Marc Andreessen was right—software really is eating the world.

While in the past office productivity was determined by physical constraints, with people tethered to specific zones of productivity like buildings and desktop computers, we’ve moved beyond that now. Software can take us beyond those limitations to do what we need to do, when and where we need to do it. A car becomes a conference room bringing together a global team. An iPad in a café becomes a design studio. An airport lounge becomes a sales office. Just this past week, Apple introduced a wristwatch that becomes a communications center, health sensor, wallet, weather station and who knows what else. No wonder investors are pouring so much money into software companies. More than ever, it’s software that allows us to define our own reality.

That’s especially true in the workplace. Not so long ago, people worked in a specific place, using a specific machine designed to do specific things. That picture already seems like ancient history, doesn’t it? Today, it doesn’t have to matter where you are, what device you use or even whether you stick to one device or move across several over the source of the day. Wherever you go, you can define your workplace according to your needs. If you need your tablet to act like a high-end engineering workstation, no problem. If you need to collaborate with peers on the other side of the world, you can meet with them all face-to-face on the screen of your laptop. If you need to edit a document or respond to a client on a tight deadline, you can just grab the nearest device—even one borrowed from a friend—and just like that, you’re looking at your own familiar desktop.

Of course, the software-defined workplace doesn’t just appear magically. It’s delivered by IT, the culmination of a long process of innovation that has seen monolithic mainframe systems branch first into client-server, LAN-connected systems, and now into an increasingly diverse and dynamic mosaic of interconnected systems. In adapting to the demands of this new environment, IT has embraced the software-defined datacenter, which shifts the physical to the virtual in terms of compute, storage, networking and orchestration. With the software-defined workplace, IT curates now aggregates, secures and delivers apps and content anywhere they’re needed, without being bound by physical location or hardware.

To complete this shift and enable the mobile workplace, you need every element to be the best it can be. A dynamic access environment calls for bulletproof security that still stays out of peoples’ way to allow true freedom and convenience. People need a great experience wherever and however they work, without having to worry about the limitations of the device or network they’re using—like running a high-end Windows app on an Android device over public WiFi. They need to be able to access and share information, and collaborate with teammates, just as seamlessly across devices and locations. Every service delivered must be secure, collaborative, contextual, continuous and infinitely mobile.

The Culmination of a 25-year Partnership of Success

That’s where Citrix comes in. The software-defined workplace is the culmination of our partnership with IT through a journey of transformation. There’s no belief we hold more dear than the idea that work is not a place—it’s something people do. Over the past two decades, we’ve pioneered remote access, virtualization, delivery networking, cloud infrastructure and mobility management, all to let people define their own environment for work productivity no matter where they are. Along the way, we’ve developed assets that put us in a unique position to make the software-defined workplace a reality.  As such, Citrix has been placed in the Gartner Leader’s Quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing* for Citrix ShareFile and the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management Suites**.   You can read more about my thoughts on our market leadership in my previous blogs.

In the weeks and months ahead, you’ll be hearing a lot more about the software-defined workplace and how Citrix makes it possible. Picture a complete workplace that follows people wherever they go, taking whatever form they need it to. Then picture how much better life will be for your business and your workforce once we help you make it a reality.

Matthew Morgan, SVP of Product Marketing at CitrixAbout the author

Matthew Morgan is the vice president of corporate product marketing for Citrix.  In this role, Mr. Morgan oversees global product marketing for all Citrix solutions.  His background includes twenty years in enterprise software, including leading worldwide product marketing organizations for HP Software, Mercury Interactive, and Blueprint.  Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn or visit his personal blog.

*Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing, Monica Basso, Jeffrey Mann, Charles Smulders, 2 July 2014

**Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management Suites, Terrence Cosgrove, Rob Smith, Chris Silva, Bryan Taylor, John Girard, Monica Basso, 3 June 2014

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