You probably heard a lot about the Citrix vision for the modern workspace at our recent Synergy conference (see the video highlights here).

A software-defined work environment is the embodiment of on-demand IT, letting people and businesses become fully productive anywhere with great experience, flexibility and security. The element that makes that picture complete—the part that makes it possible for IT to design, deploy and manage those secure workspaces just as easily—is Citrix Workspace Cloud.

As the foundational element of the mobility-transformed business, today’s workspace should redefine what’s possible for the organization and its workforce.

People can access everything they need to get their work done—apps, desktops, data, colleagues—from wherever they are, using any device and network. Businesses can enable productivity anywhere, for anyone—contract workers at a third-party call center, a salesperson or executive on the road, the employees of a newly acquired subsidiary, the staff working at a new branch office or customer location.

But for IT, the modern workspace raises important questions: how are we actually going to deliver these services? As the enterprise environment becomes more complex, encompassing traditional, cloud and hybrid infrastructure as well as myriad corporate and third-party networks, how can we hope to deliver IT services with the speed, seamlessness and simplicity we’re promising? That’s where Workspace Cloud comes in.

Unified Management Platform

A unified services management platform, Workspace Cloud lets IT quickly design and deliver workspace services, including Windows, web and mobile apps, desktops, files and mobility management, and make them securely available to users on any device, over any network, at cloud scale. You can integrate and deploy any number of workspaces with different combinations of services to meet the needs of each user profile and context in your organization—a high-powered graphics workspace for designers and engineers, a lightweight productivity workspace for road warriors, a highly secure locked-down workspace for extremely sensitive work.

Each service can be deployed onto any cloud or hybrid infrastructure, in-house or third-party, according to its own individual requirements for cost, compliance and performance. IT can configure standard workspaces for various roles and use cases, and publish them to the corresponding users; users, in turn, can subscribe to one or more workspaces according to their own needs. As you’ve probably already guessed, those workspaces are device- and network-independent, with security and settings pushed to the background; from the employee’s perspective, it just works the right way every time, in every scenario.

Like a Faucet

I can’t overstate the strategic impact of Workspace Cloud and the on-demand IT that will be enabled. Think of it this way: When you turn on a faucet, you don’t have to worry about which pipes the water has traveled through, which reservoir it came from, whether you’re using the same tap as yesterday, or whether it’s the right kind of water for your glass. All you need to know is that it’s always going to be there—whether you need it for drinking, cooking, washing or keeping your kids cool on a hot day—and that it is always clean to predefined standards. That’s the kind of simplicity on-demand IT makes possible, and it makes traditional IT models seem about as convenient and productive as a bucket brigade.

In an organization, on-demand IT has countless possibilities. Need to open a new location? Bring a team of contractors online? Activate your business continuity plan following a disaster? Just buy some off-the-shelf devices—or have people bring their own—and publish the appropriate workspaces to those users. Done. In each case, the workspaces you publish will already be configured with all the right apps, desktops, file sharing capabilities, and security and network settings for that scenario.

So, this is what on-demand IT can look like from the inside. With a simple, fast and secure way to deliver the workspaces people need, IT can help them work better anywhere—and help their organization leverage the full benefits of becoming a mobility-transformed business.