Hedensted Kommune

Key Facts

Industry: Public Sector

Location: Jutland, Denmark

Founded: 1987

Customers: Local community of 50,000 citizens

Staff: 2500

Challenges

  • IT Team and employees both stretched and frustrated by password resets, especially out-of-hours
  • Modern technology a key driver in attracting best staff to the region
  • Face-to-face citizen services falling behind due to security concerns on outdated devices.

Results

  • Password reset burden on IT team practically eliminated
  • Fast, secure No Click Access® to applications enables 24/7 provision of council services
  • Security an enabler for, instead of a barrier to, provision of new services

Imprivata powers 24/7 public services in Denmark

“ People used to have ten passwords. Now there’s only one login, it’s seamless, it’s more secure, and it doesn’t get in the way of providing services. The users are really pleased with it; and it’s something that makes the IT department really popular, so we’re just as thrilled!” Kim Rex Bengtsson, Server Administrator, Hedensted Kommune

About Hedensted Kommune

Hedensted Kommune is a regional administration on the Jutland peninsula in central Denmark. It is relatively small, with a population of around 50,000 and a mix of urban and rural settings; geographically remote from both the capital, Copenhagen, and regional capital, Århus. Despite serving a small community, Hedensted Kommune must deliver the full range of cradle-to-grave public services, including schools; health and care - including outreach services to the elderly; and, of course, the many day-today administrative tasks required by citizens.

“Modernising the Digital Workspace”

The implementation of Imprivata at Hedensted was not a reaction to legal imperatives or a data protection crisis, as happens so often in public sector settings. Hedensted Server Administrator, Kim Rex Bengtsson, says “There are moves towards standardising government data architectures and there is also EU-wide legislation to protect citizens’ data, but we were not under any pressure. This was our own decision based on what would solve user challenges most effectively.”

Those user challenges are varied, but one in particular will resonate with any IT administrator in the public sector. Says Bengtsson, “We may be a small administration, but we still operate 24/7, and that means the IT team have to be able to administer passwords 24/7. For example, when a patient comes out of hospital, one of our community nurses will be notified to conduct a home visit. They need to access our medical systems day or night, and along with that comes the usual problem of password resets for network access, individual applications and domains. It’s very resource-intensive - and annoying - to be on call at night just for these resets.”

As more services move online, both for council employees and the citizen users of self-service platforms, IT admin requests in Hedensted and in administrative centres across the world are only bound to increase.

If password resets are annoying for the IT team, it’s even more of a challenge for employees. Thomas Lehmann-Nielsen, Concept Manager at Conecto A/S, says that smart organisations realise that the technology experience can actually affect the quality of staff. “A key reason for deploying Imprivata at Hedensted is to make the daily life of users easier, and so make it a great place to work. The public sector always includes a range of people: specialists who are experts in a particular field (housing, health) who want technology to be simple or invisible; and younger ‘digital natives’ who want to use technology but need it to be up-to-date. When you have modern and efficient IT systems, it’s much easier to attract a quality workforce. By optimising the user experience on the desktop, we’re modernising the digital workspace to give something back to the users, every day and with every interaction. It makes them much less frustrated and more efficient – which will allow them to give better service to citizens, too.”

Trusted Roadmap, Rapid Deployment

Hedensted is fairly typical of midsize public sector organisations, being on a well-travelled technology roadmap which balances cost-efficiency with productivity. The estate includes around 2500 Dell Wyse thin client terminals with Citrix VDI remote access and desktop virtualisation software.

Lehmann-Nielsen says “The thin client architecture is very familiar to us – and so was the challenge: how to optimise authentication and get quicker access to information. We have helped many councils achieve this, which makes Imprivata a very low-risk solution. Imprivata offers total integration with Citrix to deliver seamless Citrix authentication and session roaming between devices, without bespoke development. Similarly, Hedensted’s existing RFID proximity chips were no problem, so we were able to deploy with the tokens they already had: again meaning no bespoke development.”

After devices and PROX cards, the third component of effective single sign-on and authentication is application access. Imprivata has a heritage in healthcare where upwards of 150 applications are supported in a single hospital. Hedensted’s needs were more modest, partly because fewer applications needed support, but also because they are provided by fewer vendors. Bengtsson says “On any desktop, we are supporting ten to fifteen applications, and there is not that much variance across all users. Also, a lot of applications come from one vendor, KMD, who have a significant footprint in the Danish public sector: that allowed us to support around half of our applications with just a couple of profiles.”

A pilot was conducted initially within the IT department. Lehmann-Nielsen says “We started with a simple proof of concept with 4-6 applications; initially in the IT department and then with representatives of other departments taking a look. We invited a good cross-section of managers, tech staff and some typical users to road-test Imprivata: it’s a very simple and pain-free way to see what we can bring to users. It also ensures that we build a picture of what’s possible with the existing infrastructure and existing solutions, which keeps down costs – and also removes the pain of transition.”

Imprivata was rapidly deployed to early-adopter departments (the first being Borgerservice, i.e. citizen services) and tested on the full breadth of required applications. Over the past year, it has been extensively rolled out across the administration. To date, the standardised Imprivata and Citrix environment is now in service for almost all of the planned 2500 users, with the full deployment due to be completed early in 2016.

A 24/7 workforce with the data it needs

The Imprivata deployment has made life instantly easier in many service delivery contexts. Bengtsson returns to the example of community nurses: “Their applications simply open faster – whether they are on council premises, at home or out in the community. They don’t have to type in passwords or remember them, and to change a password (which is required at regular intervals), all they have to remember is the domain password. Even if they forget that, they can change it by themselves – which makes my life easier, but also allows them to carry on working.”

“People used to have ten passwords; of course people used to write them down – especially if they had to use them at home. Now there’s only one login, it’s seamless, it’s more secure, and it doesn’t get in the way of providing services. The users are really pleased with it; and it’s something that makes the IT department really popular, so we’re just as thrilled as the users!”

The cost/benefit analysis of deploying Imprivata is already amply clear. Says Bengtsson, “For two weeks before the deployment, I asked everyone on the IT helpdesk to count the number of password resets and other password queries they had to deal with. It was an average of 17 calls per person per day – plus of course many of those were out-of-hours. Since Imprivata was rolled out, it’s nothing. Zero.” But the longer term benefits are likely to be qualitative, and Hedensted’s IT team is already engaging with workers through employee surveys and feedback opportunities, in order to keep IT usability high on the agenda.

Next Steps

Whilst the deployment of Imprivata is due to be completed in the first quarter of 2016, it is part of a continuum of putting best-practice technology to work in the council setting. Imprivata’s flexibility in being highly configurable across devices, operating systems, tokens and applications is essential to unlocking future outcomes for the business.

For example, standard computers previously could not be deployed in public areas of citizen service offices, for data security reasons. Council officers had to speak to a client, walk away to a private terminal, check or enter details, return to the client and so on. It was not only a waste of time, it was also frustrating and unengaging for clients. The application of Imprivata services (tokens, walk-away log-out, follow-me printing, physical security on the same token etc.) meets the standards of Denmark’s independent security assessors and this is unlocking better provision of face-to-face services.

Meanwhile, Bengtsson is looking to maximise the value of Imprivata by examining workflows. “It’s an ongoing process of refinement”, he says. “From a financial point of view, if we can remove steps from typical workflows, it will slowly save us time and money with each interaction. But from a people point of view, it means that our employees can use our IT systems in simpler and more intuitive ways – they get to do the job instead of ‘doing technology’”.

 

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