Independent healthcare provider BMI Healthcare says it has made a 70 percent saving in annual IT infrastructure management costs through a new IT management platform.
BMI Healthcare also says it has seen improved IT security, has automated its patch management and has increased visibility across its entire IT environment as a result of deploying the Desktop Central platform from ManageEngine.
BMI operates 69 hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the UK and employs 6,000 consultants among 10,000 staff, who service over 1.25 million patient visits a year.
The organisation also has to manage 6,500 IP enabled devices, including medical equipment, across the business, and needed a centralised management solution to ensure visibility and understanding of the entire IT landscape.
After installing the IT management platform the IT department has the ability to monitor devices and administer the required software and security updates, enabling users to continue operating within a secure environment with maximum availability of systems.
Matt Rooney, IT desktop manager at BMI Healthcare, said, "The global and local healthcare sectors have become more aware of their dependency on IT infrastructure, with medical equipment typically requiring a live IP connection to function. On top of this staff are using a combination of personal and corporate PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets to access our central network and WiFi."
Before deploying ManageEngine's Desktop Central Rooney said BMI had used Symantec's Altiris, which had "a complicated back-end SQL database" and which "required heavy upfront investment from a solution customisation stand-point".
"It also meant that we had to ensure one of our engineers was fluent in SQL reporting as none of the out-of-the-box reports met our unique regulatory standard requirements," said Rooney.
He said, "As a result, we had little visibility into the exact inventory of our desktop estate, which presented a patch management headache. Especially when you consider the number of hospitals we maintain."
Desktop Central automates BMI Healthcare's regular desktop management activities, such as installation of periodical software updates; weekly patch management; and the delivery of service packs to any Windows-based device, including medical equipment. It also helps standardise desktop interfaces, administers company wide security policies and restricts the use of unsecured foreign devices, such as USB sticks and portable hard drives.
In addition, the IT department uses Desktop Central to audit its entire Windows estate and run the necessary reports to comply with healthcare industry regulatory standards. Automating these important, yet traditionally manual IT functions, has freed up the IT team to focus on other business critical IT disciplines and projects - such as network monitoring and security event management.
Before the introduction of Desktop Central, said Rooney, these management tasks would tie an engineer up for a considerable amount of time and often resulted in support calls being logged and contractors being hired to achieve the level of reporting detail BMI Healthcare required.
In addition to server and desktop management, Desktop Central also enables the management of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to perform profile management, asset management, app management and security management. BMI Healthcare is currently evaluating these features in a trial roll-out.