Transformations at the desktop is here

Transformation involves changing the nature, function or condition of an object. It sounds daunting. Most of us have been part of a transformation without even knowing it. Sometimes they are business transformations where the company we work for is trying to retool the business model. Sometimes, we experience a cultural transformation. The cool thing with the desktop virtualization is that we are at the beginning of a desktop transformation and many of you probably don’t even realize it.

There are few things that are common across all transformations:

  1. There is a “wow” factor for the end state
  2. They don’t happen overnight
  3. People driving the transformation know “how” they are going to get to the end state

Why “Wow” to “How”?

I speak with many IT leaders and CIOs on a regular basis. Over the course of last 6-12 months, there has been a fundamental shift in the CIO belief system – traditional desktop computing, where every user is given a corporate device with restrictions on what a user can and cannot do, is being questioned. There are several forces in play here – consumerization, mobility, smartphones and tablets, productivity, faster time to value or agility. Most CIOs are coming to the conclusion that enabling users to do whatever, wherever and whenever, using any device, is going to be the future of desktop computing. This service based computing model is going to give end users the ultimate flexibility they want and IT the centralized control that IT needs.

The good news is that the products and solutions that IT has to choose from keep getting better. We just announced XenDesktop 5 with simplicity, scalability and power that can help customers with their goals. When I speak with customers, they tell me that their goal is to use the technology to “wow” their users – and it can only happen if their desktops are transformed. Now this is the tough part about transformations: you need to know “how”. “How do you get started?”, “How do you make it work with your current environment?” and “How do you demonstrate rapid success with results that are good for users and good for the business?”

That’s why we have been working hard to figure out the best way to help our customers to get from “wow” to “how”. Providing guidelines, best practices and a framework for customers to plan, implement and transform their desktop computing environment is by no means easy. That said, we do have the most experience in this market with literally millions of Citrix virtual desktops implemented all over the world. We’ve also had countless conversations with customers, partners and industry leaders over the course of the past year. With all of that knowledge and experience in place we decided to put together our first version of the ‘Desktop Transformation Model’ – a model that helps you plan your own desktop transformation. The model helps you drive a transformation that is aligned to your business goals, and helps you “wow” your users every step of the way.

How is it different?

This model is different from other technology adoption plans that you may have seen:

  • Before using the model, you need to think about where your computing environment needs to be in the next 12, 18 or 24 months – think about what you want to enable for users and what the business wants IT to be able to do. This is the “Wow” part of the plan.
  • The model helps you build the “how” part of the plan – a plan that does not need a massive switch in a single day. Instead, it helps you build a plan that you can use to transform your environment gradually as you deliver demonstrable results to both users and your business.
  • Business and users want to see results on an on-going basis through the transformation. The model also helps you achieve a “wow” factor not just at the end of the transformation but every step of the way.

Taking the next steps is simple

To learn more read the announcement or visit the website.

If you find the model something that you are already following – that is actually a great thing. I do find many customers running into the trap of doing an in depth technical analysis and a formal business case assessment without understanding the longer term vision and business priorities. The model offers some simple but extremely powerful tools – a business priority calculator to help you start with business priorities rather than technology, a transformation roadmap planner (helps you build your list of prioritized projects) and Success Accelerator program coming soon that will help you implement your projects successfully. The model will help you avoid those pitfalls and plan and communicate with your business teams better. Soon, you will start seeing an ecosystem around the model – with partners offering tools and services to help you with your own transformation roadmap plans.

This is clearly the first attempt by Citrix at providing this model. I will be the first one to say that the model is not yet perfect – but we had to start somewhere. Our goal is to help our customers be successful here. We are looking for your feedback as you put this model into practice. I welcome your thoughts and input, and we will be certain to incorporate them into the model going forward.

Now – lets all start using the model for building your own transformation roadmaps.