The government's Insolvency Service has signed a five-year, £20m IT services contract with IBM to help improve its operations using thin client technology.
The Insolvency Service administers and investigates the affairs of bankrupts, companies and partnerships.
The Insolvency Service said it required a modern network infrastructure to equip its 2,750 employees to better manage a rapidly increasing caseload across 35 locations in the UK.
It has chosen a complete managed service system from IBM, which will use Big Blue's thin client Virtual Infrastructure Access Services (VIA) technology to centralise its IT applications.
VIA was recently awarded a CCT Mark certificate by the Cabinet Office, verifying the system meets the level of security required by the Insolvency Service and other UK government departments.
The IBM fully managed service will include the hosting of servers and applications at IBM datacentres, and the provision of network and end-user support.
The service will also provide data backup and testing facilities for the operation.
"The solution enables us to better manage our IT costs and operate more efficiently", said Graham Horne, acting chief executive of the Insolvency Service.
"By moving from desktop and laptop systems to thin client hardware, we will be able to centrally manage our key applications, reduce our energy costs, and be able to more effectively plan, as we will know the exact cost of adding each new user."
He said, "By using IBM's secure Virtual Infrastructure Access Services thin client solution, our caseworkers will be able to work as efficiently from home or remote locations as they can in an office, and eliminate the need to travel to offices simply to synchronise data. It will also allow us to offer flexible working arrangements to more of our staff."
Work on the infrastructure solution is already under way.