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Posted: 10/17/2013
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Scottish Government Scottish Government Adopts Latest Operating System for Executives to Work Anywhere

The Scottish Government wanted to benefit from advances in mobile technology to support key employees to work from anywhere. It chose Windows 8 for tablet PCs with Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1 (SP1) for manageability. Microsoft Partner Trustmarque delivered a proof of concept (POC) for the lab development and is helping deliver the solution to staff, improving flexible working and boosting productivity.

Business Needs

The purpose of the Scottish Government is to focus public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish through sustainable economic growth. In line with this goal, the Scottish Government wanted to improve delivery of citizen services by giving new communications tools to key employees working remotely, on the move, or from home.

Andy McClintock, Chief Technology Officer, the Scottish Government, says:

“We were responding to staff demand for modern devices that supported greater mobility. Our aim was to transform the way Scottish Government staff collaborate, access, and use information applications with mobile, online, and offline access from virtually anywhere in the UK. We also needed to maintain the control, manageability, and security features required to help protect our data and meet the Government Secure Intranet (GSI) compliance requirements.”

The Scottish Government is at the forefront of technology, using IT as a driver to support civil servants and deliver public services, despite difficulties with connectivity in remote parts of Scotland. McClintock says: “We could see the benefits of Microsoft flexible working solutions for government, including the ability for employees to work virtually anywhere.”

The two groups of staff initially prioritised for a POC for mobile working were 20 government executives and 20 technicians, but the work-anywhere vision for the future extends throughout the organisation. McClintock says: “We want to support workforce mobilisation to plan more effectively for emergencies and events—an example being the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland.”


The Scottish Government chose Windows 8 for its tablet and slate PCs, with Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1 for manageability of the lab environment. 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 deploy 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 Microsoft User Experience Virtualisation to assist with roaming profiles.

Chris Lim, Practice Lead, Microsoft Technology Services, Trustmarque, says: “Using these latest products, the Windows 8 POC was designed to focus on the user, knowing that he or she will be working at several locations, whether at home, in the office, or on the road. The POC was well received. Detailed documentation was produced on completion of the build to allow the customer to transfer the POC into production.”

The Scottish Government also has a Windows 7 migration currently underway. Lim says: “The POC using Windows 8 and a beta version of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager SP1 supports a hybrid environment without introducing complex additional technologies or processes. Hybrid operating system management for the government is the key from both operational management and cost perspectives to support flexible working.”

The Windows 8 solution meets the Impact Level 3 (IL3) UK government standard for the protection of restricted data, although McClintock is committed to further work on enhancing the security infrastructure to help protect citizen data. In a further phase of development, the Scottish Government is considering using Windows To Go—a feature that allows Windows 8 to run and boot from USB storage devices. This would help cut the cost of preparing laptops to be used by staff in emergencies.


After a successful POC with Windows 8, the Scottish Government has new portable tools to allow its key staff to work from anywhere. The solution is in line with government desktop policies and governance models. It will increase flexibility for remote working and support government initiatives to improve the delivery of public services throughout Scotland.

Productivity will increase with Windows 8 tablets as key staff work from virtually anywhere. The Windows 8 tablets will allow users to stay productive in a variety of situations. McClintock says: “We’re starting to test the Windows 8 tablets with the 40-strong POC user group. We’ll be giving them security-enhanced access to data and applications from virtually anywhere with an Internet connection, at any time, and on any device—helping them boost efficiency.”

Better user experience creates enhanced working environment. McClintock says: “Staff are very keen to use the solution to work from anywhere. The POC shows that users will have a consistent desktop experience in Windows 8 with the latest touch devices. When they take notes in meetings they’re automatically and securely saved to the network.”

IT teams deliver agile desktop services at lower cost. With Windows 8 and a successful POC with System Center 2012 SP1 Configuration Manager, government IT operational teams are now well positioned to provide agile desktop services despite rapid development in device technology. They have more time to deliver new products and services to benefit citizens.

Partner responds to the needs of Scottish Government users. Through the POC, Trustmarque is helping the government deliver flexible working and support employees with the latest Microsoft desktop and management solutions. McClintock says: “Trustmarque was technically excellent and highly responsive to the needs of our workforce. Having delivered the POC, it is working with us on future phases of development.”

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview

Organization Size: 1000 employees

Organization Profile

The Scottish Government is responsible for most of the day-to-day issues concerning public services for the people of Scotland, including health, education, justice, rural affairs, and transport.

Software and Services
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7
  • Microsoft System Center 2012

Vertical Industries
Public Sector

United Kingdom