During the COVID-19 pandemic and with advancing technologies, the way we work has changed dramatically with a focus on hybrid working, learning, and teaching.

Looking to the future, we need our systems to work effectively when you are away from Campus to ensure they are not confusing, over-complicated or hard to maintain and keep secure.

Challenges and opportunities

The main challenges and opportunities of this activity are:

  • Staff and students find it harder to access our services from outside the College network than inside.
  • Office space is tied up with fixed desktop computers that are being remoted in to.
  • The assumption that our internal network is safe while external networks are risky is flawed.
  • Customers report that productivity is hampered when working off-campus because of difficulty accessing the tools and services they need.  

Proposed solution

ICT at Imperial’s proposed solution is to make remote/hybrid working easier for all members of the College. This means:

  • Unified access - A single, easy way of accessing College resources whether you are on or off campus.
  • Location-independent - Removes the need to use VPN, remote desktop or other remote access technology when not on campus.
  • Secure – Using multi-factor authentication, ensuring devices are compliant and controlling access by user account rather than the device.


There are a number of key benefits to moving to a more hybrid way of working and learning, these will:

  • Enable you to access all our services from anywhere, securely and easily and
  • Reduce the dependence on fixed desktop computers, giving you the mobility benefits of laptops.
  • Allow more flexible use of College real estate​ through Smart Working.


  • November - December 2021​ - Tender phase 1​
  • January - February 2022​ - Tender phase 2 (proof-of-concept)​
  • March 2022​ - Preferred bidder selection​
  • April 2022​ - Anticipated contract start date​
  • April - June 2022​ - Platform build and pilot users​
  • July - December 2022​ - Deployment across College​

Find out more

If you are already enabled for Unified Access and need help with getting started or mapping a drive, you will find more information on our accessing services remotely web pages

If you have questions about this activity, please contact s.barrett@imperial.ac.uk or i.joannou@imperial.ac.uk