I have been living in a consumerized world for a few years now. My IT department, unfortunately, has not. Until now.

Wikipedia defines consumerization as “the reorientation of product and service designs around the individual end user.“ I am personally very thankful for consumerization – without it, I wouldn’t have devices that combine my phone, camera, favorite wine lists and credit cards all in one! Thanks to consumerization, emerging technologies have focused on my needs as an individual and what I need to accomplish or simplify a task.

But what about the needs of an IT organization? Up until now, IT organizations have been stuck with the growing demands from people like me that want to be able to use all the fantastic technology I bought for my personal life, in the workplace. And, up until now, supporting these people has been a nightmare because when IT couldn’t support a technology I wanted to use, I would find a way to go around them.

Thankfully, the day for IT to regain control has come. The software-defined workplace (SDW) provides a world where IT can meet all of my needs. I no longer have to work without IT; I can work with IT. With the SDW, business technologies, services and infrastructure are now being reoriented and designed around the needs of IT: flexibility, agility, security and lower costs…just to name a few. Here’s how. The software-defined workplace:

  • Delivers the ultimate infrastructure choice. With SDW technology, IT can determine the most ideal place to host business services (public, private, or hybrid clouds) and can ensure that these services will be delivered seamlessly to people anywhere, over any network. IT is no longer forced into proprietary hardware that creates vendor lock-in and removes business choice.
  • Enables fast reaction to changes in the business. With SDW technology, IT can be in lockstep with the business as real-time changes occur. Without being constrained by hardware, IT can burst capacity up or down based on business conditions, such as mergers or acquisitions, a live event, or even disasters. IT no longer needs to add new infrastructure to address changes in business requirements.
  • Safeguards business assets regardless of their location. With a SDW, security is not one-size-fits-all, but instead based on context. This allows business assets to be secured based on their sensitivity level. For example, confidential data will be protected in the data center, while standard business data can live on a device only when encrypted. IT no longer needs to set a single set of policies and require that people follow the rules or be denied access.
  • Provides better utilization of resources, including the cloud. With SDW, IT can leverage existing environments, or even expand into the cloud, without constantly adding or subtracting resources, such as at the end of quarter when all finance employees need access to a single finance app. This will enable IT to only pay for what they are using, eliminating the costs of underutilized infrastructure.

The software-defined workplace brings tremendous value for IT, but it is a win-win for individuals as well. Specifically, the software-defined workplace makes it easier and more secure for us to have choice – the choice to use our favorite devices, apps and services in the workplace. IT can now support our favorite technologies with services that are no longer tied to the device or app we are using.

But, this isn’t just about technology. Here at Citrix, we are taking it a step further. With the ability to deliver services that enable us to work from anywhere, accessing all of our apps and data, the workplace is now abstracted from a physical location.

Work is truly no longer a place. And, by focusing on the people and the services they need to get their jobs done, Citrix is leading the way in making the software-defined workplace a reality today.