The National Archives

“Working with Cetus Solutions has had a significant impact on the way that we work. Thanks to Cetus and Citrix Cloud services, we will spend less time fixing and improving what we have and free up time for our people to think ahead and develop for the future”


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The opportunity
The National Archives is the guardian of over 1,000 years of iconic national documents and is an institute of knowledge and research. With over 11 million entries on their online catalogue, Discovery, it was time to take a step into the 21st century by further developing its digital transformation. The growing demand for online access to records, a staff of 500 and the commitment of digitising archives for future preservation provoked a new digital strategy, which galvanised its position as one of the few fully-functioning digital archives in the world.
As Head of IT Operations, Julian Muller’s role is to ensure that users can work efficiently and effectively regardless of location, device or time of day. With so many employees and volunteers, it was clear that a flexible and mobile working solution was necessary to improve productivity and encourage research. The National Archives’ IT strategy reflects the choice of its users, while creating a common platform that presents a familiar experience regardless of working onsite or remotely. As Julian describes it, “We wanted a shallow learning curve for people by making it familiar, intuitive and easy to use.”
This mobile approach will support the organisation’s business continuity plan, promoting data security and disaster recovery, driving greater agility and efficiency throughout the organisation.

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The solution
The National Archives worked with Cetus to design a solution that would meet their needs to manage their users’ data securely while enabling the flexibility to suit the different workstyle choices for their staff and volunteers. As a Citrix Platinum Partner, Cetus Solutions’ chosen solution to deliver these requirements was Citrix Workspace, providing ultimate secure access to the apps and desktops that users need. It delivered end-to-end Citrix, displacing former MDM technology in favour of consolidating what had previously been a selection of solutions into one. The solution included Citrix Virtual Desktop (XenDesktop) for app and desktop delivery, Citrix Content Collaboration (ShareFile) for secure collaboration, Citrix Endpoint Management XenMobile for device security and Citrix NetScaler for network security which promoted greater efficiency and agility for the organisation. By delivering server applications via Citrix Gateway, administrators can provide application-level control to allow users application access from anywhere, delivering applications to the many volunteers that help The National Archives with its work.
With Citrix Virtual Desktop, users are now free to work remotely, from wherever is convenient. Volunteers can participate in projects when away from the office and at times when it is more convenient for them. By providing a familiar, single sign-on screen, staff can easily access their desktop and apps regardless of the device, promoting optimal productivity regardless of the situation, supporting the organisation’s business continuity plan.
Whatever location, regardless of device, Julian is confident that security is maintained; “No documents are downloaded or uploaded to or from the device, because our corporate services are containerised on a user’s device, it meets our security requirements for data loss prevention.”


The result
The Citrix Workspace solution that Cetus delivered has added a new degree of agility and efficiency for The National Archives through cloud. Volunteers working on-site are using low-cost Chromeboxes to access a virtual desktop instead of ‘full-fat desktop PCs’, saving The National Archives money on further hardware and software licences. This IT transformation has complemented the existing direction of travel of virtualisation, reducing the physical footprint of the organisation while providing an opportunity to save on both office space and energy costs.
Thanks to the deployment of the Citrix Workspace, the adoption of cloud has allowed The National Archives to be a more agile and resilient organisation, becoming less reliant on a single source or site. Julian already sees greater efficiencies in his own department, enabling more time to be spent on supporting the future of its IT transformation strategy. Deploying Citrix Workspace has allowed The National Archives to develop their capabilities to improve their existing IT services.