The government’s Insolvency Service has signed a £20m managed services deal with IBM that will see thin client technology rolled out across the organisation.

The five-year deal will cover 2,750 Insolvency Service staff, who handle the affairs of bankrupts and companies wound up by the courts from 35 locations across the UK.

Under the terms of the deal, which extends an existing relationship between the computing giant and the Insolvency Service, IBM will host servers and applications at its own datacentres and provide network and end-user support. The deal also includes data back-up and testing facilities.

IBM will use its secure Virtual Infrastructure Access Services (VIA) technology to centralise the Insolvency Service’s IT applications and will supply thin clients to the government body’s end users – the first use of the IBM thin client technology by a public sector body.

Insolvency Service acting chief executive Graham Horne said the deal would help the organisation manage its IT costs and operate more efficiently”, explained.

“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.”

The new infrastructure based on centralised applications and thin clients would allow the Insolvency Service’s caseworkers to work as efficiently from home or remote locations as they can from an office. “It will allow us to offer flexible working arrangements to more of our staff,” Home added.

Earlier this month, IBM secured a £400m shared services deal with Somerset and Taunton Deane councils that will see the company provide IT, customer services and other central functions under a 10-year contract.