Citrix: Virtual desktops could cut public sector estate costs

News Caroline Donnelly Feb 7, 2013

Virtualisation giant shares Government estate spending figures, and claims flexible working could cut costs

The UK Government could cut its ICT bill by a third through the adoption of flexible working policies and virtual desktops, it has been claimed.

According to data obtained by virtualisation giant Citrix via a Freedom of Information (FOI) Act request, each public sector employee is allocated an average of 1.1 desks.

The figures also revealed that certain departments are doing a better job than others when it comes to utilising desk space, with staff in the Law Officers’ Department and Department of Energy and Climate Change having access to 0.8 and 0.9 desks, respectively.

Meanwhile, employees in the Office for Standards in Education were allocated 1.6 desks per person.

The FOI request also revealed that maintaining the Government estate cost taxpayers around £490.40 per square metre during 2010/2011, with an average outlay of £47.9 million per department.  

Citrix claims this bill could be reduced by around 32 per cent by encouraging public sector employees to adopt flexible working practices and make better use of technology.

James Stevenson, area vice president of Citrix in Northern Europe, said virtual desktops and other flexible working tools could halve the number of desks the Government has to maintain.

“This not only means cost savings which can be passed onto taxpayers, but also presents a fantastic opportunity to transform the way government works, making it more agile and efficient while at the same time improving frontline service delivery,” he added.