Virtual Desktops for the NHS – sorted or stretched?

By November 18, 2020NHS, Technology
Image of a video meeting between 2 doctors

The benefits of using Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) within the NHS environment are pretty clear – enabling clinicians and NHS staff to login to their desktops whenever and wherever they need to, improving efficiencies and providing information at the point of care. Whilst Virtual Desktop usage across the NHS is fairly standard these days, there are still some barriers and challenges when it comes to the technical environment. In this article we’ll take a look at some of the challenges NHS organisations and providers face when it comes to implementing VDI, and how they can overcome them. 

 

When one Windows closes, another Windows opens….

The Microsoft N365 agreement announced earlier in 2020 means that all NHS organisations can access the most up to date Office 365 offerings including updated cyber security standards. And whilst many NHS organisations are still migrating from Windows 7 to Windows 10, these organisations are now benefiting from more up to date software and services.

However, as no two NHS organisations are the same, and with varying priorities across organisations, it can be a challenge to get up to date with the latest agreements and licenses. Historically, Office 365 updates have sometimes created challenges for VDI environments, and whilst there is offer of extended support from Microsoft, this can come at a cost to NHS organisations, making adoption and transformation trickier at times. 

When software updates and license agreements change, this impacts much more than just the desktop environment too. It can affect security settings and system access, which then also presents a challenge to the health tech providers to keep on top of the changes in VDI environments.

 

Keeping the pace – meeting the technical challenge for the NHS

Marc Poulaud, CTO of Isosec says “we’ve got a lot of experience working with the NHS Spine over the past 15 years, so we’re used to keeping up with the challenges associated with these different environments – cloud based virtual desktops can change quickly and we need to keep pace with these changes. We’ve worked extensively with our NHS customers and VDI software partners  through this time to ensure our identity agent and Virtual Smartcard work effectively with the environments and clinical systems, regardless of changes to the VDI environment.”

 

Keeping the dialogue open – between providers and NHS Organisations

To rise to these challenges it’s crucial for providers and customers alike are in close communication to ensure processes run smoothly. Michael Latimer, CEO of Isosec, comments “Since the COVID outbreak there has been a huge call to arms in terms of partnership working, and the healthtech security community has really come together to ensure NHS organisations are able to access systems they so critically need whenever and wherever they’re working. We work with an array of partners, including some of the leading VDI technology providers for the NHS, which makes for better solutions for our customers when our technologies are combined.”

Isosec recently teamed up with technology partner Bytes on a webinar, discussing how cloud-based solutions and infrastructures can really benefit NHS organisations. Michael commented “it’s a myriad of systems, applications and ecosystems that are used across the NHS, and every organisation’s set-up is slightly different. We’ve focussed on providing cloud-based solutions that embrace all ecosystems, to ensure that adoption is easy for our customers. We continue to work with other great technology partners in the NHS ecosystem to help our customers get the best from their investment in VDI.”

 

Get in touch

Want to know more about how Isosec can help solve the authentication equation of VDI for your NHS organisation? Contact us today.

 

Harry Robinson

Author Harry Robinson

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