Abu Dhabi is in the midst of an unprecedented boom. The city has more than doubled in size in the last ten years. It may double again in the next five.
Abu Dhabi Municipality (ADM) sits at the centre of this growth. It oversees real estate developments, agriculture, roads and more. ADM systems are integrated with multiple local and federal government entities.
Ahmed Abdulsamad Al Hammadi, IT Manager at Abu Dhabi Municipality, said: “The pace of work has changed dramatically. Our staff cannot be tied to their desks. We need the freedom to work from anywhere in the city, anywhere we are needed.”
By deploying Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops to securely publish applications and desktops for end-users on any device over any network, ADM has created a digital workforce. It has ramped up productivity, taken control of the sharing and access to corporate data and established a more agile approach to working. The solution is a key component of Abu Dhabi’s ‘Smart City’ project.
ADM launched the pilot phase of a five-year project for Smart Cities and Artificial Intelligence (AI), called the Zayed Smart City project, to validate key use cases and its viability. The city-wide project is designed to digitally transform the environmental, social, and financial aspects of urban life to improve the lives of the UAE capital city’s citizens and visitors.
“We’re one of the most influential government departments in the UAE, and our actions are closely watched by others. We’ve made significant investments in our IT infrastructure to ensure we have a platform to grow, and manage growth,” explained Ahmed Abdulsamad Al Hammadi.
The most immediate impact of the Citrix solution is on ADM’s 400-plus inspectors. Each has been issued with a tablet and can now access a range of corporate applications from anywhere in the city. For instance, it means inspectors can check building permits, health and safety inspections or code violations and then input data directly into ADM’s core systems.
“We have many applications, all Windows-based, and to physically load these on to every device would be unmanageable,” said Azmi Afifi, IT Project Manager at Abu Dhabi Municipality. “Using Citrix means this task can be managed centrally. As an IT team, we’re more productive, and our users are more productive.”
It is also easier for staff to move between ADM offices. Citrix Virtual Desktops allow staff to log in at hot desks in different offices; there are new shared printers and scanners available for mobile workers.
There is also a significant cost saving. By standardising tablet devices and switching to thin clients, Afifi says the hardware refresh cycle has stretched from three years to five: “We have the same features and functionality but on lower cost hardware.”
By being able to work effectively from the field, staff are having to travel less. With less time wasted returning to the office to file reports, staff have time for more visits. Senior management can also access applications from home which were previously restricted to the office.
ADM data is also more secure. In the event of a tablet being lost, devices can be locked down centrally.