control, improved security and expanded connectivity.

 

Read Full Case Study below:

Operating two hospitals and multiple clinics across North East London and Barking, BHRUT is committed to delivering outstanding healthcare to a diverse community of 750,000 people.

But the Trust’s ageing Windows XP desktop environment was increasingly inefficient and unstable. Worse still, no longer supported by Microsoft, the 15-year old operating system was also inherently risky. And that meant the Trust’s mission critical systems and the network were open to attack.

With cyber criminals actively exploiting known XP security vulnerabilities to unleash well publicised malware and denial-of-service attacks on NHS organisations, the Trust was determined not to become a potential target.

The challenge
Re-platforming to a new desktop operating system was a daunting task. The 24/7 nature of some hospital operations would have to be taken into account and the IT team was aware that the variety of printers and USB devices in use would represent a further major challenge.

To ensure the day-to-day operations of multiple services, users would require a comprehensive audit of the entire environment to scope out data transfer requirements, assess printer and application migration needs and identify which critical applications would need to be patched to support the new operating system.

BHRUT needed to ensure the roll-out of its Windows 7 desktop environment was undertaken in a cost-effective and risk free manner. Alongside ensuring the secure transfer of all data, BHRUT needed to be certain that its Group Policy Object (GPO) settings for all defined user groups were reconfigured and aligned to seamlessly work within the new Windows 7 environment.

To help plan its transition and undertake the migration project, BHRUT turned to PSTG.

The solution
PSTG undertook a comprehensive audit of the existing estate to identify any potential problem areas that could impact a smooth transition to the new Windows 7 environment. To maximise the migration budget, PSTG would deploy 3000 new Dell desktops and reutilise 1000 desktops from the current estate.

To ensure a stress-free implementation PSTG initiated comprehensive application assessment testing for the new Windows 7 build environment, creating a ‘Gold Image’ of the correct versions and drivers that support the applications BHRUT utilise.

To ensure a streamlined and centralised deployment, PSTG used Microsoft’s System Centre Configuration Manager (SCCM) to push out fully configured and imaged machines complete with network access protection.

To minimise user disruption, PSTG oversaw the update of all peripheral devices – including printers – and provided user support and training to ensure people would be up and running with their new systems in no time at all. This included being on hand to deal with FAQs every time user groups were migrated to the new desktop platform.

The migration project was undertaken in a phased manner over a six month period. To minimise impact on users, PSTG undertook the deployment of 175 fully configured desktop machines over a weekend and was responsible for the secure disposal of all replaced assets.

The benefits
PSTG’s proven and highly planned migration approach assured a stress-free and successful desktop deployment for BHRUT.

As well as boosting the security of its IT environment, the move to Windows 7 has enabled BHRUT to take advantage of increased functionality that includes advancements in Active Directory and group policy settings. What’s more, BHRUT is now better equipped to support pervasive mobility, desktop virtualisation and cloud computing in the future.

Implementing a more secure and stable platform has generated other benefits. Users now encounter far fewer hardware issues and are much more productive as a result. Indeed, the modern desktop environment has resulted in a 40% reduction in calls to the ICT help desk.

All of which adds up to a much lower total cost of ownership for BHRUT.

“The roll-out of it's Windows 7 desktop environment with the secure transfer of all data was undertaken in a cost-effective and risk free manner.”  Ben Sladden, Head of ICT Operations

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