Citrix Synergy Part 2: Digging deeper into workplace transformationBy Ryan Noik 25 May 2018 | Categories: Corporate Events
A main focus at the recent Citrix Synergy, held in Anaheim, California, was workplace transformation. It is a topic that is often talked about, and with good reason - it affects large swathes of the working world, particularly as the demand to become more productive and more innovative only increases.
Citrix’s most recent approach to address this need is with its Workspace app, which delivers virtualised workspaces that serve up users’ apps and data, from a secured environment, in an instant. But who’s it for, and what are some of its main features?
Stay away to get ahead
In an illuminating interview, Carisa Stringer, the director of workspace services marketing at Citrix, elaborated that firstly, cost control is motivating companies to consolidate expensive office space to save money. That means that their employees are being encouraged to work from home more frequently. As well, a desire for a more flexible working environment is being encouraged by millennials in the workplace who may not want to have the same ‘old-world’ 9 to 5 office based structure that many adults today grew up with.
And the interest in doing workplaces differently is coming not just from technology companies, which want to avail themselves of the latest tools. Rather, she noted, Citrix is seeing the heads of facilities and human resources also expressing interest in a more flexible approach to the workplace.
While the former are trying to reduce the associated costs of owning or leasing real estate, the latter, she elaborated, are doing so from the perspective of attracting and retaining top talent.
Carisa Stringer, director of workspace services marketing, Citrix.
Right tools for the right time
It certainly seems like the time is ripe. Setting aside for the moment the carbon cost of thousands of people commuting every day and what two to three hours of bumper to bumper traffic does to the environment, the tools to effectively work more flexibly are certainly now at hand. But the holy grail in work is also around working more efficiently, and more effectively.
To this end, Stringer highlighted a few of her top features of the new Workplace solution. These include the unification of all Citrix clients within one app, as well as universal search, where can search across apps, data, files and even search across the metadata associated with the files, from with Workspace.
Another major feature in her mind is cross product integration, with the likes of Photoshop Creative Cloud, for example, being accessed from within Workspace, without the app needing to be installed locally. Additionally, all the licensing issues associated with the software is handled on the backend, so that users can just instantly access a PSD file without having to worry about whether or not their subscription is up to date.
Tim Minahan, senior vice president, Citrix
As impressive as the new solution is, Citrix pointed out that tools that once could have been considered ‘nice to have’ are, for many companies now a ‘need to have.’ Tim Minahan, the senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Citrix, explained that even as giving people the ability to work how and where they want can have a profoundly positive impact on productivity, for the most part, it has been made too difficult.
Complexity - that nemesis of the IT world - is only exacerbated by the fact that users often find themselves having to sort through tens if not hundreds of apps every time they want to use one, which in itself wastes time.
“Our industry has created a lot of individual tools in areas like productivity solutions, identity and access tools, endpoint management, application delivery. Lot of these are very powerful technologies solving real business problems on a standalone basis but far too often they are not being used in a cohesive strategy. They are being used in an overlapping manner,” he elaborated.
Add to this the hassle associated with moving from one device to another, and it’s not difficult to see why employees can quickly become frustrated with working more flexibly.
David Henshall, CEO, Citrix
Cutting costs and moving forward
And then there is the cost factor associated with complexity. David Henshall, Citrix’s CEO, pointed out that the average company in the US is spending $800 dollars to $1000 dollars per person per year to manage and license this complexity, and that doesn't include the cost to implement, integrate and maintain their solutions overall. Rubbing salt in the wound, these costs are in addition to what companies are already spending to manage their IT environment.
It is these issues that the Workplace app is intended to address and help companies resolve, by acting as a convenient, central hub for the data and applications they need to work at their best.
“I firmly believe that new challenges require fresh ideas. Our strategy is to focus on enhancing the user experience, secure the environment and then obviate the need to invest in a lot of these disparate technologies,” concluded Henshall.
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