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Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority Embraces Citrix Cloud to Mobilize Employees and Transform Services

For the past 25 years, federal funding cuts have meant declining budgets for the public housing industry, forcing agencies like the Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority (LMHA) in Toledo, Ohio, to find creative ways to serve their clients, including mobility options to enable staff to work more effectively out in the community. Mobilizing employees in the face of budget cuts requires embracing the cloud, while ensuring all IT operations are secure, and comply with mandated federal regulations. In fact, according to a 2015 Forrester Global Business Technographics survey, 62 percent of U.S. infrastructure decision-makers say that developing a comprehensive cloud strategy for IT infrastructure is a critical/high priority initiative in their firm’s/organization’s IT infrastructure agenda over the next year. 

For Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority, moving IT operations out of their on-premise datacenter and into the cloud was a primary objective. Their hardware infrastructure was aging, and they knew a move promised the ability to reduce costs, simplify operations, and improve service to the community. They wanted to empower staff to achieve their mission of reaching out to benefit the community in a way that had been previously impossible.

“The goal for Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority was to get more employees out in the community, and to enable more clients to submit applications without physically coming into an office,” said Craig Patterson, Acting Chief Information Officer, Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority. “This goal required mobility and the cloud, along with the confidence that personal information required when completing federal and state forms would remain secure. We looked to Citrix and the Citrix Cloud built on Microsoft Azure Government as the solution to this problem. Enhanced by Microsoft Azure, the Citrix Cloud is easier, faster, more affordable and simple to understand. In the short time since we’ve adopted Citrix Cloud, our analytics have already shown change is happening. For example, though conventional wisdom said that lack of access to the Internet would keep our demographic from using online applications, we’ve seen that a majority of seniors and young people favor accessing LMHA services via mobile devices regularly. Change can happen if you put your mind to it, especially with partners like Citrix and Microsoft.”

LMHA trusted the Citrix Cloud solution and the strength of the relationship with Microsoft Azure Government to enable employees to reach the community with mobile devices and also with mobile office offerings. The Citrix Cloud enables partners and customers to manage and securely deliver services from the cloud that unite the Citrix product portfolio. Mobility technologies are offered as a service and continuously updated with the latest features. The Citrix Cloud capabilities also enable customers to deploy virtual apps and desktops on any cloud or infrastructure of their choice, giving businesses the flexibility to secure and manage their data and infrastructure to best meet the needs of their organization and regulatory environment. In LMHA’s case, Microsoft Azure Government was the deployment cloud of choice.

As a result, LMHA staff are leveraging the cloud environment from Citrix in several ways using mobile devices that can work anywhere, are secure, and are device agnostic to benefit both employees and clients. For example, employees can bring their own device, and use a complete Windows desktop on any mobile device, including Apple products running iOS. That means staff can take their office to the field since they no longer need to complete physical paperwork, which has a tangible impact for employees who can work more efficiently, and on the community who now receive services easier, faster and more simply.

And it also means that clients now access apps and data from a device they are familiar with, 24x7 without having to come into an office location, which had often posed a hardship to some,` such as the elderly and disabled. LMHA knows from the latest analytics that mobility is essential for these clients and tenants who can now log in remotely to make secure online payments and schedule inspections online.

Published Thursday, August 18, 2016 3:17 PM by David Marshall
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