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The company began using VMware in 2004 to improve the efficiency of the IT department to support the business as it demutialised and became a publicly listed company.
The three-year programme has seen Standard Life's IT department make "high six figure" savings, arising from reducing the number of servers in its data centre from 300 to 200. IT has also introduced a chargeback scheme, where business managers are charged directly for the amount of VMWare virtual server infrastructure they use.
The company is now introducing hot-desking in the IT department. Fifty software developers have already given up their physical software development workstations and are running virtual PCs via VMware.
Andrew Gordon, Standard Life, technical infrastructure manager, said Standard Life has virtualised its software development PCs.
The VMware product allows software developers to access their development tools from any desktop computer.
"Our software developers now sit alongside business." Previously, developers would have been located in the IT team, but Gordon said, they are now embedded in the business, which improves communications betweem the bus9ness and developers in IT projects. "We are running 200 desktop pilots. Offshore develoment teams also using the VMWare infrastructure.
Although Standard Life has not yet planned a rollout across the business, Gordon said the company was looking closely at how the software developers get on.