We as a society have long aspired to communicate and collaborate using any device from any location at any time to anyone. Finally – more than any other time in the evolution of our industry – that dream is becoming our reality.  The idea that we can work and play from “any any any” is simple yet revolutionary.  This notion blurs our personal and professional lives in brand new ways – ways that we are really only just starting to comprehend.  Who ever thought our phones could connect us to work, play and beyond  -- and be such an indispensable part of our lives?

As I’ve said before, the iPhone, then the iPad, and now the plethora of Android- and Chrome-based devices have begun to move from our personal lives into the workplace. In the span of one year, consumer technology has become ingrained as business technology in a legitimate and profound way.

We’ve quickly gone from hard drives and desktops to smartphones and tablets … and now we’re on our way to the cloud.  As much as the cloud promises to transform business operations, the cloud will ALSO transform our personal lives.  Just as we now ask ourselves “how did I ever live without the iPhone (or iPad or Droid or name-your-favorite-device)?” one day very soon we will be asking, “how did I ever live without the cloud?”

Some of you skeptics may be unconvinced, but I have seen the future.  You see, at Citrix we make it a point to keep our finger on innovation.  Not just within our proverbial walls, but also on the innovation that’s happening with companies large and small – including Silicon Valley start-ups – from around the world.  In fact, two developments this week bring a whole new twist to “any to any” by raising the bar for what we can do across devices via the cloud.

Today Citrix announced a partnership with Skype, which will bring better collaboration from any device, from anywhere, for work or for play.  As my colleague Brett Caine said in his blog today, “Work is no longer just done in an office with a phone on the desk and a conference room down the hall….To be effective in this new world, they need collaboration tools that make it easy to interact with colleagues using a mix of voice, video and web.  They need the flexibility to start one-to-one communication, then seamlessly extend it to a one-to-many conference, on whatever device they happen to be using.”

The partnership will do just that by introducing new Web and audio conferencing capabilities enabled by Citrix GoToMeeting into Skype for Business products.  So now it will be even easier to share your screen, interact with anyone and work anywhere – and it all goes through the cloud.

Also this week (and it’s only Tuesday!), we announced that Primadesk will be the first start-up to receive funding from the Citrix Start-up Accelerator Program. The  Accelerator program, launched in December, is designed to find and encourage the entrepreneurs who are creating the next technologies that will change our lives.  Essentially, supporting entrepreneurs who share the “any to any” dream.

Primadesk is pursuing that dream by taking the any to any concept to the cloud.  What do I mean by that?   Primadesk’s new technology (unveiled at DEMO 2011 yesterday) enables you to access and manage, and even search, your personal and professional information from any browser, on any device – anywhere and anytime.  Any email account, or photo collection, or calendar, or social network, or shopping account, or business application, or most anything else that makes up your digital life.  And Primadesk is the only service of its kind that lets users drag and drop content (documents, emails, photos, etc.) from one service provider to another.  Pretty cool.

So perhaps soon you’ll be asking yourself, “how did I ever live without this technology?”

Both of these developments are right in line with the Citrix vision for workshifting, and there are definitely more exciting things to come.  The more we BYO consumer devicesinto the workplace, the more we move our personal and professional lives into the cloud, the more we can work and play from any any any.